Traveling with Epipens

Old Aug 11, 07, 7:54 pm
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Traveling with Epipens

Doctor decided I needed to start carrying Epipens around with me last week. Does anyone else keep these in their carry on? Any TSA hassle in particular? Other issues? I just want to put them inside my backpack I carry with me everywhere and be done with it.
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Old Aug 11, 07, 8:08 pm
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I too am interested as I carry a couple as well.
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Old Aug 11, 07, 8:20 pm
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My wife has one (severe shrimp allergy), and has taken it through security in a carry-on undeclared with no problem. Of course, given TSA's often-variable policies depending on which employee you deal with, this is no guarantee that others won't get a hassle.
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Old Aug 11, 07, 8:36 pm
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perhaps the best bet is to carry a copy of the prescription with you?
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Old Aug 11, 07, 8:50 pm
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Don't leave home withut them

Brian, UCBeau

I've had to carry these as well as pre-loaded syringes of Benadryl (something you might ask your docs about. I do a Benadryl IM jab first, then - if need be - the epinepherine. Stopping the swelling, for me, is paramount and most often eliminates the airway shutdown or cardiac issues) for anaphylaxis for years and have never encountered a problem, or at least a problem carrying the needles or the corticosteroids used after an episode.

I have needed these in London, Berlin, Shannon, Honolulu, Portland, Juneau, Toronto, and Houston as well as once in flight (from LHR to Rome) and have been glad to have 'em with me. I know the BA purser was: she was freakin' out more than me, it seemed.

Presumably the screeners are familiar with 'em as I used to pull the kit to the top of my bag in case they questioned it, but they never have. The shape seems to be familiar to them as they've sometimes done a bag search but the needles never seemed to be the issue.

I would suggest that you keep them in packaging that clearly indicates they are in fact Rx meds: something that shows the drugstore label, prescription number, prescribing physician, etc. As such they are exempt from the carry-on liquid restrictions. I carry a letter from my physician, as much for an ER or EMT's use as for anyone at an inspection point, detailing both my need to carry them and the proper sequence and method to inject 'em should I be unable to do so myself.

While your concern is understandable, my experience says it's not an issue. I hope you never need 'em but also hope - even more - you'll have them with you when and if you do.
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Old Aug 11, 07, 8:53 pm
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Old Aug 11, 07, 9:06 pm
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My 13 year old daughter needs epipens, too. For many years she has carried two on her body in a specially made fanny pack/pouch (purchased at and I carry one for her in my purse or backpack, whatever I am carrying. We don't carry the prescription or anything and her name is not on the label/tube. I have one with me all the time even when I am not with her because it is easier to not have to remember, just always have it.

She walks right through security with the little fanny pack on, only once was she asked to take it off, and then they saw what it was and gave it back without passing it through any security. The TSA screener said she was worried the xrays would hurt the medication. Ok, whatever.

Neither of us have ever been questioned - I am guessing epipens are very familiar to the screeners.
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Old Aug 11, 07, 11:18 pm

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We just completed our first trip with Epipens in the bag. I packed them in a gallon ziplock in their original package w/ the RX label, along with the liquid Benadryl and asthma meds and letter from the allergist.

First airport: we handed the bag to the screener because of the liquid medications and the supervisor hand checked every detail of it, including reading letter from the doctor. Return airport: handed the bag to the screener, said "Medications" and he gave it a quick glance and handed it around the x-ray machine to the screener at the other end who returned it to us.

Consistant policy on Epipens? Not that we saw.
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Old Aug 12, 07, 3:48 pm
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I've traveled with Epipens for years. No problems although I do have the original packaging with the Rx. I keep them in a gallon Zip-Loc bag to keep them clean. A year ago the TSA folks would log them in. Now they just look at them.

They see plenty of these things.

I have had problems lately with the TSA folks and Rx eye medications; but that is a different story all together. The eye medications are liquids (in tiny bottles).

I wish the TSA would get its act together! Every time I go through a TSA check point I get a different proceedure and rule thrown at me. Not nice!
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Old Aug 13, 07, 5:59 pm
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I never declare my epipen, just keep it packed up in my backpack. Only once has anyone ever inspected it, and I don't keep the original box with the prescription written on it either.
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Old Aug 13, 07, 11:51 pm
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I have traveled for years with an injectable medication similar to the Epipen. I carry it in the same bag as my other medications (pills) and have never once been questioned about it. It's in a sealed, labeled package, so it should be obvious to any screener that it is indeed a prescribed medication, should they examine and question it, which they haven't.
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Old Aug 15, 07, 11:09 pm
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My hubby carries one at all times and I carry one at all times as well ("at all times" is apparently kind of flexible to him )

Never, in years of flying domestic or international, have they ever been mentioned, hand inspected, or perhaps noticed. This shouldn't be a big deal for you either, I think.

Concentrate on not needing it.
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Old Aug 15, 07, 11:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Business as usual View Post
My hubby carries one at all times and I carry one at all times as well ("at all times" is apparently kind of flexible to him )

Never, in years of flying domestic or international, have they ever been mentioned, hand inspected, or perhaps noticed. This shouldn't be a big deal for you either, I think.

Concentrate on not needing it.
It depends on where you are flying. I travel with insulin pens and normally don't have an issue, but Hong Kong security insists on counting all the needles and telling the flight crew (supposedly). I have never had any followup on it from the crew though. Even if I leave my pens in my bag they still spot it and check it.

Happens everytime when leaving HK.
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Old Aug 20, 07, 9:48 am
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I've been flying with an epipen or two for the past 2 years. Pre liquids hassling, I kept it in my purse and it was never questioned. Post liquids hassling: Domestically (USA), I've just put them in the baggie, no declaration, and no hassles. Internationally: CDG took them out of the baggie, opened the case, questioned me. I had to take the flattened box out of my carry-on to show the prescription label, that it matched my passport and explained it was medication I couldn't travel without. I haven't had trouble in any other European airport (Rome, MUC, FRA, LHR, TLS). Since the CDG incident, I've traveled with a note on hospital stationary signed by my doctor that says I'm supposed to travel with them. Haven't been asked for it yet.
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Old Aug 20, 07, 10:34 am
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My wife needs one so we asked...

our pharmacist to stick a duplicate prescription label directly on the cylindrical case for the EpiPen. We also leave the flattened box that it came it (with the original prescription label) in our toiletries bag.

Never had a problem and we hand carried it through Manila, Bangkok, and Chiang Mai airports.
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