Flying with Refrigerated Liquid Medication

Updated on May 02, 2012
A.C. asks from Grand Prairie, TX
10 answers

I will be flying with my daughters in a few days and they are both on liquid antibiotics- one of which must stay refrigerated. Any tips on how to keep it cold for about 5 hours and get through security without problems? Will airlines refrigerate in flight (we are flying Spirit)?-* just added, I will keep it with me because I don't want it lost if luggage is lost or delayed, and sending it overnight won't work because she needs it twice a day, besides that I don't want it lost in shipping or hotel... it must be with me when flying.

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answers from Santa Barbara on

My good friend just spoke with United Airlines because she is traveling with her grandson (with brain damage from drowning, he is on a ton of medications and has a feeding tube) and they made all of the necessary arrangements ahead of time. She provided documentation from the physicians and it looks like it will work out fine. She is using a cooler and ice packs (from Los Angeles to Chicago), I don't think United wanted to be responsible for the medications.

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answers from Chicago on

not sure if this will help you or not. But once we were on vacation and were not allowed to take the liquid with us. We went to walgreens and they called us in a RX to the walgreens closest to our destination (disney world) and we picked it up at that end. That way it was cold and no problems with loosing it or it getting hot. good luck.

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answers from Dallas on

I fly all the time with refrigerated meds. All you need to do, is get some of those re-usable ice pouches (any camping type store has them or you could ask a pharmacy that ships meds reguarly if you can have some). Either in a sturdy lunchbox or small 6 pack sized cooler, position your meds with the frozen pouches, they will definitely last the 5 hour journey and longer. When you get to security, you have to "declare" your meds. Just tell the officer that you have medications that have to stay refrigerated in the cooler/lunchbox. They will take it aside, go through it, and sometimes do a "swipe" on the cooler/lunchbox to check for explosive fragments. They will kindly give it back to you and off you go to your plane. Unless you are flying overseas, domestic flights do not generally house a refrigerator so you'll have to keep the cooler/lunchbox with you tucked under the seat in front. Hope that helps!

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answers from Norfolk on

A cold pack should work just fine. But be sure to bring an extra freezer baggie too. That way If you find it getting too warm, you can ask a flight attendant or food shop (in the airport) for ice to repack it.

Even though the prescription will be clearly on the label, it never hurts to get a note from your doctor. It will just be a handwritten note on the prescription pad which states that you must take the medicine with you. I even got one that said I could take my stroller (which the airline says is to big to gate check anymore). Safe travels!



answers from Washington DC on

You can take liquid prescriptions through security and you shouldn't have a problem, you will just have extra screening. I don't know if you can do this, but I would check with the airlines and TSA, but maybe you can get some ice packs and use those to keep the antibiotic cold. Otherwise, I agree with having the prescription called into a local pharamacy at your location.


answers from Redding on

Call the airline and ask, I'm sure they have a procedure.
Maybe put it into something thermal, it's probably cold in the belly of the plane where your luggage will be.


answers from Lakeland on

You should call ahead and find out from the airline. You might be better off shipping it overnight via UPS or FedEx to your destionation. Then you can keep it packed with ice packs and not worry.

You can also check the TSA site.


answers from Dallas on

call your pharmacist, not all antibiotics have to be refrigerated all the time, but keeping them cold just helps they stay mixed together better/longer but as long as you can shake them up really good and refrigerated after you arrive (assuming you are non going to China or Australia or something like that). you can usually carry less that 4 oz of any liquid item onboard a airplane, one quart size zip lock baggy filled with 4 oz containers per person, so you may want to ask the pharmacist if he can put the meds in smaller containers labeled if needed. hope that helps... calling the airlines can help also, when I worked as a Flight Attendant we were taught that the airlines can not refuse you the right to carry on board any medically necessary medical supplies/medicine, although needles were managed with security procedures.

I've heard that Spirit Airlines is a bit difficult to work with and charges per carry on, you you might want to be sure you can easily store your cold back/medicine bag inside you regular carry on or purse, just a thought.



answers from Chicago on

My son uses medication that must also be refrigerated. I had looked into it late last year and I was told that the meds must be in a small cooler or lunch bag if you plan to carry on (which I would) and the cold package must be sealed. A gel pack will stay cold longest. I would double check with the airline just to be sure. A friend carries a letter from the doctor with her just in case. And they do check it more thoroughly.



answers from Dallas on

They will let you take it. There is a special line where you can claim certain items to be checked. It is the same line you get in to have baby's milk, premix formula or bottled water to mix formula. I just got back from flying to the Bahamas and it was no big deal just took a few extra minutes. Have a great trip.

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