Tips for Traveling with Medications

Airplane
Image Source: Deniz Altindas/Unsplash

Memorial Day is approaching and many of you are most likely preparing for weekend travels to see family or friends. We all know the worst part about any vacation is packing. What makes packing even more complicated is packing for air travel. There are a multitude of regulations to keep track of and if you have a chronic condition, the idea of managing your medications can seem overwhelming.

To help you get ready for vacation season, here are a few tips and tricks to keeping your medications safe and organized!

The Medication Screening Process

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires that medications in pill or other solid form must undergo security screening. You can also bring any medically necessary liquids or creams, but they must be screened separately from the rest of your belongings.

To make things easy, the TSA recommends you:

  • Store medications in clearly labeled containers
    • Check with state laws regarding prescription medication labels
  • If you’ve already thrown away your prescription containers, get a letter from your doctor explaining what the medication is and why you need it.
  • Declare any accessories associated with your liquid medication

Dosage Schedule

If you happen to travel to somewhere in a different time zone, you may need to discuss the time you take your medications with your doctor. If you must take your prescriptions at a certain time, we recommend setting alarms on your phone or watch to help remind you when to take your medications.

 

Have Any Questions?

Contact the Tria Health Help Desk:

1.888.799.8742

National Drug Take Back Day is 4/28!

Close up of assorted pills and prescriptions
Image Source: iStock.com/klenova

Disposing of medications safely can help protect your family from getting or using medications that are expired or out of date; prevent the illegal use of unused medications and minimize any potential negative impact on the environment. For this reason, the DEA is giving the public an opportunity to dispose of unwanted and/or expired prescription drugs. This is a FREE and anonymous service—take medications back, no questions asked!

Where do I go?

Visit the DEA’s website to find a collection site:

https://apps.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1

Why can’t I throw out my medications at home?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of harmful myths floating around regarding medication disposal. Many people will try to flush their medications down the toilet or crush their medicines before throwing them in the trash. Flushing can end up polluting our waters and crushing medicines can put trash handlers at risk of exposure if the drug were to encounter their skin or if they were to breathe in the dust. Medicine take back programs are the best way to dispose of unwanted medicine.

 How can Tria Health Help?

As a member of Tria Health, if you have multiple medications and are afraid you’ll throw away the wrong medication, we can provide additional assistance in selecting the proper medications. Tria provides one-on-one consultations with a clinical pharmacist who assists you with your medication management.

 Questions?

Call the Tria Health Help Desk at 1.888.799.8742

 

The Cost of Non-Optimized Medications

Money within a Pill Bottle_iStock.com/slobo
Image source: iStock.com/slobo

Did you know, if the drugs you’re taking are wrong, skipped, or make you sick, there’s the possibility of incurring additional cost? A recent study published by The University of California – San Diego estimated that the current cost of each possible consequence and estimated total annual cost of illnesses and deaths that result from non-optimized medication therapy to be $528.4 billion. They estimated that the average cost of an individual experiencing treatment failure, a new medical problem or both after initial prescription use to be approximately $2,500.

How do Non-Optimized Medications lead to additional cost?

Here’s an example of non-optimized medications: You are diagnosed with asthma and your doctor prescribes you with a rescue inhaler. When you go to fill your prescription, you discover that the copay is too expensive for your budget and you choose not to purchase it. You later suffer from an asthma attack and must go to the hospital. You’re now stuck with a very expensive medical bill.

This isn’t the only example in which you could incur additional costs, sometimes medications lead to side-effects resulting in the need for added treatment.

What can we do to solve this?

The University of California – San Diego’s study reached the conclusion that to improve medication-related care, we need to expand comprehensive medication management programs, in which clinical pharmacists have access to complete medical records, improved dialogue with other members of a patient’s health care team and input as a medication is prescribed — similar to what is now taking place at many U.S. Veterans Affairs clinics.

How can Tria Health help?

Tria Health provides one-on-one consultations with pharmacists, allowing you to review all your medications and make sure everything is safe, affordable and effective.

Visit www.triahealth.com to learn more!

 

Source: Jonathan H. Watanabe, Terry McInnis, Jan D. Hirsch. Cost of Prescription Drug–Related Morbidity and Mortality. Annals of Pharmacotherapy, 2018; 106002801876515 DOI: 10.1177/1060028018765159

Ask a Pharmacist

Pharmacist surrounded by pills with text that reads Ask a Pharmacist
Image Source: iStock.com/macrovector

Thanks to the Tria Health Help Desk, patients may ask pharmacists any medication-related questions. We’d like to share with you some frequently asked questions and the pharmacists’ answers

Question: Is it OK to take leftover antibiotics to treat a current infection?

Answer: No! The antibiotic might not treat the type infection that you have and might not be the full course of therapy required. Additionally, taking antibiotics inappropriately may also cause antibiotic resistance, making it harder to treat future infections.

Question: How do I know what kind of vitamins I should take?

Answer: It would depend on your diet, lifestyle, and other medical conditions. Taking a multivitamin is a great place to start. If you have concerns about being vitamin deficient, talk with your doctor about checking certain vitamin levels.

Question: Which over-the-counter allergy products are safe to use during pregnancy?

Answer: Both Zyrtec and Claritin are safe to use during pregnancy. Make sure these products do not carry any other active ingredients, like pseudoephedrine. Talk with your doctor or your Tria pharmacist before starting any over the counter allergy product.

Question: I recently started a new medication and have had a stomach ache ever since. Am I allergic to the drug?

Answer: Stomach aches are not a sign or symptom of a medication allergy. It is usually a side effect of the drug. Try to take the medication with food to help avoid stomach upset.

 

Do YOU have a question for our pharmacists?

Enroll with Tria Health and schedule your appointment today!

Call 1.888.799.8742 or visit www.triahealth.com/enroll

Drug Take Back Day is TOMORROW, October 28th!

Prescription Drugs
Image Source: iStock.com/CHAIWATPHOTOS

Tria Health is promoting the DEA’s Drug Take Back Day which is tomorrow October 28th, 2017 from 10am – 2pm.  To find a location near you, go to DEA Diversion website.

Disposing of medications safely can help protect your family from getting or using medications that are expired or out of date; prevent the illegal use of unused medications and minimize any potential negative impact on the environment. For this reason, the DEA is giving the public an opportunity to dispose of unwanted and/or expired prescription drugs. This is a FREE and anonymous service—take medications back, no questions asked!

What You Should Know  

The DEA can ONLY accept pills or patches. The DEA CANNOT accept liquids, needles or sharps.

Last April, Americans turned in over 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners.

This initiative addresses both public safety and health concerns. Prescription medications left to expire in people’s homes are susceptible to misuse or abuse. Prescription drug abuse rates and overdose and accidental poisoning statistics are frighteningly high in the United States. Studies show that the majority or abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, or from home medicine cabinets.

The DEA now advises against “usual methods” for disposing of unused medications. Flushing medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash now both pose potential safety and health concerns.

Where to Find More Information

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 28, 2017 Drug Take Back Day event, to the DEA Diversion website