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Travel

How to Pack Medicines for Air Travel

The doctor’s letter allows travellers to carry
The doctor’s letter allows travellers to carry injectable needles. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

When packing your medications for air travel, put them in your hand luggage, as you do not want to risk having them tampered with.

With most airlines as long as the medication is labelled and packed correctly, you will not have a problem boarding with them unless it is classified as inflammable, toxic, infectious or radioactive.

It is advisable to keep the medicines in their original bottles or containers.

What you must pay attention to is the storage instructions. According to Ivy Nelly, a pharmacist, any medication, unless it is specified that it needs to be refrigerated, should be kept at room temperature in a dry place away from heat, humidity and light.

One of the tricks for diabetics is to carry the insulin vial in a container with cotton wool soaked with methylated spirit.

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“Take the vial, remove it from the packaging. Take a small empty container, put cotton soaked with methylated spirit and then insert the vial in the middle and cover to ensure the spirit does not evaporate. It can go up to eight hours,” she said.

Some drugs like Levothyroxine for thyroid patients are heat sensitive, and may lose its effectiveness if you let it get too hot.

Carry a letter from a doctor for extra insulin in case you require replacing it.

The doctor’s letter allows travellers to carry injectable needles.

Insulin and tablets should be carried in the hand luggage and not in as checked baggage because of sub-zero temperatures.

If the medication needs to be refrigerated, you can speak to the cabin crew and they can store the pack.

You can also pack the medicines that need to be refrigerated in an insulated bag. Try a small bag to ensure those medications stay cool. Using a freezer pack in the bag is good for long flights.

Some air travellers also keep their pill bottle in an insulated drink mug. Ivy says you have to ensure the right temperature is contained in the mug.

When the weather is warm or sunny, do not leave medication in a parked car, because it can become hot.

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