Does TSA Allow Any Legal Drugs in Carry-on Luggage?


Quick Answer

Yes, the TSA allows necessary medications in carry on luggage. Non-liquid prescription and over the counter medications are permitted, as are some liquids, gels, and aerosols. However, the amount and type of medications being carried on may require additional steps such as declaration to, or screening by, TSA officers.

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Full Answer

While necessary medications are allowed in carry on luggage, there are a few rules and guidelines travelers should follow when passing through TSA screening with medications.

Non-liquid medications, both prescription and over the counter, are permitted, but should be kept in original containers if possible. For a small amount of the medication, it may be put into a separate container, but a copy of the prescription should be packed with it. It may help to obtain a letter from your doctor explaining why the travellers need the medication on the plane to show to a TSA agent.

Pack all drugs in a clear, quart-sized, zip-lock bag. Medications should also be clearly labeled with the patient's name and the type of medication. The drugs should be easy to access and be removed from the carry on bag during screening.

Travelers carrying more than the allowed number of ounces of a liquid, gel, or aerosol medication must declare these to a TSA officer at the start of the screening process. An officer may request that some amount of a liquid is disposed of or subject the substance to additional testing if an X-ray alone does not clear the substance. Please note that the allowed amount of a given substance may change; check the TSA's website for the latest information before traveling.

Similarly, travelers carrying on medical accessories such as syringes or IV bags must inform a TSA officer and allow screening. Travelers may also be subjected to a pat down.

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