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What to Do If You Forget Your Prescription on Vacation

What to Do If You Forget Your Prescription on Vacation


Forgetting or losing medication on a trip happens to many travelers. The ordeal can be stressful and sometimes extensive. Thankfully, if within the country you live, getting a new prescription is easy. But outside of the country is a different matter altogether. Let’s look at how to handle both situations.

Local or National Travel without Medication

Most pharmacies belong to a franchise chain or network. As a customer, this lets you walk into any location and fill a prescription. Whatever you request comes from your next refill. That said, problems can arise when:

  1. You Do Not Have Any Refills. Without refills, you need to pay for the additional medication. Most insurance policies do not cover this. The pharmacy may also need to contact your doctor for permission.
  2. The Substance is Addictive. When a substance is addictive, the situation gets complicated. Because the pharmacy cannot verify your story, laws may prohibit it from providing more of the drug.

If the pharmacy cannot access your medical history, then it must contact your doctor. During business hours, the whole process might take an hour or two.

On weekends and evenings, the pharmacy might have troubles reaching your doctor. For this reason, always get his or her emergency contact information and store it some place safe. Without it, the pharmacy might never get permission to release your medication.

International Travel without Medication

Travel insurance protects you from emergencies in countries where you do not have medical coverage. Most policies include hospitalization and prescriptions.

Nevertheless, getting medication abroad can be difficult. Most local doctors cannot fill a prescription without first consulting your doctor. As well, if you cannot find a local physician, you’ll need to contact the embassy.

Note that some prescriptions are not available abroad—especially newer drugs. In such cases, you must consult your doctor to find a temporary substitute.