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

Preventing Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria are capable of resisting the effects of
antibiotics. This can occur for many reasons for example, taking antibiotics when you do not have an infection caused by bacteria or not taking antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor.

Many common infections like the common cold, most sore throats and the flu are actually caused by viruses. Antibiotics are only effective against infections caused by bacteria and cannot kill viruses. Overuse and overprescribing of antibiotics has markedly increased bacterial resistance in recent years. We all normally have bacteria that live on and in our bodies. The more antibiotics we take the more likely these bacteria are to become resistant to antibiotics and potentially cause infection.

Some common signs that you may have an infection caused by bacteria and you should contact your physician include:

  • Fever higher than 100 °F
  • Symptoms that last more than 7-10 days
  • Symptoms that are not relived by over the counter medications

What can you do to prevent antibiotic resistance?

  • If prescribed antibiotics make sure to take the full course of antibiotics and follow the prescription directions
  • Don’t always assume that an antibiotic will be the answer to your cold and flu symptoms

(Written by Tria Health Pharmacy Student Intern Jessica McClain, UMKC School of Pharmacy)

Safely Discard Your Meds!

Do you have a cabinet full of unused and/or expired prescription drugs? Join Tria Health on Saturday, October 26th from 10am to 2pm as we host our first Drug Take-Back Day!

Holding on to unused medications and improperly disposing them can be harmful to your health and our environment. For example, simply flushing pills down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can cause medicinal compounds to pollute our lakes and streams causing negative environmental impacts. National Drug Take-Back Day is a DEA initiative that provides a safe way for patients to dispose of their unused, expired or unneeded prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Officers from the Overland Park Police Department will be onsite to assist in the Drug Take-Back Day.

The event is open to all consumers who would like to safely get rid of their unused medications. Tria Health’s collection site will be located at the corner of Metcalf Avenue and College Boulevard at 7101 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS 66210.

 

The Secret to Saving Money on Your Health Care Costs

How many times have you left your physician’s office with a prescription that you never filled? Or stopped taking a prescribed medication because of side effects or high cost?

In some cases, not taking your medications as prescribed, referred to as non-adherence, may only cause minor health-related issues. However, when patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart failure, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are non-adherent, they are putting their health at serious catastrophic risk.

Quick Glance at the Non-Adherence (Medication Mismanagement) Numbers:

–       3.9 billion prescriptions were written in 2010

–       On average, 50% of patients don’t take their medications as prescribed

–       Non-adherence costs the U.S. an estimated $317 billion annually

–       $106 billion of that total estimated cost accounts for non-adherence to medications for diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure/heart disease

 

The Challenge:

One Patient + Multiple Conditions = Multiple Physicians & Multiple Medications

The average Tria Health patient sees four physicians and takes eight medications. As the number of medications increase, so does the level of patient-responsibility for daily management and understanding the purpose for each one. A major component of medication management includes patient communication with physicians about their drug regimen to prevent the risk of over-prescribing or taking medications that don’t interact well with one another.

What’s the solution?

Medication Therapy Management (MTM) is an innovative practice in which a pharmacist takes responsibility to optimize a patient’s medication regimen by ensuring medications are safe, appropriate and effective. Tria Health specializes in providing MTM services and partners with plan sponsors to help reduce over health care costs for them and their plan members. An MTM-focused pharmacist is able to work one-on-one with the patient and their physicians in order to ensure a complete circle of care.

For more information about Tria Health visit www.triahealth.com or call 1.888.799.TRIA (8742).