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Bringing frozen medicine on long international flight?

Bringing frozen medicine on long international flight?

Old Feb 24, 22, 1:24 pm
  #1  
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Bringing frozen medicine on long international flight?

I've never had this problem before because this is new for me. I had a major complication from an eye surgery gone wrong and long story short I'm on some eye drops now that need to be kept frozen or you know shouldn't be outside of the freezer for more than two hours

My first thought is oh crap it looks like i will not be able to travel with the drops but then i started to wonder whether it's possible.

For international flights would most big carriers help a passenger out with this kind of request with putting the small box of frozen eye drops in their on board freezer?

Or alternatively would it work with security, etc. to bring a small cooler with dry ice in it? Where do you even buy dry ice, ive never bought it before. I guess that would be the best option and it would be self sufficiant although it would be another thing to carry and i already have a carry on and personal object.. and I'm not sure whether security allows this at airports around the world.

Does anyone have information or experience with this?

Mods feel free ro move this to a better forum if necessary.. i only have half my vision
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Old Feb 24, 22, 1:42 pm
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I think that the best thing you can do is speak with your ophthalmologist and seek his/her advice. Let the ophthalmologist know for how long you want to be away; there might be alternative drops that can still effectively treat your condition, but will remain potent at ambient temperatures -- or at least, refrigerated temperatures -- for longer periods of time after being out of the freezer.

If you will only be required to be on these drops for a fixed period of time, your other alternative is to wait until you are off the drops before resuming travel.
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Last edited by guv1976; Feb 24, 22 at 2:34 pm
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Old Feb 24, 22, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingSloth View Post
I've never had this problem before because this is new for me. I had a major complication from an eye surgery gone wrong and long story short I'm on some eye drops now that need to be kept frozen or you know shouldn't be outside of the freezer for more than two hours

My first thought is oh crap it looks like i will not be able to travel with the drops but then i started to wonder whether it's possible.

For international flights would most big carriers help a passenger out with this kind of request with putting the small box of frozen eye drops in their on board freezer?

Or alternatively would it work with security, etc. to bring a small cooler with dry ice in it? Where do you even buy dry ice, ive never bought it before. I guess that would be the best option and it would be self sufficiant although it would be another thing to carry and i already have a carry on and personal object.. and I'm not sure whether security allows this at airports around the world.

Does anyone have information or experience with this?

Mods feel free ro move this to a better forum if necessary.. i only have half my vision
I wouldn't want to count on being able to use the airline's fridge/freezer capacity during the flight. Getting them to store breast milk for infants is also not something to count on happening. Same for medical goods that need freezer/fridge temps for transport. Don't count on the airline.

So you're really wondering if the TSA and other airport security screeners will allow liquid or other cooling implements to be used and taken as cabin baggage when transporting "exempted" liquids/gels/aerosols. Yes, it's allowed, at least in the US, Canada and across Europe. Cool gel/freezer/ice packs and other such cooling accessories are allowed along with the breast milk, eye drops and various other stuff that is noted as exempted from the TSA's "war on water" rules.

If the freezer/ice/gel packs are perceived as liquid/gels -- because they've gone slushy or even more runny -- but are associated with facilitating the transport of other "exempted" liquids/gels/aerosols by keeping them at a low temperature, they are to be allowed and just invite the swabs of whatever makes the security screeners feel secure at the moment.

Last edited by GUWonder; Feb 24, 22 at 4:28 pm
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Old Feb 24, 22, 6:39 pm
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thanks for the replies! I've never had this situation before.

I just searched on Amazon for frozen medicine travel pack.. and it seems there are a lot to choose from.. so as long as I can bring it.. I guess it should be good.. but I wonder how best to keep it frozen for a 30+ hour trip.. hmm
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Old Feb 24, 22, 6:59 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyingSloth View Post
thanks for the replies! I've never had this situation before.

I just searched on Amazon for frozen medicine travel pack.. and it seems there are a lot to choose from.. so as long as I can bring it.. I guess it should be good.. but I wonder how best to keep it frozen for a 30+ hour trip.. hmm
How long must you be on this particular medication?
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Old Feb 25, 22, 12:25 am
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
How long must you be on this particular medication?
just indefinitely if possible.. if not.. it wouldn't be the end of the world.. but I'm supposed to continue using this drop (serum drops made from my plasma) because it's the best thing I could be using right now.. and the drops cost $600.. so it's best to bring them with me and not waste them if possible.
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Old Feb 25, 22, 12:33 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingSloth View Post
just indefinitely if possible.. if not.. it wouldn't be the end of the world.. but I'm supposed to continue using this drop (serum drops made from my plasma) because it's the best thing I could be using right now.. and the drops cost $600.. so it's best to bring them with me and not waste them if possible.
I think that it's going to be very difficult for you to keep something frozen for 30 hours -- or even half that time -- when traveling. Not sure that the airlines would allow a passenger to bring dry ice on board.

Again, call your ophthalmologist and ask if there is any way for you to safely transport this medication on a long trip.
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Old Feb 25, 22, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by FlyingSloth View Post
thanks for the replies! I've never had this situation before.

I just searched on Amazon for frozen medicine travel pack.. and it seems there are a lot to choose from.. so as long as I can bring it.. I guess it should be good.. but I wonder how best to keep it frozen for a 30+ hour trip.. hmm
30+ hour trip without regular freezer availability during any part of the trip? Then those eye drops are not going to stay anywhere as close to as cold as in a freezer unless you have something else in mind to replace/replenish the freezer/ice/frozen cooling gel packs (or their "power") during the trip. If it's critical to take those eye drops and have them stored at such cold temperatures for so long, then consider breaking up the journey so as en route you have long enough freezer access or some other means to effectively replace/replenish the cooling implements for them.

I've seen frozen breast milk and other "war on water" "exempted" "keep cold" stuff transported on long journeys -- going from rural places in the US to rural places in Asia with road trips on both sides of the journey and multi-flight connections domestically on both ends as well as for the international section has meant such long trips -- but then it's very important to have a plan for that without counting on airlines' fridge/freezer to be useful in this regard. Counting on the airlines and not having a plan to boost the cooling power of the accessories en-route would mean you could be facing the potential for "keep cold" stuff to be spoiled before the journey is over.

For any important medicine, people should really consider what they would do to replace such stuff while at their destination(s) if they were to find out that their supply is missing/stolen/gets spoiled/whatever during the course of a long trip and related stay abroad. For something that sounds as customized as what you're mentioning, returning "home" may have to be in the plan if the unfortunate happens.

Last edited by GUWonder; Feb 25, 22 at 12:42 am
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Old Feb 25, 22, 12:42 am
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Here's a fairly recent article about bringing dry ice aboard a U.S. airline:

https://travelinglight.com/can-you-t...ce-on-a-plane/

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Old Feb 25, 22, 1:56 am
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Make of this what you wish: the FAA says, "Additional non-hazardous ice packs (blue ice, gel packs, etc.) can be used to supplement the dry ice. However, for carry-on baggage, if the product contains any liquid or gel in excess of 100 ml (3.4 oz) per container, the TSA security rules require that the product be in the frozen state (i.e., solid) when the passenger goes through security screening."

https://www.faa.gov/hazmat/packsafe/...nfo/?hazmat=11
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Old Feb 25, 22, 2:17 am
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Also check if the medication is available at your destination and if a US prescription will suffice.
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Old Feb 25, 22, 2:36 am
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Originally Posted by erik123 View Post
Also check if the medication is available at your destination and if a US prescription will suffice.
The medication in this case uses the OP's own plasma as part of the serum. Absent adjustments, that would rather typically complicate the picture for prescription fulfillment abroad even if a US prescription would suffice or even be more or less unnecessary other than to know the details of what is needed by the person.
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Old Feb 25, 22, 12:12 pm
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A few points to share regarding my question.

1) I'm traveling from U.S to southeast Asia. The usual "stopover" places (Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Hong Kong, China) where I have stopped in the past. I had a major flying phobia (which is ironic since I'm on a web site about flying) years ago and still suffer from anxiety when flying, so I actually preferred to always have a stopover in one of the above-mentioned places. It's just this time it's simply not possible. It seems it will either be an extremely long flight from Vancouver to Singapore or SFO to Singapore. However, SFO is not my starting destination. It probably will be a 30 hour+ trip regardless or bare minimum of 25 hours. To be honest, I haven't figured out the best route yet and yet I only have two weeks left to plan it. I'm pretty stressed out about it.

I lost my vision a few months ago due to a complication from an eye surgery where the hospital screwed up. I'm taking these drops in hopes they will help or make a difference. They are only medically necessary in the sense of the doctor saying "this is the best drop you could be using." Will they necessarily fix or cure anything.. I don't know. I'd prefer to bring them with me but yes if they defrost entirely for more than an hour they probably won't be useable.

I've never traveled with anything cold before so this is all new to me. A new learning experience. I'm looking at maybe this one? I don't know if there is a better one available? My vision is limited right now so it's hard to spend a lot of time searching.
Amazon Amazon

It says it comes with 4 small ice packs.. hopefully that would be enough to keep it cold.. plus the airplanes are usually pretty cold.. I suppose I could also try asking the flight attendant whether it would be possible to keep it there.

I also considered traveling to Asia from the west coast of the U.S via Europe.. just because I COULD have a stopover in Europe since European countries are open.. although that will be a much bigger trip.. but I'm still thinking about.. like fly to Portugal... and spent 1 week there.. Portugal to Turkey.. 1 week.. and then VTL to Singapore. But of course a much longer trip but maybe easier for me personally than the 18 hour+ flight via SFO.

I wish there were a VTL with Japan and I wish Japan were open. That would solve all of this difficult planning.
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