Traveling for the Holidays? How to Prepare Medication Refills

Traveling for the Holidays? How to Prepare Medication Refills

Published: December 6, 2019

The holiday season is here, which means you have gifts to wrap, cards to mail, and out-of-town relatives to visit. But if you’re taking prescription medications and are traveling during the holidays, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure you will have enough medicine to last the duration of your trip. This is especially true if you are taking prescription narcotic pain medication and are traveling with chronic pain. That’s why our San Antonio Texas pain specialists at the offices of Dr. Raul Martinez have compiled the following guide on how to prepare medication refills so you won’t run out of the medicines you need. Read on to learn more from our pain management doctors.

1. Plan Ahead and Communicate With Your Doctor

It’s important to talk to your doctor and ask about their policies regarding prescription medication refills so you aren’t caught off guard and so you don’t run out of medication. For example, here at our offices, we ask patients to call for refills three days prior to leaving, and we do not refill on Fridays. So give your doctor plenty of notice if you are planning to leave town, and they can help you figure out how to plan your refills so that you will have enough medication to last the duration of your trip.

It’s also a good idea to ask your doctor for an additional dose in case of an emergency; if you only bring enough medicine for the exact length of your trip, you may end up in a bind if you miss a flight.

Finally, if you are changing time zones and you take your pills at specific times during the day, make sure to ask your doctor how to adapt your medication regimen.

2. Remember: Narcotic Medication Scripts Cannot Be Filled Across State Lines.

Many patients traveling with chronic pain forget that they are unable to fill their narcotic medication prescriptions while out of state. That’s why it’s crucial to obtain your refills before leaving town—you do not want to run out of the pain medication prescribed by your pain management doctors. In many cases, missing pain medication doses can slow recovery or cause setbacks. Do not reduce or stop medications without consulting a doctor.

3. Bring Your Prescription, and Carry Pills in Their Original Bottles

According to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), travelers are allowed to carry narcotics and psychotropics for personal use, usually in no more than a one month’s supply. However, in order to legally travel internationally with these medications, travelers must carry a letter or prescription from their doctor.

If you are flying, make sure to pack your prescription and carry your pills in their original containers in your carry-on luggage. Do not pack your medications in checked luggage, because these bags may be lost by the airline. And because some countries have their own regulations regarding controlled substances, be sure to check out the INCB’s website before arriving at the airport.

Even though you are not required to travel with a prescription or a doctor’s note when flying domestically, it is still a good idea to carry this paperwork with you in the event you are stopped by the TSA—especially if you are taking prescription narcotics.

4. If You Have Any Questions, Consult a Qualified Pain Specialist

If you have further questions about treating your chronic pain or traveling with prescription narcotics, our Texas pain specialists at the San Antonio offices of Dr. Raul Martinez are here to help. We have decades of experience treating patients with back pain, post-surgical pain, extremity pain, and hundreds of other conditions resulting in either chronic or acute pain. We can be reached by phone or through our online contact form, and we’re always here to answer any questions our patients have about chronic pain.

We hope you found this information helpful, and we wish you a happy, pain-free holiday season!


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Published: December 6, 2019

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