Just wanted to know if anyone has been overseas,preferably Europe and had to try and organise their pain meds over there whilst on holidays?im planning a short trip over there in a few months,but may turn into a 3-6 month tour...can i just organise something with my doc or is this a bit of a dilemma I have to face?once again thank you all for your supportive comments,I really appreciate them
Best bet is to make sure you have enough to cover your trip with a bit of a reserve in case you get stuck longer than expected, you must take your prescriptions with you when you travel as proof that these are your medications and I would get a doctors note as well just for backup. I don't know about filling scripts written in Australia overseas, I would think if you are having an extended stay you would have to the nearest hospital if you required more, I may be wrong, I am sure others here will be able to tell you.
As an addition to what Grappers has written, I spent eight weeks overseas a couple of years go. At that time I was uncertain what to do, but in the end I organised the following.
A letter from both my Specialist and my GP outlining my diagnosed condition and the treatment protocol, ie medications and dosages I was taking on a daily basis. This list should include ALL medications you are on, including the occasional medication you may be taking for breakthrough pain, sleeping, etc.
Make sure these letters are written on paper which includes your doctors letterhead and their contact details.
There is an Australian government travel website with a section on traveling overseas with medication. It has suggestions on what you should consider doing prior to travel.
This might give you an idea on how to approach how much medication you take and or whether you wish to try and access meds overseas if you extend your trip. The govt website indicates that you can also directly contact the embassy of the countries you are traveling to in order to ask if they have any issues with the meds you will be taking. In some cases the Embassy may even issue you a letter acknowledging that you have contacted them and their support for you to do this.
Personally I have never taken this last step, nor have I had any problems, yet it never hurts to be thorough, so consider doing it.
Most general pain medications and antidepressants will be identically available in say the UK and US, but not necessarily so in the Asian countries I have been to. So if you are on a quite specialized medication it may be better to take it from Australia than having the issue of not being able to access it once away.
The Internet is a great way to search online looking at individual countries and whether they have the same brand or style of med you are on. Also consider the cost involved in buying meds overseas. A great deal of medications in Australia are subsided by our goverment, thus making them cheaper for you to buy here.
In regard to accessing enough meds to take overseas talk to your doctor. If you are taking medications requiring scripts ie, strong pain meds, antidepressants etc, then your doctor will need to work out how much you need for your time away, then they can make a phone call ( its easy for them to do and will take less than ten minutes of jeir time) and get an Authority Script/s for your required meds. Be aware that sometimes an Authority Script may need to be posted out to you so don't leave it till the week before you travel.
Once you have the script/s take them to the chemist and get it all from them. You may find you have quite a lot of boxes.
Honestly if you are considering being overseas and in one place for six months, consider asking your specialist for a letter of referral to a colleague they have in that country. At some point taking a suitcase absolutely full of medication for an extended trip may be unrealistic.
Once you get to the packing stage of your trip.
Make a copy of all medical letters and stick them in your bag.
Keep all the originals on you so they don't get lost and so you have easy acces to them when required, ie going through customs.
Pack your meds together ( I generally put mine in clear ziplock bags ), this way le can see what you have without it all having to be unpacked.
Keep all your meds together in one bag , not dispersed through several bags.
Relax, don't stress out as lots and lots of people have to travel overseas with their medication every day.
Oh yeah remember to have enough meds aside so when you travel on the plane you can take them as required. They won't be of any use stuck in the hold of the plane. Whilst I very occasionally have a drink, I would never do this on the plane flight itself. It's not worth the addd risk.
Hope my over long repl is of some help
Happy travels, iain
The following user(s) said Thank You: Mary, Oxytotem