Prescription Travel Note

I am traveling out of state for my job. I called the office of my ENDO to ask for a letter outlining my prescriptions which include 2 injectables and a host of pills.

The person on the phone didn't know what I was talking about and questioned why would I need it. I had to explain that I didn't want any problems with airport security about my meds or my sharps for the injectables. I was put on eternal hold..... Then she comes back and tells me it would be ready in the afternoon.

Was this such a goofy request? I got the impression there was something wrong with me for making the request. Should the people at the front desk of a doctors office know about a getting a Letter from the doctor of prescriptions? I just found this very odd.

Maybe the person is new on the job ?? just guessing from a distance …certainly now she knows how to handle the next person with same question .
By the way I have a letter ( which has been updated in 2001 , when I started pumping ) in my file here at home; take it everywhere I go, when I travel by plane and NOT once have I been asked to show , either on national or international flights …yet it is a good idea to carry it ( living with sharps etc. for over 27 years )

It was a wise thing to request. I was stopped because I had insulin, syringes, and food in my purse and an insulin pump on my belt and they wanted to confiscate all but the insulin (probably didnt know anything about diabetes…). If I didn’t have a note from my doc stating what I need to have on me and why, I probably would have ran into bigger issues and they most likely would have taken everything.

I tried telling this to my beloved ex boyfriend who also take meds. Evidently he didn’t get asked about his meds when he went through the airport. I don’t want any problems when I go through.



You are a scream! From your previous posts on other discussions and your concern is quite admirable!!

not saying that requesting a note wasn’t a good idea just in case but most people don’t have any problem what so ever. So they may have never been asked for a note before. especially if you are traveling within the US. I have never had an issue and I travel about once a month or so, even to canada, and everyone has been educated and nice about my pump. no one ever has questioned my supplies and i carry all extra supplies in a bag with me and never put any supplies in my luggage.
I could see how a note may be a good idea to travel for longer periods or out of the country to places in asia or central/south america where they may not be as educated and up to date on the technology.

That is what my exboyfriend said because he travels with a medicine cabinet. I am traveling for my job. I just want any problems with airport just in case I get a very mean security officer since I am traveling with syringes and needles.


To travel, particularly when going through security at airports, you don’t need a letter. I have travelled a lot and never had anyone question basic diabetic supplies and medications. If you have liquid medications, they may get more scrutiny. Technically, if they hold you to the letter of TSA policy, all you need is the label with your name on it from when the prescription was filled. These labels are usually on pill bottles. I keep one or two labels from my pens packaging, but have never needed them. In the last few years, the only time I had to prove the prescription was for a prescription liquid over 3oz. At this point, I don’t even bother asking for separate screening of medication anymore. If I was travelling with a bunch of insulni vials in a separate cooler pack, it might be prudent to ask for separate screening.

Thanks I really wasn’t sure but I just wanted to have it. I was thinking about taking a trip abroad and my travel agent told me to get a prescription note. Thanks again.

You don’t need a letter to travel. I travel nationally and internationally dozens of times and have never had anyone say a peep about my diabetes supplies. Now, if you try to bring a juice box through security, prepare for trouble! (I usually just buy a bottle of juice at Hudson News on the other side). Security will also stop you if they see your insulin pump, because they have to check anything that has wires attached, so either hide the pump well or take it off and put it through the X-ray machine (it won’t hurt the pump).

No, don’t hide it. Tell them ahead of time. Be calm, polite, and sure of yourself and your rights. Read the TSA website. Hiding it isn’t a good idea because when they find it, you’ll have to explain why you didn’t notify them. Your credibility is shot. If you can take it off, that’s a good thing. If not, get someone’s attention, tell them what you have, and it will be fine.

I carry my medication in a bag inside my main bag. It is all pills. If they want to know what it is when they xray it, its easy to just remove the bag and show them (only asked this once because they were all bunched together and they couldn’t tell).

As for the letter, no, it isn’t needed. Keep everything in their original bottles. If it is liquid, let them know. If it is pills, they could care less. If you have a liquid medication that is over 3 oz, then a letter is a good idea even if you have the bottle labeled. If it is an OTC medication over 3 oz, try to find it in the smallest size possible (and leave it in the original packaging) or buy it when you get to your designation. Hotels are great for knowing where the closest pharmacy is.

Kelly Kunik from Diabetesaliciousness had a TSA representative tell her to hide it next time she went through security. So no, I don’t think that would necessarily mean your credibility is shot. You are not required by law to disclose that you have an insulin pump, so if they do find it somehow, you just tell them that’s where you normally keep it as part of your everyday wear and you’re done. Hiding or covering up the pump in order to not invite questions is something plenty of people with an insulin pump do. You don’t have to notify them about the insulin pump, but if they see it, they have to examine it. If you tell them, you are basically inviting them to pat/wand you. Who wants to do that?

I’ve found that the quickest path through security for me means that I disconnect my pump and place in into my hand-carry baggage. I’ve never had my bag with the pump opened for further screening. I presume that the agent looking at the screen can “see” the pump in the bag.

I adopted this method after going through the longer pat-down and wand routine. I even had to go through the “puffer” booth one time. Sheesh!


Yep, same here!

I still disagree and that’s fine. :smiley: I don’t have a pump but I do have other devices and cannot avoid the pat down. I don’t have any problems with it. I would rather invite questions on my terms than theirs. I’d rather be up front about what I have than having them find it on their own. What if they find it and pull without asking? It has happened to someone I know who had a colostomy and another who had a pain medication pump. TSA has become more knowledgeable since then, however.

If I had a pump and wanted to avoid the pat down, I’d remove it.

Your request is not outrageous, infact, it’s very wise. The person who answered the phone, needs some education on manners and traveling. Odd yes, rude even more so. But glad you got the infor you needed and even better that you are going to take a break.

Inquiring Minds want to know …what is the puffer booth???

It is something originally reported in the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy as a device to smell your feet. Extended by earthlings, it is now used to detect explosive stink on the human cattle as they pass through security at airports and can even be used to smell under yor clothes. In most cases, the machines are so expensive that only really important travellers get their feet smelled. In either case, the experience is less than enjoyable, hardly a time saver and you don’t even get a printout summary report on your food odor for posterity.

A letter is a good idea, but I would ask them to include a note about extra food or juice you may wish to bring through. I suffer intense and quick insulin lows so I carry apple juice in those boxes. It works really well. Last month I went through security as usual and as usual they looked at the juice boxes. Unfortunately the TSA person decided to confiscate the apple juice, despite my insulin prescription and the various insulin items in my carry on. She was pretty empathic that I need to check the juice in my bags. Which sort of defeats the purpose. The supervisor did allow it to go through, but admonished me to carry a letter from the doctor. Even that will not always get it through, but I will need to get a new letter.

rick phillips

I’ve only had this done once in the last couple of years. It may not be used still. It’s a “booth” with clear panels on all sides and open on top. After you step into the booth a pulse of air shoots out of small jets all around. I guess what they’re trying to do is blow off any powder residue from your clothes and then sniff it with an electronic sensor. If you’ve been handling any explosive materials recently this machine will pick it up. That’s my conjecture anyways.