• Traveling with injection needles and glass medicine bottles

    Asked by KRBaum on Saturday, March 9, 2013

    Traveling with injection needles and glass medicine bottles

    I just started self-injections of interferon and would like to travel down to Florida from DC to visit my parents. Does anyone know the process/protocol for taking glass injection bottles and 27 gauge needles on an airplane?? I don't want to check them as baggage, but not sure I can carry them on. Anyone have experience with this?

    6 Answers from the Community

    6 answers
    • nancyjac's Avatar

      My experience was from a couple of years ago but things may have changed since then. You will need a letter from your doctor stating that you require the drugs and paraphernalia (needles) on your trip and that you cannot feasibly/practically acquire them at your destination. He will also need to state that you need to have them on the plane rather than in checked baggage because putting them in the cargo hold could degrade the medicine. Also check to see if xray radiation could damage the drugs. Then if you can get by all of that, then a flight attendent will secure them for you when you embark and return them to you when you debark.

      over 5 years ago
    • SpunkyS's Avatar

      I have just packed my liquid meds in quart size bags and at the security line check pull them out as medication. I have not had any challenges. Diabetics do it all the time.

      over 5 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      The only thing I would add to the two excellent answers you have gotten, is to get a note from your oncologist verifying the medications you need to take and how they should be handled during the security check and on the flight.

      over 5 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      I would add that you should leave nothing to chance with this. Do not assume anyone will realize that medicine is medicine. Make sure you have all the documentation (more than you think you might need) so there is no hold up. There is a lot of subjective reasoning with various airports and how they react to liquids, etc. I travel a lot and I can assure you they are much more thorough in the mid-west than on the coasts, Germany will take children's toys apart while in Spain it all gets thrown on the conveyor belt and you bum rush the plane and France is a story that no one understands (plus there can be a sudden "warning" go out and everyone gets hyper worried). Present your documentation as you walk up, pack your medicine on top and be prepared to be thoroughly searched. It might seem extreme, but its worth it. You might even mention at the check in counter that you have sensitive materials and why. Be as up front as possible.

      Don't be late for your check in so you have time to work all this out if there are questions and make sure any documentation you have has contact numbers for your medical center. And, as if that isn't enough, ask your Dr if he has contacts where you are going so that if, for some reason your stuff is taken, you can get it replaced once you arrive.

      Or.....and this would be my course of action if at all possible......If you can do the flight time itself without the medicine, purchase only enough once you arrive to get you through your visit (arrange this in advance with your Dr and a pharmacy) and then leave whats left behind. Then you don't have to worry about the TSA.

      over 5 years ago
    • KRBaum's Avatar

      I forgot to mention one catch - the medication has to stay refrigerated. Thoughts?? Should I take a cooler? Will TSA be ok with that?

      This is all super helpful, and I'll definitely be asking my doctor for documentation (and then some) so I won't run into problems on the document side of things.

      over 5 years ago
    • attypatty's Avatar

      Dear KRBrum:
      I had to travel with my neupogen which had to be refrigerated. I carried in an insulated bag with one of those gel ice packs (not ice since it can melt into a liquid) and did not have any problem. The shot packs were clearly labeled as prescription and I didn't carry a letter from my onc. Since I had no hair at that point, I think it was pretty obvious I was a cancer patient and I got no grief from anyone. Good luck, and
      Fight On,

      over 5 years ago

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