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Traveling with Oxy and other medications

I was hoping to find out if anyone has experience using medications on an airplane. Also, the security and airport when it comes to a old labeled prescription bottle. For example, I will be leaving the country for a week in July and I will need to take my Xanax, Oxy, and other medications that I am on with me. I may need to take some of the Oxy and Xanax well on the plane. Is this allowed as long as they're in the labeled prescription bottle? I plan on taking all of my medication in my carry-on bag, in case my luggage is lost.
I have seen the drug sniffing dogs at the airport. Are they trained to go off on any amounts of narcotics? In other words, could I be stopped because of the dog smelling my medication?
Also, how have dealt (as best as can be dealt with) with their pain while they are in a car or on a plane? A car, I believe will be easier than the plane because we can stop, and I am free to get out walk around and stretch whenever I need to.
I will be at the major airport And I was wondering if anyone knows if they would have wheelchairs available if needed. I am getting better at walking but it is impossible for me to stand in a line, it's one of my triggers for intense pain. I know I can probably call and check for the airport in this country, but I don't know how to check with the airports in the other country.
This is my honeymoon, and have it has already been canceled twice. I just want this to go very well. I have this worry that my medications may be confiscated and although I would not die, I would go into withdrawal and it would be a very miserable honeymoon. Please share any advice or experiences.
2000- spinal fusion, complete spine due to scoliosis
2012- pain began, started treatment for chronic pain
2013- install of pain pump, procedures to address complications
2014-blood patch, spinal fluid leak


  • Congratulations! As far as your pain medications go, as long as they are in the prescription bottles, in your carry on bag, you should have no issues. I would suggest getting smaller bottles to keep in your purse ,with labels of course, so that you don't have to get up to grab and pick through your carry on bag......but other than that, you should have no issues with having the prescribed medications on your person.
    The drug sniffing dogs are used to check for narcotics being hidden on a person, or in luggage, not for prescribed medications. You may want to consider putting all of your meds into a quart size ziploc type bag, so that they can see the labels and the contents, and no one has to look through them....but other than that......you will be fine.
    As for wheelchairs, yes of course, airports have them, internationally and at home so you can ask the porter to get you one....usually they are located near the entrance doors.
  • I bought a great device for traveling. It's a folding seat on a cane. I use it when standing in line. It's very light and portable. It has 3 legs which fold when carrying and a curved handle to carry it with so you can use it like a cane when walking. Do a Google search. And congratulations!
    Artificial disc at L5S1 for 10 years. Had 3 Level lumbar fusion and Laminectomy on Sept 27, 2013. It was an OLIF (Oblique Lumbar Interbody Fusion) with cages, BMP, rods & screws. Norco, Plaquenil
  • I completely forgot about those seats.........you can also find them in smaller medical supply and mom and pop pharmacies.
  • If you ask your pharmacy, they can print extra labels to put on a ziplock bag so you can carry loose meds on you for your flight. I keep my pill bottles with me in my carry-on, but the pills I'll need while in the airport or on the plane I keep in my pocket (labeled ziplock baggie).

    Congrat's on marriage and good luck on your honeymoon!
    Several Epidurals, L4-S1 360 ALIF, Numerous Facet Joint Injections, RFA x2
  • Congratulations! I've travelled a lot & never had a problem with my labelled bottles. My parents are in their 70's & have a variety of health issues, they're like a traveling pharmacy!!! Airport security like you to have your bottles in ziplock baggies but even if you forget it's not a problem, they're used to people traveling with meds. I think it's a good idea to keep all of your meds with you in carry-on, I do. I've experienced too much lost luggage over the years to take the risk.

    Last summer I travelled out to California. I spoke to my doctor first. He gave me some extra breakthrough pills for my vacation & the flight. Remember to do some seated stretches & wander up & down the isle of the plane to keep yourself moving. I phone the airport to let them know I need a wheelchair. They had one waiting for me when I got off of the plane. It's particularly helpful on international flights, standing in line & getting through security is particularly hard for me without.

    Planning ahead always makes traveling so much easier. I've been guilty of avoiding things in the past because of my pain.. That's no way to live. Get out there & enjoy yourself!! Have a wonderful time ;-)
    Osteoarthritis & DDD.
  • BluesLoverBBluesLover Posts: 6
    edited 06/21/2014 - 1:06 PM
    in carrying prescribed narcotics through security when traveling. My wife an I each use a quart ziplock bag in our carry-on and are sure they are in current-dated prescription bottles. Two caveats - "currently dated" is important. Many of us have extra medication at home in expired bottles - you don't want to have it checked and have the prescription outdated.

    Also, we never take ALL of our medicine with us (as in a fresh refill quantity). We take an amount equal to the length of our trip plus a few days in case of delays. Should you lose the bottle, or for some reason have it taken from you, you will at least have some left at home. Especially important if the meds are narcotics - if they DO fall into the wrong hands, you want as little as possible to be open to abuse.
  • I would definitely call ahead and they will have a wheelchair waiting for you. Keep your medications on your person (bag close to you) and with current dates on the bottles. Whether you can take certain prescriptions into another country depends on the country. Most likely it will not be a problem, but some countries do have restrictions on narcotic medications, so I would definitely recommend researching this ahead of time. Also, be sure to allow for extra time during any connecting flights, I once missed my connection because of this and got stuck in Las Vegas's airport for an excruciating 5 hrs, however I was making that flight back across the country alone and the personnel didn't get me there fast enough. They did give me a upgrade. Congratulations and enjoy your trip!
  • I have been hassled over in Asia.
    I had a small bottle of meds, so I would not have to go into my bag. As I was padded down, the guard felt the bottle in my small bag tucked inside my pants. He wanted to look. I pulled the pouch out and he called the police over. You need this after 25hrs. of flight! I asked the police if I could go into my carry on so I could get something to show him. He let me, and I pulled out 2 small x rays of my spine and it's hardware. At that point he just let me go.
    1) if you have a X-ray bring it.
    2) Get a note from your Dr. stating your times of travel etc.
    3) I even staid longer and ran out of med, in Asia. I was lucky and found a Dr. and was able to purchase some to hold me over.
    The problem there is I wiped the hospital out of Durigesic patches.
    If you are bringing any from overseas to America, make sure to have a letter from the Dr. in what ever country your in to bring back with the meds.
    ps.) It does help if you have an address in the country you are in. My wife & I have a home abroad, so its not as bad.
    Happy Travels!
  • JAM661JJAM661 Posts: 121
    edited 07/01/2014 - 5:31 PM
    I have gone to a couple of foreign countries in the past 10 years and never had a problem. While most of this stuff is just common sense the last thing you want to happen is being stuck explaining why you are take pain medication to some airport official when you should be enjoying one the happiest time of your life Make sure your medications are labeled and date current . Make sure the pills match with the medication listed on the label. While I do not like letting my medication out of my site even if it is going though the x-ray machine keep the meds in the carry on bag while you go though security. I have in the past tried to put the bottles in a clear bag and hand it to the person who is watching me go though the medal detector however I stopped doing that after the guard with a not so nice tone told me to put it in a bin so it can go though x-ray. Thinking that would have been a better choice it was actually was not. Since my carry on bag was already in the x-ray machine I had to but my meds in a empty bin. Having to do that allowed everyone who were picking up there stuff to see what medication I had in the bag. Call me paranoid but with MS-Contin selling for $40.00 a pill some people will do just about anything to get their hands on them. Now I just put my meds in my carrying on bag and since I started doing that I have had no problems Keeping your meds in your pocket like 1hurtnunit did while going though security only gives more unwanted attention towards you and your medication. When security looks at your carry on bag when it goes though xray they just see pills in prescription bottles. Unless you have huge amount of pills they will probably will not look at what type of medication you have. But if they do you should be fine . It always a good idea to bring a letter signed by your doctors listing the medications you are on and the medical condition you are taking them for. If the hotel you are staying at has a safe in the room use it to lock up your meds when you go out and just take what you need for the day. When you come back into the USA and go though customs you may see some dogs sniffing around. If they are beagles they are there most likely not to check for drugs but to make sure you do any fruit, nuts, seeds and plants. As far as help in the airport calling the airline that you are flying with can make arrangement for you. Also the flight attendant can call ahead so someone will be there at the gate when you get off the plane. Just a note there are a few countries out there that have the death penalty for smuggling in drugs. If you are going to a country that this a possibly it is probably best not to go.. The US State Dept or the embassy of the country you are going to should be able to answer your questions.
  • Betty65BBetty65 FloridaPosts: 83
    edited 06/30/2014 - 5:44 AM
    Don't know if this will help, but I have started bringing pillows with me when I travel. (One lumbar roll and one regular travel pillow.) They do help in the car, so I'm sure they would help on an airplane as well. Also bring along an old-fashioned ice-pack. It can be flattened in the suitcase and then filled at your destination.
  • My experience when traveling on a domestic US flight is that you ought to call the airport three days in advance. The regular, front-line TSA folks do not have the training nor the understanding to deal with personal medications. My TSA "friend" dumped all my meds on a stainless steel counter without asking me (against regs), opened my liquid bottle without asking (against regs), and passed a thin strip over the top of the bottle (he was searching for explosives, he said). Of course, he couldn't observe that all my meds were in one bag, had my name on all of the bottles, and that he could have asked me. And, you can also pay extra to get the TSA-pre badge. I think I'll take the train more often.
  • edited 07/30/2014 - 6:30 PM
    I have stenosis in my back. I can no longer do active sports because they pose a serious risk. I find cars very painful for trips over an hour or so. At least in the US, sign-up for ZipCar or another bargain rental agency. Maybe you can get a discount for your handicap. I find a train more comfortable because I can stretch out, sleep, pad my seat, etc. If long distance travel (and you have the time), reserve a sleeper in advance. Sleeping in a seat is the absolute "pits".
  • I discovered several years ago (after losing my meds in Italy to a bunch of thieves) that meds are far cheaper in Switzerland, of all places. So, before leaving, make sure you have a sufficient number of refills from your doctor. Take enough meds with you for the first few days, then go to the local pharmacy, verify that it will take faxed or email scripts from the US, and get your drugs!!! I know it sounds cynical, but you may have a customs' official ask you about your meds on return. After all, they need to protect the "domestic" US pharmaceutical industry.
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