Author Topic: Medication  (Read 6234 times)

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Offline Hrushka

Medication
« on: April 11, 2011, 04:29:09 pm »
For the individuals who have to tour with medications.  How do you store your medication, where do you store them, and how do you distribute your medication along with your luggage.

Thank you.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Medication
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 06:05:04 pm »
I just keep them in a little pocket of my trailer or in the bathroom bag that has toothbrushes, floss, razor, etc. 
May the wind be at your back!

Online staehpj1

Re: Medication
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2011, 06:48:46 pm »
In the ziploc that contains my toiletries.  That is typically in one of the front panniers.  They either are in their original containers or in little ziplocs depending on the length of the trip and size/number of the pills.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2011, 08:39:34 am by staehpj1 »

Offline Tourista829

Re: Medication
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2011, 08:29:15 pm »
I keep mine in a watertight container.

SilasTarr

  • Guest
Re: Medication
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2011, 02:01:14 am »
I've heard that some states require you to store prescription medications in the original container they were dispensed in from your pharmacy when traveling.  Something to keep in mind.

Offline ronn12

Re: Medication
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2011, 03:37:47 am »
I,m glad for this topic.   Lots of states will arrest you if not in correct bottles.. Ive 8 bottles to carry on my tour coming up. So what to do???

Offline Tourista829

Re: Medication
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2011, 08:23:47 am »
I wonder if you had all your medications and doses listed on your doctor's rx pad if that would work. I have alot of meds and keep them in one of those dispensers. I have never had any trouble. I am more worried about keeping them dry than being searched but thanks for the heads up.  :o

Offline Hrushka

Re: Medication
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2011, 08:46:25 am »
I was recommended to split up my pills in several containers and keep a container in each pannier/bag. That way if one gets stolen then I will at least have others.

I was also curious if anyone had suggestions on how to keep medication at the correct temperature.  I just looked at my instructions and they are supposed to be kept between 50F and 87F.  Does anyone have suggestions?

Online staehpj1

Re: Medication
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2011, 11:01:43 am »
I,m glad for this topic.   Lots of states will arrest you if not in correct bottles.. Ive 8 bottles to carry on my tour coming up. So what to do???
I find it kind of hard to imagine anyone searching my panniers in the first place and even less likely that I would be arrested for that.

That said if I were concerned, I would probably take the original label or a copy along.  That is what my wife did for a cruise.  She peeled them off very carefully and stuck them all on a sheet of paper.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Medication
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2011, 11:19:44 am »
I,m glad for this topic.   Lots of states will arrest you if not in correct bottles.. Ive 8 bottles to carry on my tour coming up. So what to do???
I find it kind of hard to imagine anyone searching my panniers in the first place and even less likely that I would be arrested for that.

That said if I were concerned, I would probably take the original label or a copy along.  That is what my wife did for a cruise.  She peeled them off very carefully and stuck them all on a sheet of paper.
I think it would only ever come into play if crossing an international boundary.

Offline PeteJack

Re: Medication
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2011, 12:34:23 pm »
Be aware that childproof caps (the default for my pharmacy service) come off very easily while traveling. It's counter intuitive but I found this out before I retired when I flew a lot. If they come off in airline baggage they will surely come off rattling around in a pannier or bar bag. (now somebody will tell me it's all to do with pressurization I suppose) because of this I use little bottles with screw tops from REI. If you are going on a long tour it's not a bad idea to get an extra prescription from your doc and keep it separate from the medication. Make sure it's less than a year old. I found out about this last the hard way. After many phone calls I ended up having to pay $7.50 for one pill.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2011, 12:40:29 pm by PeteJack »

SilasTarr

  • Guest
Re: Medication
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2011, 02:16:44 pm »
I was also curious if anyone had suggestions on how to keep medication at the correct temperature.  I just looked at my instructions and they are supposed to be kept between 50F and 87F.  Does anyone have suggestions?

As a pharmacy technician, I can offer a little advice on this.

The listed storage temperature range for most medications is the ideal condition to keep the medications in to extend their effectiveness.  And that's what really matters about medications - effectiveness.  Unlike food, meds that reach their "expiration date" don't become dangerous or unhealthy.  Instead, companies that make medications are legally required to measure the rate at which the compound looses its effectiveness, and the time it takes for that compound to decay to 80% effectiveness is that medication's "expiration time."

In other words, "expired" medication are generally safe to use - they're just less effective. 

If the medications you have on hand while traveling are exposed to temperatures outside of the listed storage temperature, this will speed up the rate at which they expire.  Typically, excessive heat will do this quicker than cold will.  However, if you receive the typical 30-day supply for your medications, it is highly unlikely that they will drop below 80% effectiveness (i.e., "expire") within that time even if they are exposed to excessive heat or cold.  If your medications are PRN ("take as needed") prescriptions that could last longer than a month, you may need to be more mindful about the temperatures they're exposed to in order to ensure longevity.

Also, the form of your medication is important.  If your meds are hard tablets, you'll probably be OK even if they're exposed to very extreme temperatures.  If you have capsules, it's conceivable possible that exposing them to extreme heat for even a short period of time could melt the plastic coating, so you'll need to be more mindful of the temperatures these get exposed to.

Summary of tips:
  • Store your medications in the original container they were dispensed in by your pharmacy.  You can always ask your pharmacy to dispense your prescription in a different kind or sized container - just ask what options they have.
  • No matter what kind of container your medication is stored in, make sure that the original pharmacy label is on the outside.  This identifies the medication, how to take it, and who it's for.
  • Place each container for your medications inside of a zip-loc bag.  That way, if the bottle accidentally pops open, you won't loose or mix your medications.
  • Store all of your medications in a place where they won't be exposed to direct sunlight.  I imagine that they'll be quite fine in the shade of your pannier or trailer.


Hope that helps!  Let me know if you have any other questions on this topic.  If you'd like, I can even advise you on specific special conditions for your particular medication.  Just send me a PM or e-mail if you want and I'll happily research the details!

SilasTarr

  • Guest
Re: Medication
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2011, 02:35:39 am »
Small add-on to my previous post based on a PM response I gave to the Hrushka:

In my mind, it's preferable to have your prescription filled in 30-day supplies (assuming it's something you take regularly) and get refills along the tail as you get within 1 week of running out of your current supply.  This will help ensure that you're getting "fresh" pills that aren't exposed to unpreferable temperatures too long, and that it won't be as much of a loss if the supply you have with you is lost/stolen.

However, I realize that this plan only works under two conditions:
  • Your insurance will approve 30-day (1-month) supplies for "maintenance" meds (medications taken regularly for a persistent condition).  I personally know my insurance, BlueCross BlueShield, doesn't.  Many insurance companies will now only pay for 90-day (3 month) supplies in order to avoid additional "dispensing fees" pharmacies include in the price of each prescription order.  This good thing is that this works; usually saving the pharmacy time and both the insurance and patient money.  The bad thing is that this increases the chance that the pharmacy may not have enough of your medication in stock to dispense to you, and now the patient has more pills on hand that could be abused by themselves or others.
  • You fill your prescriptions through a chain pharmacy (like Walgreens or CVS) that would have stores anywhere along your route.  Otherwise, it's definitely better to go with the 90-day supply to ensure you have enough of your medication for your whole trip.

mbooks

  • Guest
Re: Medication
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2011, 08:09:22 pm »
I've been touring for a five years and have crossed the Canadian border a few times with unmarked medication, and never had a problem. It's probably safer, though, to keep it in something labeled, just in case. I have never been searched while bike touring (at the border or not).

For the first few years, I kept my medication in two screw-top containers and never had a problem. Then, I lost one and purchased a container that claimed to be waterproof. It wasn't. I learned that the hard way while biking through the torrential rains outside of Vancouver, BC. My pills got moldy. They were in their container in a ziplock, but at the bottom of a non-waterproof pannier, that ended up filling with water.

Now, I keep everything in a screw-top container inside a ziplock bag in my handlebar bag. I take my handlebar bag off my bike when I'm away from my bike. I also keep a box of important things (extra medication, ID, glasses) at home and leave emergency instructions with a friend who can mail them at a moment's notice.

Offline SweetLou

Re: Medication
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2011, 11:52:06 pm »
Any ideas on how to transport medicine that needs to be kept cold?

I take Enbrel that must be stored around 40°F. This isn't a problem for my shorter trips. I can go two weeks without giving myself an injection. I am planning my multi-month trip for next spring and I will need to give myself an injection once a week.

I've thought about having someone ship a needle to me once a week, but that seems too difficult. It would be hard to say where to mail it to and for me to be there on time. I'm not so sure about a little cooler and ice. It might get too cold or too hot. I wish I could just go to any pharmacy and get one shot for that week. But they are packaged 4 to a box.