Can You Take Prescription Medication on a Plane?

Written by Ally Streelman

NowRx Pharmacy

Can You Take Prescription Medication on a Plane?

Getting ready for your summer travel and wondering can you take prescription medication on a plane?

Whether you have a chronic health condition, regularly deal with migraines, or just want to be prepared, the question has likely come up as you plan your packing list.

But don’t worry – we’ve created a short guide for traveling with medications both domestic and international. In addition, we cover some best practices for where and how you should pack any medications you decide to take on your trip.

Can you take medicine on a plane?

Yes, you can take medicine on a plane. If you are traveling abroad, however, it’s critical to check if your specific medication is legal in the region you are traveling to. Each country has its own regulations around medicines and carrying illegal narcotics can have serious consequences. You can use this resource from the International Narcotics Control Board to view the latest information from your destination country. Alternatively, you may contact the U.S. embassy in the country you are heading to before you leave.

If it turns out that your prescription is illegal or not allowed in your final destination, you will need to talk with your doctor beforehand to discuss potential alternatives. 

It’s also always good practice to travel with a doctor’s note and/or copy of your prescription as a safety precaution. This can prevent potential issues with law enforcement. Plus, it will help if you need to visit a pharmacy for an emergency prescription while traveling abroad.

Just make sure all copies list your name as it appears on your passport.

Can you bring prescription drugs in your carry-on?

Yes, you can bring prescription drugs in your carry-on or in a checked bag. If you take the medication daily or need it in case of emergency, you should always opt for the carry-on route to have it with you at all times. In fact, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends this and allows all medically necessary medicine and equipment onboard as long as it is screened.

Can you travel with over-the-counter medication?

Yes, you can travel with over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, contact lens solution, and Nyquil, among others. However, if you are taking liquid over-the-counter medication with you in your carry-on, you will need to ensure it is in a liquid container of 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or smaller. Be proactive and check the specifications of what your airline allows before you start packing.

How To Fly with Medication

If you’re flying with medication, there are a few guidelines and best practices you should follow. These tips will help you pass through security screening easily and ensure you have everything you need throughout the duration of your trip.  

How to pack your medications for airline travel

  • Always pack your medications in a carry-on bag. This will help you avoid misplacing them and ensure that your medication is always with you when you need it.
  • Keep your medications in their original bottles with labels. This will ensure authorities can easily verify the medication and your prescription if necessary.
  • If you are traveling with medically necessary liquid or gel items over 3.4oz, bring it to the attention of the TSA agent when you reach the security checkpoint. This includes breastmilk, liquid nutrition, and juice. Have these items easily accessible in your carry-on. You will need to show them to the TSA agent and they may need to undergo additional screening.
  • Travel with a written prescription or note from your doctor for your medications. 
  • If you use a pill organizer, consider taping it shut to ensure none of your pills fall out during travel. 
  • Pack enough medication for the duration of your trip and then some. It is good to have extra in case you’re delayed or misplace a dose.

Flying with Medication

Many people need to fly with their medication. Doing so shouldn’t be a problem as long as you follow the instructions set forth by the TSA. This includes flying with prescription pills as well as prescription liquids and gels and other medically necessary items.  

If you follow these tips, traveling with both over the counter and prescription medication is simple. However, whether you’re crossing state lines or traveling abroad it’s always important to check the regulations surrounding your medication at your destination before you go. 

For more free health tips, resources, and news, subscribe to our weekly newsletter or if you have questions about pharmacy delivery send us an email at

Disclaimer: This website does not provide medical advice and the information provided throughout the website, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images, and other material are for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and you should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care providers if you have questions regarding a medical condition or treatment or before starting or stopping any healthcare or health related regimen. Do not ever disregard or delay seeking medical advice from a qualified professional because of something you have read on