Travellers of all ages may need to manage medications whilst travelling but this is more relevant to those of us over 40 and especially those of us with chronic conditions that must be managed in order to keep us fit, healthy and on the road.
Chronic conditions include but are not limited to:
High Blood Pressure
Cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, vascular disease
Airways disease such as emphysema, COPD, Asthma
Thirteen top tips for managing medications on the road
- Always see your Doctor/health care professional when you are planning your travel, inform them of where, how long and what you intend to do on your trip
- Have a full check up BEFORE you leave and get any ongoing issues treated
- Ensure that you have a supply of medication to get you through your entire trip
- Ensure that prescription medication is in its original packaging
- Ensure that your name is printed on the packaging and that it matches the prescription
- Take a copy of the prescription with you
- Check with the Embassy of the country you are travelling to that the medication you are taking is legal and for any restrictions or regulations that may apply (You can usually do this on the internet)
- Check your Governments regulations on travelling with medications e.g. Australia restricts taking prescription medications out of the country that are not for YOUR use
- Know and use trusted sources for advice about your medications
- Non prescription medications such as common pain relief medications (paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen) may not be available easily in other countries, a small supply in it’s original packaging should not be an issue but always check before you travel e.g. some countries will not allow the importation of Codeine
- Discuss your travel, prescription and non prescription medications with your dispensing pharmacist. They may be able to arrange more medication if you are travelling abroad for an extended trip (Our pharmacist in Australia was able to organise up to 6 months supply of medication)
- Carry at least some medication in your hand luggage to avoid being stranded without medication, we usually have a weeks supply in our carry on luggage
- Get a letter from your health care professional with:
Your medical history
Your medications generic name and trade name
Your medications dose
The frequency that the medication should be taken
When you commenced the medication
How long you should take the medication for
Any other treatment you may have had e.g. operations, massage, counselling
Any allergies or reactions to medication in your past
Trusted sources of information
Please note: you should discuss theses sources of information with your health care professional during your pre travel consultation, they may find it useful to know where you get information and be able to explain anything you don’t understand.
The Australian Travel Doctor website is a private company that has information for travellers including vaccinations, travel tips and medication management relevant to Australian travellers, you can access the site here.
The National Health Service (UK) has travel tips for those managing chronic conditions while you travel, including fact sheets that you can download to take with you here
The NPS medicinewise site is an Australian not for profit organisation which has information about chronic conditions, medications and management for both health professionals and non professionals. The information is presented in an easy to understand way and there is an APP for your smartphone which you can download for medication management. You can access the site here.
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If you would like to discuss this information or give us feedback please contact us