Poll: Pill Case or Original Bottles?

While driving last week to a conference in south Texas, I got a raging headache. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any ibuprofen, which typically cures my headaches. So I asked my friend traveling with me if she had any. Not only did she have some, she had it in this adorable red pill case, neatly organized and labeled. It was much less chaotic than my normal four small bottles of pills I try to keep with me (ibuprofen, Pepto Bismol, Tylenol PM, vitamins). But it makes me nervous–I’ve always been told that it’s important for your medications to be in their original packaging in case your bags get searched. Has this been others’ experience as well? Or is that true only during international travel? Because I would LOVE to get all of my pills together, taking up less room, and easier to find.

Readers, what do you think?

Do you use a pill box for travel?

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  1. I also include a list of the medications and the dosage of each pill on the lid inside the case.

  2. I have very small ziplock bags (from Michael’s, in the beading section). I keep some advil in one in my purse, and since I’m really compulsive, I also put a slip of paper in it with name, strength and expiration date written on it. I love this system – no mystery pills, no wondering how old they are. I have done this for years and have never had any security person blink. I don’t think they are on the lookout for stuff like this. That’s pretty much all I take – for headache, back pain, etc.

  3. I’ve used a separated pillbox for a few years (home + travel.) I’ve always had trouble tracking my daily required intake on trips as I’m usually murky in the mornings, so had to go to separated.

    I have also used small containers (mini altoid tins, mentos plastic tube) to carry around mixed OTC items in my bag (ibuprofen, omega oil gels, vitamins, iron, etc) and tins with single-item when it’s prescription or similar. I only travel about 2-5 times a year, but I’ve been using this method since around 1987 and never once had anyone take issue with them.

  4. Pill organizers are great for travel, especially with fuzzyness of changing time zones. But you probably want to stick to the original pill bottle for travel overseas.

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