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Pain Meds and Extended Travel

edited 06/11/2012 - 9:03 AM in Pain Medications
I am a US resident and thinking about staying in the UK next summer for travel and perhaps school as well. I am considering staying for the entire summer, up to 3months, and was wondering if any of you have any advise/experience on what I should do for my medications for this time period. I currently take Butrans 10mcg, I get 4 patches at a time which is a month supply, and 40 10mg Norco(for BT) which is about a 2month supply for me. If I stay three months these amounts obviously wont be enough to last me the whole time.

The Norco would be easy to get a slightly larger prescription for but the Butrans(as far as I know) only comes pre-packaged for 1 month supplies, which would make it slightly tricky to get a 3month supply all at once. First my Dr. would have to precribe it, then the pharmacy would have to approve, then my insurance would have to okay coverage for it and lastly I might run into problems with taking that much narcotic medication cross-country.

The other option would be perhaps get the usual one month supply and try to find a Dr in the UK and hopefully have him understand and prescribe my usual meds, which would be a bit of a hassle. I guess another option would be to switch back to Norco for the trip and get an enlarged supply of that, but I would have the same 24/7 pain relief, which is why I was switched to the patch in the first place.

If you have had any experience with this kind of situation please share how you went about traveling fotr long periods of time with your medication, or if you dont and just have some suggestions thatd be great as well.


  • The website below has lots of information about traveling to the UK with medication. It is a .gov website so it is safe..I think this type of web link I'm allowed to post as it's nothing to do with advertising or sales.


    So...the key is meeting with your Dr. and letting them know of your plans and seeing if you can get all your medication up front in the larger doses....

    I travel a lot for work and many times it is either to remote places in the US or Africa.

    So it's not just about the rules of the country you are going to...but also the airline regulations and the rules of how it needs to be transported (in orginal bottles/packaging) so you can get through security on both ends going and returning.

    Along with having documentation about your illness and why you need meds in case you do need to seek care over there.

    As well as looking at your own insurance and how it works out of the US. As well as maybe purchasing travel insurance if needed.

    If you know anyone in the UK that has a DR. that your Dr. could contact just to have them speak once on record if you need to see them...That would be the best case scenario...

    With my trips to Africa...most did not go over a month and these were to villages that do not have a Dr. or even basic clinic as that is part of my work...building and organizing those as well as homes/schools...etc.

    I almost had to get helicoptered out of there with the the US embassy helping as I developed Dengue Fever....but luckily not the deadly kind...but it was really rough for a few days as my fever was extremely high.

    Anyway....preparation..planning...and due diligence is your absolute best friends!!! LOL

    It's wonderful that you can plan such a trip and possible schooling over there for awhile. One niece of mine was in the UK for 5 months and is now in Taiwan for a year doing post grad work teaching....

    So...it's really good that you are planning so far ahead and hope you have a great Dr. who will do everything he can to make this happen for you!!!

  • I don't know enough about pain pumps or if its a option for you but thought I'd throw it out there. Maybe someone with a pump will chime in.
  • Thank you for all that information! and the link was also helpful, last time I traveled I didnt bring a Dr note on why I need the medication and now I know I should definitely do that for extended travel. I think best will be to talk to my Dr about what I should do about the situation, Im sure Ill be able to work something out but I think its going to be a hassle no matter how it goes down. Anyway the trip plans are far from final but I just wanted to at least get an idea for what I should do and if I dont go for the whole summer I know Ill at least go somewhere for at least a couple weeks so this info was useful, thank you!

    As for the pain pump, I am only 22 so I dont think I would be considered a candidate for that and I wouldnt want to do it even if I was eligable. Maybe when I get older but for now that option doesnt sound appealing .
  • Hi, I'm from the UK and I know that they have Butrans patches there too, so perhaps you could get those if you explained your situation to a doctor. Hydrocodone is not used in the UK, so Norco wouldn't be available. Oxycodone is used, as well as morphine. More commonly, codeine and dihydrocodeine are prescribed for non-cancer pain. Good luck!
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