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Travel Smart with Medication - Tips to Know Before You Go

Health Tips with MedicationsTraveling, whether for business or pleasure, alters our daily routine. We may be required to follow an itinerary that disrupts our schedule, including our health-care maintenance. When taking prescription or over-the-counter medicines, the American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA), the national professional society of pharmacists, urges consumers to practice safe medication use when traveling, whether for short or extended periods of time.

When preparing for a business trip or vacation, consider the following:

Bring your medication schedule with you, including both prescription and over-the-counter medications. If you take different medicines at different points in the day, a schedule may be necessary to help adjust to time changes and changes in routine.when traveling outside of your usual environment. Accompany this schedule with a list of Include the reasons why you take each medication. If you are unexpectedly admitted into a hospital, or must see a doctor while on traveling, the list can help the doctor understand your condition. If you are unsure why you are taking a medication, consult both your doctor and pharmacist for clarification.

A schedule is also helpful when traveling to a different time zone. Decide whether you will stay on your standard medication schedule or if you will accommodate the new time zone. If maintaining your standard medication schedule proves impossible due to time zone changes, consult your pharmacist about how to alter your schedule to fit your health-care needs.

Keep your medication in your carry-on bag when traveling by plane. Should your luggage become lost or stolen, you ensure immediate access to your medications.Follow this procedure for all flights-short or long-because you cannot prevent flight delays due to weather conditions or other unexpected events.

Store your medication in their original labeled containers, and bring more than you expect to use during your travels. Unexpected delays and extended stays can upset your medication regimen. Being prepared helps ensure safe and effective medication use.

Ask your pharmacist if there are any foods or beverages that conflict with your medicines. You may be more inclined to eat unfamiliar foods when traveling to foreign countries or big cities. In addition, avoid drinking alcohol, especially when flying in high altitudes. Alcohol conflicts with many prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Your pharmacist is your medication expert. He or she can help you understand how to manage your drug therapy whether at home or abroad.

You take your illnesses, conditions, and common ailments with you when traveling. Managing your health starts with you, but your physician and pharmacist complete the health-care team. Ask questions about your medications -- get answers.


-- American Pharmaceutical Association

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