A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with MS, and she has to give herself regular injections of medication. She also travels for work regularly, and came to me for help. “How do I travel with these things?” she asked. “Do I have to take them out of my suitcase at security? Am I even allowed to take them on the plane??” I immediately headed to the TSA website to find out. They have a pretty specific page about medications and how to travel with them. Here is what I found out:
- You ARE allowed to take through injectable medication, or medicines with syringes, as well as a sharps container. In fact, the medication does not have to be labeled (which I thought was weird, but oh well).
- If it’s okay if they go through the X-ray machine, it’s easiest to just leave them in your suitcase when going through security. Of course, I don’t know the rules about her specific medication. I told her to ask her doctor how X-rays would affect her prescription, because again, this is easiest.
- If you don’t want them to go through the X-ray machine, you have to take them out and request visual inspection. As with everything else, have your bag of medicines ready to hand to the officer at the metal detector. You may be asked to unpack your medicine bag. If that’s the case, you will be required to handle the unpacking and repacking of your medicines and associated supplies. If they can’t clear them visually, the medications will have to go through the X-ray machine.
It seems like TSA is (surprisingly) making it as easy as possible to travel with various medications. However, I would recommend printing out the information page from the TSA website just in case not all officers are familiar with the guidelines (especially at smaller airports).
Readers, any advice for my friend? Have you ever had to travel with unusual medical supplies?