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Transport of Prescription Drugs

ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese May "08" Camino Frances May/June "11" del Norte Sept/Oct "14"/Camino Invierno May 2016/ Camino Ingles Oct 2017
#1
Ok...can't seem to locate this particular topic anywhere....My hubby, Raymond the Reluctant Pilgrim, takes about five (5) different prescriptions each day...Blood pressure, cholesterol etc...the usual stuff in the mid fifties!! Does anyone know about the labeling of these for transport across borders? Do they have to be in bottles/containers that came from the pharmacy??? It would be easier if not...but perhaps we can get small two week supply type containers as opposed to the usual ninety day ones! He'll wind up sounding like some sort of rythym instrument otherwise!!

Thanks for any advice on this one!! I'm just glad all I take is ibuprofen occasionally!

Karin
 

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WolverineDG

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#2
I always carry my prescription meds in their containers with the script on it. I haven't been stopped, other than Australia, but it's one less thing to worry about. Ask the pharmacist if s/he can put a 30-day supply in marked containers.

Kelly
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#3
If you need to refill on the road (like if you lose your meds, or they are damaged somehow), then you should bring along the relevant perscription documentation, and possibly a letter from your doctor (if you can get this stuff in Spanish as well as English, it will help).

Towards the latter part of my Camino (in Sagahun, I believe), I visited a farmacia to get some ibuprofen (the Camino Wonder Drug). An English-speaking husband and wife were trying to get some perscription pain medication, and the farmacist was unable to help them because they had no documentation. The husband was apparently in a lot of pain due to an existing chronic condition. The farmacist spoke decent English and was very helpful to me, so I know he wasn't being obstinate towards them. They left unhappy, and I think their Camino was in doubt at that point.

With that in mind, I recommend researching what you'll need to get a perscription filled in Spain, and prepare accordingly. The Camino is the trip of a lifetime, and it would be a shame to blow it for lack of some routine paperwork. Buen Camino! :arrow:
 
#4
Karin

My husband is in a similar position. As Vinotinto says get a letter from the doctor - this covers any concerns at customs and immigration and also provides a record for the pharmacist to work with. His medication is boxed so I just cut the label section off the box and affix it to the (internal) pill packaging. Makes it a little less bulky. Buen Camino Rose Louise
 

Trudy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
#5
Agree with others about getting a letter from your doctor, and keep all containers intact until you reach Europe.

I carry a letter, plus a copy of the prescriptions, and take a full supply of medications with me. All medications, including over-the-counter stuff such as Nurofen Plus, Immodium (just in case) etc are kept in their bottles or packets until I reach Europe. Then I pop the tablets into separate zip-lock bags and dispose of the containers (goodness knows what the hotel staff think!). This makes the medications much lighter, and more convenient, to carry.

There is no border crossing between France and Spain, so no problems.
 

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ksam

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese May "08" Camino Frances May/June "11" del Norte Sept/Oct "14"/Camino Invierno May 2016/ Camino Ingles Oct 2017
#6
Wow guys and gals! (Or should that be Guys & Dolls, or do I seriously date myself there !!) Thanks so much for your prompt replies!! I did have to make a stop at the pharmacy yesterday for drugs for another household member...and inquired about smaller pkging. Our wonderful pharmacist, immediately made up a set of containers (turns out the hubster is on 7 different ones now!) all appropriately labeled! They are considerably smaller than his usual size container and much easier to carry, even if we don't do as you suggested Trudy, and off load to smaller yet. I will make sure he gets a set of scrips from the Drs...(and probably his gout med's too, since like you Vinotinto...Red is his favorite "drug" of choice!)

Again thanks to all, Kelly, Rose Louse, Trudy and Vinotinot..

Mucho Gracias and Buen Camino!

Karin
 

kubapigora

Active Member
#7
ksam said:
takes about five (5) different prescriptions each day...Blood pressure, cholesterol etc...the usual stuff in the mid fifties!!

Karin
Maybe in the US :)))) My mom, which is 50 this year is probably twice as fit as me. She could walk for years. Hope Raymond will be fine and his holesterol level will drop a bit during your journey! Have a great walk!
 
#8
I would like to share my experience, even though this string is old. We took a transatlantic cruise in 2010 that started in Barcelona. I take 9 different Rx (including Vicodin) for various conditions, so I asked the mail order pharmacy to send me tiny bottles with the prescription on them rather than the large 90 day supply ones they come in. They were very kind and shipped them right away.

Now, at home, I prepare my medications and supplements in little plastic, zippered 3inch x 3 inch bags. I order these by the thousands on Amazon. They are labeled so I know if I have taken that day's medications or not.

So traveling to Spain, I had all my meds in the little bottles, but then once we got there, I made up my little baggies and through all of the bottles away except for the Vicodin, since I figured that might give me the most problem with authorities. Since we finished the cruise in the US, I was fine. I am planning on doing this for my Camino later this year.

PS: I am also going to make up a small package of my meds here at home so that if something happens to my meds in Spain, someone can FedEx them to me. Even if it costs $100 to replace the meds, I think it is worth having a plan B.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#9
I'm on a pharmacopeia of drugs related to my heart condition. I made sure I carried an ample supply in their original packaging. Happily for me foil packs rather than bottles. I also carried a letter from my doctor and a Spanish translation explaining my condition. Just as useful for airport security & wayside fuzz as for a pharmacy/ health centre in an emergency.

The real challenge was getting my travel insurer to accept the risk. Having explained that I was about to undertake a 500 mile hike I was asked whether I could "walk more than 100 yards without getting breathless?". When I replied that I frequently walked 15 miles a day with a pack and had done regularly for years I was asked whether I was sure I had a heart condition.
 
#10
Oh for heaven's sake, Tincatinker! They actually asked you if you really had a heart condition? What do you have? I have an ascending aortic aneurysm. It was scary at first, but I have been evaluated several times now and I am getting used to it. It is stable, for the most part, so I figure better to do the Camino now than later. :)
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#11
Partial occlusion of the anterior artery apparently. Tubes up the femoral artery and funny bits of springy stuff and the considered advice " keep taking the tablets ".

As far as insurers go I'm just intrigued that those with diagnosed and treated conditions struggle to get cover while the un-diagnosed majority . . .
 

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