The rules concerning what you can and cannot carry on a plane are forever changing, so what about carrying medication on a plane? Read on for more about these rules…
Whenever you’re catching a flight, one of the most important things you’ll need to organise is your hand luggage. There are some things you’re always going to remember to pack: phone chargers, headphones and, of course, snacks. But what about medication?
Plenty of us have daily medication we need to take, but are there any restrictions on what you can carry on a plane? It’s important to be in the know. After all, you don’t want to get in trouble for importing a controlled substance when you’re simply carrying your essential medication!
So, to learn more about what restrictions there are for carrying medication on a plane, be sure to read below…
What Medication is Allowed on a Plane?
First thing’s first – what medication is permitted on a plane? Well, there are some clear guidelines as to what is allowed in hand luggage. The following medication is permitted on planes:
- Tablets and capsules
- Essential liquid medications
- Hypodermic syringes
- Cooling gel packs
- Medical equipment
- Special food and liquids for medical purposes
These can be in the form of prescription and non-prescription medications.
How Should I Carry Medication on a Plane?
Now you know that medication is allowed to be carried on a plane, how should you carry it? Well, careful preparation will go a long way to making things run smoothly.
Firstly, you’ll need to be prepared to have supporting documentation from a relevant medical professional to be allowed to carry prescribed medication. This could be in the form of a letter from your doctor, or a copy of your prescription. Non-prescription medicines, such as shop-bought ibuprofen and paracetamol, do not require supporting documentation.
The information you could be required to provide about your medication includes details of the medicine itself and the health condition it’s being used to treat. If it’s in the form of a liquid, you’ll also need to be prepared for it to be checked by airport staff prior to you boarding the plane. More substantial medical equipment is screened separately.
You’ll also be wise to make sure your medication is easily accessible and is clearly labelled. This will mean airport staff will be able to check the medication easily, ensuring that you’ll be able to board the plane without any unnecessary drama. It goes without saying, but this also means avoiding putting medication in your hold luggage!
Of course, if you’re travelling with children who have medication, the same procedures apply. You’ll be able to pack their medication but be sure to carry the correct documents.
Is there a Limit to How Much Medication You Can Carry on a Plane?
Many airlines advise that you should only pack the amount of medication required for your trip. Naturally, this might pose an issue if you do not know how long you will be away for and, therefore, aren’t sure how much medication you need to carry with you on the plane.
Your hand luggage will need to fit inside the cabin hold, which means you’ll need to do some careful planning to make sure you take your medication with you.
If you think that there may be an issue, you’ll need to contact your doctor and the airline in question so you can talk through your potential options.
What Medication is Banned on Planes?
The answer to this question will depend on a number of factors, including the airline you’re travelling with, as well as the countries you are travelling to and from.
There are a number of prescribed medications that contain drugs which are controlled under the Misuse of Drug legislation, such as anabolic steroids and strong painkillers. This means that extra legal protections apply, and you’ll need an extra license to carry the medication onto a plane.
If you aren’t sure whether your medication contains a controlled drug, there a few options available to you, so don’t panic! You can check the list of controlled drugs and discuss your medication with your doctor to make sure you will be clear to board a plane.
Can You Get in Trouble for Carrying Medication on a Plane?
If you’re not carrying medication on a plane that contains a controlled substance, and you have all the correct documentation, you will not get into any sort of trouble.
However, if you do have a medication that contains a controlled substance and you do not have the correct documents, this is where things could get a little sticky. To cut a long story short, your medication could be taken away from you.
For example, if you’re entering a country that has restrictions on the use of codeine, such as Greece, and you do not have a licence, you may see your medication taken away from you. If the medication you use contains a more tightly controlled substance, there could be further penalties to come.
If you aren’t sure what restrictions are in place for the country you’re visiting, you can check the website of the country’s foreign embassy.
Are You Planning to Carry Medication on a Plane?
So, there you have it! Hopefully this has given you a clearer idea on the rules and regulations concerning medication on a plane.
One of the most important points to take away from this is that carrying medication is completely fine. As long as you make sure that you have all of the correct documents to prove that you are allowed to have it on your person, you’ll be good to go.
Are you planning to carry medication on a plane? Or have you carried medication on a plane in the past? If you’ve got any tips or guidance that you think would be useful to share, feel free to leave a comment below.