the legal way to "carry" prescription meds???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by daylilyfan, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. daylilyfan

    daylilyfan New Member

    I searched the net, but did not really come up with anything. I guess if I really want to know for sure, I need to go to my local State Highway Patrol office and ask them. But, I think it's something relevent here.

    A discussion on talk radio tonight said if you are traveling, be sure to have all your meds in their original containers. Is it true that the only legal way to carry prescription drugs is in the original container from the drugist? I wonder if that is only when you are going out of the country, or if that means all the time?

    So, if I get it from a 90 day supplier, and it's in a 4" tall by 3" wide bottle, and I am on 10 meds, I would need a small suitcase to carry my meds to work with me? LOL - can you imagine the rattle of all the pills in the bottles as I go up the few steps to the entry door?

    Seriously, I wonder if I was speeding on my way home at night from work, and the police stopped me, and decided to search my purse, if I could be arrested for not having my meds in original containers? I currently have some meds in my purse in a little pill keeper. Ultram and hydracodenone, flexeril, topamax, naproxen, and singulair. A couple of those may be trouble. I do keep a little slip of paper with the pharmacy, perscription number, Dr. name, drug name and strength and the dose in my purse, mainly for emergency purposes. But, that's not the original containers.

    Anyone have any info on this? Or know of a way I can find out other than a visit to the local patrol office?
  2. Musica

    Musica New Member

    First, though, I want to say that I have not heard of legal vs. illegal ways of carrying prescription meds. Only that it is recommended that you carry them in the original containers and/or carry prescriptions from your doctor in case your meds are lost or stolen and you need a new prescription. I did find a website recommending that travelers check with the legal agency. Most seem to do with traveling overseas, so I think it is not so much what is legal, but what helps you to prove that they are medicines - and YOURS - in case you are ever questioned about what you are carrying. It must be frustrating, worrying and aggravating to have your meds taken away because you can't prove they are a legal substance and obtained by prescription.

    I have unlabelled meds in my purse all the time, in those double-sided plastic containers you get at pharmacies. I do keep the printouts that are a duplicate of what is on the prescription bottles in my purse, as well. Also, some of the same meds are given to me in smaller or larger pharmacy bottles. I sometimes keep the smaller bottles around and put meds from the larger container in there. Or, I have even peeled labels off larger bottles and put them on the smaller bottles for ease of carrying and yet identifying what is in it.

    You asked a good question! Anyway, here is some info from one website:

    Q: If I'm planning a trip to a foreign country, should I take prescription medications with me? Are there legal and medical factors I should consider?

    Jane L. Hart, MD, Online Wellness Center Medical Advisor

    A: When traveling abroad you must prepare for needs you might have regarding medications. You should always take the supply of medications that you will need plus more in the event that you are detained at your destination for a longer period of time than expected.

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that people carry a copy of their prescription with them as well and keep medications in their original containers in case there are any questions when going through customs. You should also check with the customs centers or embassies in the countries that you will be traveling to and inquire about which medications will be allowed through customs and the amount of medication that you are allowed to bring. Ask about any other requirements regarding medications or need for a doctor's letter explaining your need for these medications.

    It's a good idea to carry your medications in a carryon bag rather than your suitcase so that the medication is with you at all times and available to you. You should have all of your medical conditions and necessary medications written down on a card or piece of paper that you carry in your wallet or purse and in addition, you should wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace for serious conditions such as diabetes or heart disease.

  3. Dara

    Dara New Member

    She was pulled over by an officer and he asked her if she was taking any prescription medications. She told him yes, and he asked if he could see them.

    He told her that any medications need to be in the original prescription bottle with her name, the doctors name, and dosage. He actually opened the bottle to see how many were in there

    Her prescription was for an anti depressant that she had just started. In fact, the doctor had given her samples. You know, the little bottles with about four in each bottle?

    Well, she put all the sample pills in one bottle instead of carrying a bunch of bottles with her. So, her bottle had more in it than what the label said it should have.

    Long story short, he told her that he could write her a ticket because she didn't have everything in the original container.

    I do understand that they have to have laws about these things due to people who do drive when they are under the influence. But, I think this officer crossed a boundary by opening her prescription bottle.

    It's my understand they don't have the right to search your purse without your consent. Personally, I wouldn't tell them that I had the medication with me.

  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Be sure to carry some kind of identifying info with you which includes emergency contacts. If you are taking something like Klonopin, which cannot be stopped abruptly, make sure that info is also on the card. If you have something particular with your blood, like an antibody, be sure that is also on the card.

    I have the D antibody from being an Rh Mom and the bloodbank told me to carry the card so they know how important it is to make sure I get the right kind of blood if needed.

    Also, carry a copy of your living will. All this info can be put at the bottom of it under the names of the ones who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes. Make sure those people also have a copy of the living will.

    Copies of the original prescriptions should be enough to keep out of trouble when traveling domestically. If there is a doubt, however, the original bottles are the best.

    Love, Mikie
  5. KelB

    KelB New Member

    If travelling abroad, remember that some prescription drugs that are legal in your home country, may be illegal or heavily controlled in your destination country.

    For example, a UK woman was recently jailed in Dubai (I think? Fog!) for carrying a prescription painkiller into the country that is perfectly legal and very commonly prescribed in the UK.

    Also, I believe the contraceptive pill is viewed with suspicion in Japan; it is available on prescription there but only for a very limited number of medical reasons. If you're taking it for purely contraceptive purposes, you may have difficulty if stopped by customs.

    If in doubt, check with the Consulate for your destination before you leave home and make any arrangements that they recommend.
  6. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    for this post,and all the helpful information. It never occurred to me to have anything official regrding my prescriptions ,with me. I thought all those rules were only for travel oversees. I don't take anything that makes me drowsy, but I'm still going to carry the ifo with me, especially since I live in a small town.

    (The other day two men were amiably exchanging information after a little fender-bender, and all of a sudden three squad cars roared up, lights flashing and sirens blaring. They hung around for a while and then left. Our police are dedicatd and a bit bored. That can be a good thing, but it does cause them to over react sometimes). :)

  7. justjanelle

    justjanelle New Member

    If you ask at the pharmacy, they will be able to give you a small pill bottle, empty, with the same label and info. as the main bottle of your medication. Then you can just put the few you need to carry with you into that bottle.

    This way, you don't have to carry the big bottle, but everything is in it's own pharmacy bottle with proper labelling. You could do this with each of your medications.

    The pharmacist was actually the one who suggested this solution to us when my DD needed to keep a few of her migraine pills with the school nurse.

    Best wishes,
  8. lovethesun

    lovethesun New Member

    the front and back cover of my pocket calendar-you know the ones that they sell for a dollar or two.

    That way it's all there in case of an accident.They would look in there for a contact number.
  9. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    I carry all of my prescriptions in a cosmetic bag that fits in my bag. For me it is easier and eases my mind about having them on the road.
  10. mtnfla

    mtnfla New Member

    I never really thought about it before,but I do remember when my son was in school an has medication that needed to be taken while there it had to be in the original bottle. I explained this to his pharmacist and they gave me a smaller bottle with all the info on it to put a week supply of the medication in and dropped it off on Monday morning and they sent it back home on Fri afternoon..

    I'm thinking the ways things are now and days it would be smart to have the medication in the original containers to be on the safe side.I have a list of my meds and dr name & phone# that prescribed them and what they are for...

    I think I'll ask the local police here about that.Let us know what you find out..It would nice to see what each State"s law is on that topic..

    Take care,
  11. daylilyfan

    daylilyfan New Member

    I try to carry a small, light weight purse, or I end up with very sore shoulders. That's one reason I put my meds in the little pill keepers.

    I did not think of asking the drug place for a second, smaller bottle. Since I usually get samples, then a 90 day supply, some of my meds come in really big bottles. The Avalide I take for high blood pressure is in a bottle that must be nearly 5 inches high, and 3-1/2 inches square. I'd need one heck of a purse to hold all those original bottles!

    I did not think of "driving under the influence" when I take flexeril or ultram. I don't feel high, or impared in any way under them. Even when I take 2 hydrocodenone (sp?) I don't feel impared... I have a high tolerence for things like that.

    Something about walking into a police station and asking about drug possession scares me, even if it is legal! :-0
  12. mjwarchol

    mjwarchol New Member

    I went to Mexico and was worried about it when I went there. I did not want to carry all teh bottles and the supplements. What I did was take a prescription from the doctors office saying what meds I was taking and how. I worked for a doctor so it was easy. But, all your doc has to do is lirst them all on his prescription. I mad sure that all the meds I took had their name or something on the tablet. Meaning, I did not carry capsules that could not be identified. I got this advice from our travel agent. Hope it helps.

    M J
  13. Kathrine

    Kathrine New Member

    What does all this mean?

    "I have the D antibody from being an Rh Mom and the bloodbank told me to carry the card so they know how important it is to make sure I get the right kind of blood if needed."

  14. jake123

    jake123 New Member

    You would have to be driving really erracticly for a cop to ask you if you are on prescription medicine. Our police chief recently got fired because he was on Soma and he was observed bouncing off the curbs.
    The cop would have to tell you why he stopped you. If he asked you if you were on prescription drugs(he would have to have a reason), you could say yes I take medicine. But you do not have to tell him anything. You could say I'm just really tired. If he asked if he could search your purse just say no. There is no reason for him to search your purse or your car. If the cop gets ugly and wants to arrest you for suspicion you can either do what he wants (I would NOT)or make them get a supoena by which time the meds would be out of your body. Don't breathe in their machine, refuse the blood test and urine test. Be nice about it.
    Surely the cops can leave little old fibro ladies in tennis shoes alone and go get the meth heads who are killing our nations teens.

  15. vosh

    vosh New Member

    I actually do have a small suitcase from an old laptop that I put all my meds in. When we go on a vacation or just an overnighter it's so easy to just grab it and know everything is in there, and it's no bother.


    I keep an excedrin bottle in my purse with a whole rainbow of items in it of extras in case I'm out and I have to take whatever, or if I'm in extra pain and need a booster.

    Now as far as getting pulled over, I can sure see getting pulled over being under the influence of some of the drugs we all are on. I limit myself to strictly downtown where I live and go to my close appointments.

    But I neer thought about what would happen if someone asked me about what I had in my pill bottle, and then decided to check-- it could happen, and even though they are yours, it could still be within their right to question it, and could really gum up a week or two of your life.

    I'll have to rethink how I carry things.

    I don't like to carry my oxycontin bottle in my purse since it's so steal-able.

  16. TXFMmom

    TXFMmom New Member

    You can carry the drugs in something else, but you should be able to produce a legitimate prescription for them. I sometimes divide mine into these little dose cases, which hold seven days, with several lists of everything in them.

    Then, if I don't want to carry all those medication bottles, which can be big, I take the paper prescription thing that comes with the receipt for the meds, as I get mine at Walgreen's so I can prove I have a legitimate prescription for it.

    I was stopped once by a screener who pulled these things out and looked at me. I immediately pulled out the lists, with the contents of the different color dose packs, and then the prescription tabs, in alphabetical order for each dose pack.

    The screener and her supervisor asked what I had, and I ran off the list, and the supervisor said, oh, my mother has FM and she takes a lot of that stuff. They sent me on through.

    I got some very, very strange looks when I first started carrying my CPAP machine, but most screeners now know what they are.