Medication Safety Tips for Summer

Jul 2, 2019

For travelers, these tips can help keep you and your medications safe during the summer holidays.

New Pills

A record number of Americans – nearly 49 million -- are expected to travel for the Independence Day holiday. The rest of the summer will see many of us continuing to spend more time outdoors, on vacation and in general, soaking up the fun and relaxation of the season. While many welcome the lifestyle changes that come with the season, it’s important to consider how these changes may affect those taking a chronic medication.

Staying Adherent

Prepare extra reminders on your smart phone so you can stay on track, especially when traveling. The Express Scripts mobile app can help you, too.

Be sure to pack a full supply of your medication, plus extra in case you experience travel delays. Keep all medication together and in the original containers.

If your travels will take you to a different time zone, you may need to alter your dosing regimen. Contact your pharmacist before you leave to learn more about any changes you may need to make.

Home Delivery Safety

As the weather heats up, patients need not worry about the safe delivery of their prescription medications. Express Scripts takes extensive measures to ensure shipments of prescription drugs are not impacted. At the Express Scripts pharmacies, we use complex algorithms combined with National Weather Service data to determine the best packaging for the safe delivery of medication.

For medications that require temperature controls – such as insulin, many specialty medications, hydrocortisone and various other creams and gels – we look at where the medication is going, the time of day and average daily temperatures for the next three days. This helps us compute the cooler size, amount of ice packs and shipment method needed to make sure the medication arrives safely.

Travel Preparedness

Document your dose: Keep an accurate list of medications in a central location or even in your wallet at all times. This includes prescriptions, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and any vitamins or supplements. Make sure to note dosages, frequency and each drug’s purpose. Share this list with all doctors. If you have a smartphone and are an Express Scripts member, the “Prescriptions” feature on our mobile app and member portal make it easy to share that list.

Opt for a 90-day supply: A 90-day supply of medication not only brings cost-savings and convenience, but makes sure you are covered for the full summer. If you’re traveling for longer than 90 days, you can pause delivery or easily change your shipping address through the member portal. As much as we try to plan ahead, we understand issues arise. If members forget to bring their medication on vacation, you can get an emergency refill at a local retail pharmacy.

Use original containers: Carry your medications in their original containers with original labels to prevent anyone from mistaking them for other substances. If you are flying, keep your medications in a carry-on bag. Also, keep a copy of the prescriptions with you for emergency refills.

Know the rules: When using public transportation, air, bus or train, call ahead to ask about requirements associated with traveling with needles, syringes and other medication administration equipment. Sharps boxes are usually acceptable even if they contain used syringes. If traveling by air, download and complete the TSA Notification Card. Three days (or 72 hours) prior to air travel, contact TSA Cares at 855.787.2227 to help facilitate your trip through airport security.

Author Bio

Lab Staff
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