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Old 12-16-2012, 10:04 AM   #1
HoustonMom1
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Medications

My mom read that medications should be brought in their original bottles. Is that true? She puts all of her meds and vitamins pill boxes and does not want to bring the original bottles. Thanks!
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Old 12-16-2012, 10:10 AM   #2
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I think that one is simply for safety purposes. If your Mom needed to be seen in the clinic, they would prefer - as any hospital would - to see the original bottles to make sure they do not give something that might cross react. Technically, customs also could have an issue if they notice controlled medications in an unlabeled container. Of course, the odds of an issue are increadibly small.

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Old 12-16-2012, 10:30 AM   #3
DisneyHookedMe
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From my experience, the bottle issue comes into play when you travel into Mexico or Canada. Customs can check your bags and if they find you don't have medications in their original bottles, they may assume you visited a pharmacy and thus will force you to toss the medication. If you google search "Medications Original Bottle Customs" you'll find the latest policies from US Customs.
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Old 12-16-2012, 11:46 AM   #4
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And if you are flying, having the medications in their original bottles will make it easier when going through security. I would pack the pill box and sort after boarding. As I have learned, if you take the original bottles it's easier to bring a couple of extra days of medications so you don't run out if things get delayed.

If the prescription bottles are huge, talk to your pharmacist about getting a smaller bottle with the label on it for travel.
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Old 12-16-2012, 01:58 PM   #5
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In Florida, any scheduled substances (usually narcotics) must legally be in their original containers. For other meds, it is a matter of ease and safety; the container decision is up to your mother. However....if she opts to use something other than the original containers, PLEASE bring a list showing the name of the medication, the strength, and how many times a day she takes it. This could be critical if any medical needs arise while on vacation.

I can't tell you how frustrating it is to have someone tell you that they take a pink pill for their "stomach trouble" when they see a new doc or ER. It is both time consuming (as we try to figure it out) and potentially dangerous to the patient. List....Please!
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:25 PM   #6
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Not only are you suppose to have the original bottles for customs, it makes it easier if something did happen to you.

As someone who works in the medical field, the one thing I hate doing is sorting through a pill box trying to figure out what each pill is. And considering that certain places use much different medications, it is a complete guessing game. Seeing what medications your on, gives an indication for medical problems you have.

Ask for small bottles from your pharmacist, with the labels, and bring enough with you, with a few spares. It doesn't take up any room in the luggage. Bring your pill box if you want and make up your weekly box. But please have bottles.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:38 PM   #7
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Personally, as someone who takes several medications each day, some of them multiple large pills, I was reduced to tears the first time I put all my meds (even in small bottles) in my travel purse (which is large!) and had them take up 80% of the bag. I went to CVS, and they had the best solution. They sold tiny ziploc bags that were perfect for 2-3 weeks' worth of most of my meds (for a couple of the larger pills, I used snack sized ziplocs). The documentation they give with all of my prescriptions includes an extra sticky label that gives the prescription number, name of the medication, dosage, etc. I peeled those off, put them on the baggies, and threw those baggies into a quart-sized ziploc. MUCH more manageable. There's nothing magical about the original bottles; it's the labels they want.

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Old 12-17-2012, 12:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
Personally, as someone who takes several medications each day, some of them multiple large pills, I was reduced to tears the first time I put all my meds (even in small bottles) in my travel purse (which is large!) and had them take up 80% of the bag. I went to CVS, and they had the best solution. They sold tiny ziploc bags that were perfect for 2-3 weeks' worth of most of my meds (for a couple of the larger pills, I used snack sized ziplocs). The documentation they give with all of my prescriptions includes an extra sticky label that gives the prescription number, name of the medication, dosage, etc. I peeled those off, put them on the baggies, and threw those baggies into a quart-sized ziploc. MUCH more manageable. There's nothing magical about the original bottles; it's the labels they want.

Sayhello
Good idea. I mail order everything, so get 90 day supplies, but I always get my first does at the local pharmacy in a 30 day supply and keep those bottles for travel.
3 of the pills I take are horse pills, so they don't even fit in the pill holder anyway.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:25 AM   #9
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When we came back from our last cruise to the Med, a woman next to me in security did not have the original bottles and it caused a big problem with airport security. There were some language issues as well and the discussion became very heated. Luckily, I had mine in the original bottles or I would have had the same issue. I love the Ziploc bag idea and will have to use that for my next cruise.

Good luck!
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:25 PM   #10
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My CVS prescriptions always come with an extra Prescription sheet attached to the bag the prescriptions came in. The sheet has bottle label and the description of the pill (ex. small blue pill with X on the front) along with all the cautions. This info gives the doctor, pharmacist and customs all the needed information in case they need it.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sayhello View Post
Personally, as someone who takes several medications each day, some of them multiple large pills, I was reduced to tears the first time I put all my meds (even in small bottles) in my travel purse (which is large!) and had them take up 80% of the bag. I went to CVS, and they had the best solution. They sold tiny ziploc bags that were perfect for 2-3 weeks' worth of most of my meds (for a couple of the larger pills, I used snack sized ziplocs). The documentation they give with all of my prescriptions includes an extra sticky label that gives the prescription number, name of the medication, dosage, etc. I peeled those off, put them on the baggies, and threw those baggies into a quart-sized ziploc. MUCH more manageable. There's nothing magical about the original bottles; it's the labels they want.

Sayhello
What a great idea! We also deal with the "several medications and multiple large pills" issue - often when traveling we have a whole duffle bag that is almost all medications. I will need to try out the baggies idea. The challenge will be getting extra labels from the mail-order pharmacy our insurance requires us to use. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:11 PM   #12
kcashner
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You don't want to take your 90 day supply along anyhow. What if it gets lost/stolen? Take what you will need plus a couple extra days. And you are all right--it is the label info that is important, not the pill bottle itself. I also keep my old container to use for travel, but have also been known to ask pharmacy for an extra container for that purpose.
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