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Holiday Travel & Meds: Tips from a MA Pharmacist

November 23, 2009
Monique Coppola
BOSTON - Millions of New Englanders will take to the roads and skies for the holidays, and during the hustle and bustle, packing medications can sometimes take a back seat to the fruitcake.
Thanksgiving and Christmas are historically the busiest travel times of the year in the U.S. Amid all of the hustle and bustle, according to pharmacist Ericka Shepard, district manager for the national pharmacy chain CVS, many people may forget to take their important medications along for the ride. Equally important, she says, is bringing along an up-to-date medication list.
"A medication list can save your life in case of an emergency. It gives medical personnel the information they need to know how to treat you, in the event you can't speak for yourself."
Shepard reminds people to put medications in carry-on luggage. She says people often remove medications from their original bottles and combine them in bags or travel containers, which is never a good idea.
"You never want to mix medications in the same bottle. Sometimes it's easier to do that and throw them all in the same bottle, but it's very important to keep them in the original bottles so anybody helping you with your medications can see exactly what you're taking, and see that you don't accidentally take the wrong medication."
Shepard points out that there are many medications that must be taken daily, such as those for hypertension and high cholesterol. If you do forget to bring them on a trip, she advises that you call the local pharmacy for advice; many will have your information available online.
More information can be found at: partnershipforhealthcare.org