Travelling with Medications

Travelling with Medications

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HOT climate ☀️

  • use a water activated cool bag to protect from heat
  • keep your medications out of the sun
  • never leave them in a car

never leave them in a car

never leave them in a car

COLD climate ❄️

  • OUTSIDE: Keep your medications close to the body (inner pocket instead of backpack), don’t leave them in the car or outside.
  • INSIDE: Beware of radiators, ovens and floor heating.

never leave them in a car

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Cooling options on the go

To know what kind of cooling you will need, ask yourself two questions:

  • Can your medications be kept at room temperature for a certain amount of time?
  • If yes, is the trip shorter than that amount of time?

If the answer to both questions is YES, great! You will have to make sure to protect your medications from heat and freezing. If NO, you are looking at a bit of a challenge to keep medications at refrigerated temperatures for your whole trip. This might be because your drugs need to be kept cold at all times or because you are travelling for longer and taking stock with you.

There are many cooling options available. A very popular and practical option is the Frio Bag, especially when you are out in the sun. They are extremely practical because they are water activated, but they only keep your medications at room temperature. You need a bag with a cooling source like ice packs or ice if you want to keep medications at refrigerator temperatures.

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FRIO Bag

  • to protect from heat
  • inside: 25°C (77-79°F)

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Cool Bag

  • to keep refrigerated
  •  inside: 2-8°C/36-46°F

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Never freeze your medications

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First, it’s important to know that cool bags or coolers aren’t usually certified and haven’t been tested to see if they are safe and reliable for transporting medications.

The important thing to watch out for, is NOT TO FREEZE the medications accidentally, while you are trying to protect them. Remember that freezing is just as bad for medications as heat! One thing to watch our for when using a cool bag or cooler with icepacks/ice: never let the medications touch the ice directly. Good cool bags are already designed like this and have a separate compartment for the medications. You could also use a dry towel or shirt if you have nothing else available.

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What if there’s no electricity?

If you know you are going to be without electricity for some time, but your medications need to be refrigerated, see if you can plan your trip around it.

Can you plan around the times you will be without power? If you for example are using medications once a week, see if you can store your meds at a reliable location to pick them back up later. This could be in a hotel while you are on that great 5 day camping trip in the jungle. If so: clearly label them (ideally in the local language) and make sure they are stored in a fridge.

Especially if you are travelling with a big supply, consider storing parts of it with a friend in a city while you are exploring other parts of the country.

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