Oh No! I’ve Lost My Prescription on Vacation!

7 preparedness tips to keep in mind before taking your meds on holiday

Don’t panic! If you’re a visitor to another U.S. state or a country like Canada or Mexico, any lost or finished prescriptions can easily be replaced with Canadian drugs either through a local licensed pharmacy or via an online order shipped to your hotel location with relative ease.

Mexican and Canadian pharmacies are much like American pharmacies in these ways:

  • The establishment requires full licensing to operate and fill prescriptions
  • Pharmacists dispensing medication must be licensed as well
  • Canadian pharmacies adhere to similar standards and laws as in the U.S. in order to be able to fill prescriptions legally
A quick search of the National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Agencies’ (NAPRA) database lists all full-licensed pharmacies. Search by area (or vacation destination) to find a reputable pharmacy to refill your prescriptions

7 essential tips for taking your medications on vacation

Emergencies do occur when we are on vacation. However, a little preplanning can go a long way to protect your health and wellness during your time away from home. Sure, during the anxiety of packing for a trip we can often forget important things, like our prescription medication, however, with a little planning ahead you can avoid a health emergency, for instance:

1. Make an open-ended to-do list a few weeks before you leave for your trip.

2. Double check to ensure you have enough medication to last you the duration of your vacation. If not, get a refill before you leave.

3. Keep an emergency kit with up-to-date medications—such as extra inhalers, allergy medication or insulin for diabetes—to take on vacation with you. If emergencies arise you will have extra meds.

4. Double check any expiry dates on any over-the-counter drugs you’ll need before you take off. Replace any that are necessary to take with you during your time away.

5. Skipping doses of your medication is extremely dangerous. However, many people do this to prepare for a vacation if the fear running out of meds during their time away. We can’t stress how important it is to stick with the dose your doctor prescribed—varying from doctor’s instructions can be very dangerous to your health.

6. Keep photo copies of your prescriptions in your wallet or emergency kit as mentioned above.  This way, if you find yourself short a few pills on vacation, the local pharmacist can use this data used to contact your doctor and fill your prescription (the photocopies themselves aren’t enough to dispense meds).

7. If you don’t have copies of your prescriptions, at least write down the information and place it in your travel emergency kit. Any licensed pharmacist will need this information to legally fill a new prescription, even in an emergency:

  • Drug name
  • Dosage and quantity prescribed
  • Strength
  • Refill number
  • Instructions for use

Whether you are taking a gastro-gourmet tour of the Big Apple, wine tasting in Paris or lounging beachfront on the deck of one of the lovely Cabo villas, your medication should be farthest from your mind, you’re on vacation and it’s time to relax and rejuvenate after all!