How To Declare Medication At Airport?

So how to declare medication at airport? and do you really need to declare medication at the airport?

Here is a quick answer:

You don’t have to declare your medication on domestic flights, however; to speed up your screening process it is preferable to take your prescriptions and make sure that your medicine are in their original packaging, medications in liquid form will need to be screened separately but they are not limited to the TSA 3-1-1 liquid rule.

On International flights, medications has to be declared and transported in their original packaging, you should check first if the medication are allowed in the country of your destination.

Let’s dive right in.

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Small Pill Box, Travel Pill Case, Dtouayz Portable Medicine Organizer / Courtesy of Amazon

Traveling With Medications In Domestic Flights

Do You need to declare medications at the security checkpoint?

You don’t need to declare solid medication or pills at the airport security, however it is good to have your prescription handy to speed up your screening process.

Medication in liquid form like Benadryl needs to be declared to the TSA officer, there is no limit to the amount of liquid medicines you can bring, however they will be subject to a separate screening.

The TSA liquid rules allow only 3.4 oz / 100 ml of liquids in a single container in carry-on baggage, but there is an exception for medications.

Here is what the TSA has to say about declaring medication at the airport.

It is not necessary to present your medication, or notify an officer about any medication you are traveling with unless it is in liquid form (See next bullet).

The TSA declares

Arwyena asked the TSA what is the policy on traveling with medications and if she has to declare them, the TSA replied that medications are allowed in carry-on bags. For domestic travel within the U.S., the TSA don’t require original prescription bottles; a pill box or organizer is fine.

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Take medications in carry on baggage

There are no limits on the amount of medicine you can take in your carry-on baggage and the TSA website states that you can bring medications in carry-on bags without any problem . In fact, it’s much safer than bringing it in your checked luggage. That way, you don’t have to worry about it getting thrown accidentally or getting damaged during the flight.

The best place to carry your medications is in your carry baggage, just make sure that they are well protected and packed, also keep in mind to keep your medications handy, put them in your personal item or handbag, that way you don’t need to open your suitcase at the airplane or reach the compartment if you need t to have your medications.

Take medications in checked baggage

Sometimes bringing medication in checked baggage is not a good idea if it is not necessary, it can be a bit risky, you will have to secure them as much as you can, and make sure that they are well protected and packed and fit perfectly in the middle of your suitcase.

Also you have to make sure that your suitcase is within the allowed weight you don’t have to pay extra.

Traveling With Medications In International Flights

How do I declare prescription drugs at the airport?

Carrying medicines in international flights is allowed, but there is no single rule you can follow, each country has its own regulations and medications that are allowed in one country might be illegal in another country.

So you should visit the country’s official government website and have a look at what they say about bringing medicines to their country.

However if the medicine is allowed a valid prescription will be needed and the medicine should be in its original packaging.

For example here is a resume for what the FDA says about bringing medications to the U.S.

When traveling to U.S, you have to abide by to the FDA, U.S Customs and Border Protection and the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) that operates at the airport, there are several and varying restrictions applied by each authority, so you have to check with each one of them and see what they have to say about taking medications to the U.S.

Generally; you should have a valid prescription or a doctor note written in English to present at the airport, and all your medications either liquids or solid pills, must be declared, in addition your medications should be in their original containers and packaging.

If you don’t have the original container or package, you can bring a doctor’s letter describing why you need the medication and under which conditions you should take the medicine.


And here are the rules if you want to bring pills or other medications to Canada.

Prescription medications for legitimate health conditions may come under intense scrutiny by foreign officials. In some countries, drugs that are legal and readily available in Canada are considered illegal, require a prescription, or may arouse suspicions among local officials and customs and immigration authorities. It is always best to contact the foreign government offices accredited to Canada of the country you plan to visit to confirm the status of your medication.

Do Airlines Check Your Prescriptions?

Airlines won’t check your prescriptions, but rather when traveling domestically the airport security might need to check your prescription if needed and your medications will undergo security screening.

It is a good idea to to clearly label your medications and even transport them inside their original container, to help the airport officer indicate what the medications are used for.

Internationally , you have to declare prescription drugs at customs and they will have to check your prescriptions, and obviously you have to check if your medication is allowed in that country.

Where Do I Put My Prescription Tablets When Flying?

red and white medication pills
Photo by Anna Shvets on

It is highly recommended to take your pills in their original packaging, and transport them in your carry-on baggage as they are easy to access if you need them during your flight.

You can use a medicine Organizer Bag to organize your pills in your carry on bag,

Unless you’re bringing extra pills or more medications, you most likely won’t be asked why you take more than you need of medicines.

Summary: Do I Need To Declare Medication At The Airport?

There’s nothing keeping you from taking your medications in your carry-on or checked-in luggage; domestically it is not necessary to declare your medications at the airport, but when traveling with liquid medications will need to be declared to the TSA officer.

Medications in liquid form are allowed in more than 3.4 oz / 100 ml in carry on baggage.

We hope this helps

Happy travels.

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