Lauren Becherer | HealthGreatness

Packing for a trip that requires air travel can be tricky with all the rules and regulations at airport security. If you require prescription medication, there’s no need to stress—everything you need will pass through the screening process, it just takes a little bit of planning. Know how to pack ahead of time and what to do when you reach the security checkpoint in order to make your travels hassle-free.

Packing your prescriptions

You can pack your medications in either carry-on or checked luggage, but it is recommended to bring them in your carry-on baggage in the event of misplaced luggage or if you need immediate access. An unlimited amount of prescriptions can be brought with you in liquid or pill form as long as they are screened. It is not necessary to place medically required liquids in a clear, zip-top bag like other cosmetic liquids, however they must be declared at the start of the screening process. TSA does not require that medications are in prescription bottles, but some states have individual laws involving drug labeling. Check TSA traveler information for updated rules and regulations.


At the airport

Like all other carry-on items, prescription medications must be screened through airport security. The Transportation Security Administration allows passengers to bring required medical substances in their carry-on luggage as long as you follow protocol—have items in 100 milliliter/ 3.4 ounce or less containers or a zipped, clear plastic bag. Make sure to declare your items to the security screener if you have prescriptions in larger containers. To make this process go seamlessly, having original prescription bottles or a doctor’s note may alleviate any misunderstandings.

Like all other carry-on items, your medications will be screened by x-ray. If a passenger does not want his or her medicine x-rayed, an inspection can be executed on request. Ask a security agent about alternatives to x-ray screening at the beginning of the process.

Permitted prescription-related items for air travel include:

  • Prescription and over-the-counter medications
  • Gels/liquids that are necessary for a medical condition (have a doctor’s note or declare at security)
  • Necessary life-sustaining materials
  • Gels/liquids required to preserve medications

Enjoy these hassle-free tips for traveling with prescriptions.