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  1. #1
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    How to effectively pack prescription meds?

    So the one thing that has become my lightweight travel Waterloo are my prescription meds. I have to take them, I have an autoimmune disorder and I have to haul this stuff with me because to not have something at the moment I need it means anything from misery to an unnecessary ER trips. And what complicates it is some of my prescriptions are liquid.

    Typically I take:
    Prescription eye drops in pippettes ( they come in foil pouches of 5, I take them twice a day. So the number of pouches depends on length of trip.)
    OTC lubricating eye drops.
    Prescription Asthma meds, migraine meds, DMARD med, painkillers, and emergency steroids for possible flare. I don't always need the migraine or pain meds but life sucks if I suddenly need them and don't have them. No amount of Advil will cut it. Same with the steroids. If I have a bad flare while traveling and don't have them, forget whatever I'm doing-- I end up stuck in a hotel bed for days.
    Two inhalers. Two epi pens (these are always in my purse, so in some way they don't count towards my prescription drug mess.)
    Then OTC heartburn meds, allergy meds, Tylenol, supplements, and probiotics. I decant all these into a small baggie. Luckily the all look different so I just count them out into one baggie.
    The problem is the prescription bottles. I use the smallest bottle I have, but some, like my painkillers, come in monster bottles. I have at times moved labels onto smaller bottles and taken smaller amounts of the huge pills. But Even for a short trip I can't leave anything behind, especially as I tend to get sick when I travel. (Again, I'm a teeny bit immunocompromised so I catch everything. No amount of hand washing helps me.)
    Does anyone have a tried and true way of dealing with neatly organizing prescription meds so they don't take up enormous amounts of space? I know if anyplace could help me it would be the TB forums! I have so many meds that it would take like four cubelets to hold it all! I crammed everything into a Snake charmer once, but homeboy was STUFFED. There has got to be a better way.

  2. #2
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    Have you tried one of the 7 day pill organizers like the drugstores sell? Another option might be something like this: https://www.containerstore.com/s/bat...uctId=10028054

    Just a couple suggestions for the pill type items.
    "Do one thing every day that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt
    "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller

  3. #3
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    You didn't tell us if you are traveling by car, plane, boat, hot air balloon. It will make a difference.

    I fly a great deal so this is what I do:

    Move the items in larger prescripion bottles to ziploc bags and mark the bags. Pills in smaller bottles can stay in the bottles. I then take everything and put it in an Eagle Creek Compression Half Cube so it takes up less space. All liquid, gels, pastes, if prescription, do not need to go in the 3-1-1 bag but in their own bag that still must be screened and not left in your luggage.

    I have my pharmacist print out a separate set of labels--the same as he would to put on the bottles--and then put them together on a sheet of paper. Then, if I am questioned, I have all the prescriptions together. No one has ever cared about my pills.

    The key is to keep all your prescriptions together so you an easily find them. Being organized makes it easier. I keep my OTC meds with my first aid kit (mostly bandages, alcohol prep pads). If the Snake Charmer was too small, then you have to look for something bigger. At first I put everything in a large ziploc but found using the compressed packing cube was more efficient. If you wanted to stay with Tom Bihn, you could try a Travel Stuff Sack
    Editor--One Bag, One World: News, Reviews & Community for Light Travelers. http://www.1bag1world.com

    Aeronaut(2), Tri-Star(2) Cadet , Large Cafe Bag, Travel Tray, Travel Money Belt, Absolute Straps(3), Side Effect, Clear Quarter Packing Cubes (2), 3D Organizer Cubes (4), Aeronaut & Tri-Star Packing Cubes, Clear Organizer Wallet, numerous Organizer Pouches,, Guardian Dual Function Light, Vertical Netbook Cache, Nexus 7 Cache, RFID Passport Pouch, numerous Key Straps.

  4. #4
    Forum Member terayon's Avatar
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    That sounds tricky! Are you mainly concerned with space (ie. you want everything in the most compact packaging possible) or organization (ie. making sure everything is labeled to avoid mixing them up)?

    You should be able to take everything you need without worrying about the 3-1-1 limits (assuming air travel). One option might be getting your pharmacy to blister pack the meds (the pills, anyway), then keeping them together with the inhalers and liquids in, say, a travel stuff sack or med/large organizer pouch. That keeps all the meds with their labeled containers, which makes getting through security easier and also may help avoid mixing anything up (hey, it happens).

    If you are looking to save space, you might combine pills into a dosette container or baggie, and keep extra labels from the pharmacy with them. You could either write a description of each pill on the label (eg "brown pentagon") or else take a photo of each pill beside its labeled bottle before you go to save on your phone.

    Either way, I'd take some extra meds in case of travel delays or something.

  5. #5
    Forum Member fredlet's Avatar
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    For some of the pills, I took the little tubes of Advil/Tylenol/whatnot and peeled the sticky labels from my bottles then put them on the tubes. Still marked legally but much smaller. 3 tubes fit in one of those zipper "My Pills" things that normally you put a 7 day organizer like this.


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  6. #6
    Forum Member bchaplin's Avatar
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    A lot of great suggestions above. I would just add, color-coding is your friend here. The Cubelets are wonderful, but any system of cubes or pouches that lets you organize the meds into small containers, all of which slot into a larger cube or pouch, will probably make it easier to find what you need. And as others have suggested, reduce from pill bottles to well-labeled baggies or blister packs whenever it's feasible and safe.
    ----
    All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
    Edmund Burke

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fredlet View Post
    For some of the pills, I took the little tubes of Advil/Tylenol/whatnot and peeled the sticky labels from my bottles then put them on the tubes. Still marked legally but much smaller. 3 tubes fit in one of those zipper "My Pills" things that normally you put a 7 day organizer like this.
    Where did you find this zipper pill thingie? looks perfect

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvdabags View Post
    Where did you find this zipper pill thingie? looks perfect
    Here's one on Amazon. A different brand, but essentially the same thing: https://www.amazon.com/Alora-Pill-Vi...dp/B01MAYX5NX/

    You can also search for "travel pill organizer" or something similar (at Amazon or another online store) and get more results.

  9. #9
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    My husband really likes this one because he has to take midday pills - with this, he can take the envelope for the day in his pocket.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  10. #10
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    I use Sarah Gorman's Pillfolds for my daily medications. There's an extra zippered compartment to store "as-needed" medicines (Tylenol, maybe breakthrough meds or emergency meds). They are compact and if you remove the large coin are also relatively lightweight. https://www.pillfold.com

    I tried the PillBags from the same place and didn't end up using them. I stash medication bottles and things like inhalers in a large Iberian travel tray, the red is easily identifiable as the medicine case.

    H


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  11. #11
    Forum Member fredlet's Avatar
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    How to effectively pack prescription meds?

    Quote Originally Posted by luvdabags View Post
    Where did you find this zipper pill thingie? looks perfect
    They have a bunch at TJ Maxx or Marshalls all the time!

    Also Amazon: Kensie Travel Pill Box Organizer in Zipper Case Blue Floral https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LORP0K2..._OoANzbXW3G1P9


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    Last edited by fredlet; 08-23-2017 at 08:49 AM.

  12. #12
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    h2bendy-
    Good call about Sara Gorman's Pillbags. You referred to her Pillfold, which is great. And for anyone who wants discreet pill bottle portability, take a look at her Pillpouch.

    These are also both on sale at Amazon as well as Stylish, fabric pill organizers by Sara Gorman. Made in the USA. – Sara Gorman's Pillbags

    Thanks.
    Attached Images Attached Images How to effectively pack prescription meds?-dsc_1477-jpg 

  13. #13
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    I mix pills into a single container as I know exactly their size and shape. Yes it isn't advised but it works for me.
    Aeronaut 30 in Aubergine/Wasabi
    Ristretto in Olive/Cayenne
    Small cafe in Plum Cordura/Olive
    Western Flyer in Black/Island
    Synapse 19 in Burnt Orange/Northwest Sky
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    Synapse 25 in Red Blend/Northwest Sky
    Small Cafe bag in Red Blend/Navy (EDCB)
    Accessories:travel tray , Travel Laundry Stuff Sack, 3D Organizer Cube, Set of A30 Aether Packing Cubes, Side Effect, and a Double Organizer Pouch I use as a wallet.

  14. #14
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    This is one of many reasons I love Q-kits. I also have meds I have to haul everywhere (grrr), although it's just one big Rx bottle and some supplements to ward off side effects of the RX. The RX bottle goes in a small Q-kit, and I use the snap hook on the zipper to make it extra hard for my daughter to get in case I accidentally leave it out while traveling. This way I can also take the whole bottle, which does take up a lot of room, but then my RX info is clearly provided so it doesn't look like I'm hauling anything sketchy. The other upside to having the full bottle/info with me is a) my pharmacy can't ever seem to refill this quickly, so I like to have it all with me in case I get a travel delay, since I assume they won't be able to overnight anything to me and b) the meds treat something that could cause me to lose consciousness, so if I become impaired anyone I'm traveling with will have my RX info, doctor's info, etc. from the bottle.

    The downside is yes, that does mean I have to haul more. The upside is that it justifies buying more Q-kits from TB.

  15. #15
    Forum Member Kerrpe's Avatar
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    I use 1 1/2" baggies. The only country I have ever taken the actual bottle to is Indonesia - I have never been questioned. I usually keep them as close to me as possible - in my Side Effect. If I were to lose my meds, though, (or have them confiscated) it wouldn't be life threatening for me (thyroid) so make your own choices. I can cram these tiny baggies just about anywhere - one for Immodium, one for Advil, one for Allegra... they take up no room.
    “Order and simplification are the first steps towards mastery of a subject” ― Thomas Mann

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