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Travel Health - Before You Go

Personal health needs

If you have any chronic diseases or other health concerns, such as birth control or allergies, see your doctor. You may need to take other steps or make adjustments in your travel plans.

  • Carry a letter from your doctor describing your conditions, a list of your routine medicines including their generic names, and written prescriptions for refills if you will be gone long.
  • Leave your prescription medicines in the original containers—your name must match the name on the bottle—and pack them in a waterproof container in your carry-on luggage. Take extra amounts of your routine medicines packed in checked luggage in case of theft or loss.
  • If you have a heart condition, travel with a copy of your most recent electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) for comparison in case you have chest pain or other symptoms.
  • If you have diabetes, you can take precautions to prevent problems while traveling. For example, wear a medical identification tag and take extra medicine with you.
  • If you have asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other lung diseases, you may need to avoid stays in polluted cities or at high altitudes.
  • If you are pregnant, talk to your doctor before making any travel decisions. If you decide to travel, take some general precautions while traveling, such as notifying the airline of your condition before you fly and taking a few walks while on a long flight to increase the blood circulation in your legs. (This is good advice for all travelers.)

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: October 14, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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