Which medication should you bring on vacation?

If you plan to go away on vacation this summer, make sure to bring the right medication!

If you take prescription medication, bring enough to cover your whole time away, but also for at least an additional three days. This will save you some problems if your return is delayed for some reason. Always bring your medication in its original container, especially if you need to go through Customs.

If you travel by plane, keep your medication in your carry-on luggage. If you need injection materials (e.g. for insulin), ask your physician for a letter justifying its use, otherwise you may not be allowed to carry the medication with you on the plane.

It’s also a good idea to bring some non-prescription medication, so that you don’t have to go looking for a pharmacy if little problems arise. The products to bring will depend on your mode of travel and your destination:

If you plan to do a lot of driving and tend to get car-sick: Bring motion-sickness medication… and the items necessary to clean up an accident, just in case!

When going to the cottage, or camping, far from civilization: Bring a well-stocked first-aid kit (disinfectant, bandages, etc.), insect repellent, an analgesic and an antihistamine, as well as several epi-pens if someone in your party suffers from severe allergies to foods or insect bites.

If you’re travelling to an industrialized area (e.g. the U.S. or Europe): Since you will have very easy access to pharmacies, bring very little non-prescription medication, unless you don’t speak the local language and you think communication will be an issue. If you’re travelling to a poorer or more exotic country, consult a travel health clinic for information on the country you plan to visit, since recommendations vary greatly from one destination to another.

When travelling with children, don’t forget to bring pediatric forms of medication. When calculating a dose, always rely on weight rather than age. To simplify your life, weigh your children before leaving on vacation and make a list of appropriate medication doses for each child.

When in doubt, your pharmacist can help you make the right choices based on your specific needs.

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