People with CF can’t exactly pack light. That goes double if you also have CF-related diabetes (CFRD). Here are some helpful insights on taking medications with you.
Traveling with Diabetes (CFRD)
- When traveling by plane, keep your medications with you in a travel bag that’s easy to access for you and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
According to the TSA website, if your medications do not fit in a plastic quart-size bag, they must be declared to the transportation security officer. Be sure to retrieve all of your belongings after TSA screening.
- Ask for a travel note from your CF center that states your diagnosis, medications (and the need for refrigeration) and medical supplies you need to carry with you (like your compressor, nebulizer cups, airway clearance device, and/or diabetic supplies, liquids for low blood sugar, ice packs, etc.). Check the TSA for information related to security screening of equipment.
- You should keep medications in their original pill containers and/or carry a copy of your original prescriptions. Bring the prescription label for liquid medications (nebulized solutions, insulin, etc.) and for syringes or other medical supplies.
- Carry your enzymes with you on the plane. If they get hot in your suitcase they can be damaged and not work.
- Pack medications that need to be refrigerated in travel coolers/cool packs. You can buy an insulated picnic or lunch bag and small “blue ice” packs or medical ice packs. You can find cooler bags online. It’s also important to bring a thermometer to maintain proper temperature. Check package inserts for temperature ranges.
- Request a refrigerator at your hotel ahead of time (there is not always an extra charge if you say it’s for your medications). In hotels that do not offer refrigerators or mini-bars in their rooms, ask to use the hotel/ restaurant refrigerator to keep your medications cool and to refreeze ice packs.
Be sure to label your medications with your name, hotel room number, cell phone number and DO NOT FREEZE!
- Keep insulin and supplies with you. And carry your prescriptions for all your diabetes supplies.
- Make sure you bring snacks on the trip and have access to food/snacks at all times.
- If you take once daily, long-acting insulin, contact your CF center or endocrinologist to make any adjustments for visiting or traveling through different time zones.
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