Can Airport Scanners See Pills?

While you cheerfully want to bring you pills, I’m sure you have ton of questions in your head and one of them is can airport scanners can see pills.

As a quick answer: Yes, most airport scanners will detect pills inside your bag and it doesn’t matter if they are in a plastic or a metal container, and it is really helpful to travel with your pills in their original prescription bottles even though it is not obligatory or recommended by the TSA.

Another thing to know, if you don’t want your pills to get scanned, you can kindly inform the security officer at the airport , and they will manually inspect them.

In this easy-to-digest post, i’m going to help you know everything you need about traveling with pills and find out together if they will be detected by the airport scanners.

Sound good? Let’s dive in.

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Photo by Anna Shvets on

Can TSA Scanners See Pills?

Of course.

Airport scanners are high-tech machines that can detect almost anything and not just the TSA scanners that can see tablets, but also any airport’s checkpoint scanner in the world.

Scanners will detect pills wherever you place them in both hand luggage or checked baggage.

While the TSA does not require medication to be in their original prescription bottle in domestic flights, some airports across the world may do.

What Quantity Of Pills Are Allowed?

There are no limits to the amount you can bring on a plane.

You want to find any issue traveling with pills unless you are traveling with a large quality.

Even if your pills are in liquid form, you won’t have any issue at the airport, the TSA and most airlines do allow larger amounts of medically necessary liquids, gels, and aerosols in reasonable quantities for your trip, but you must declare them to TSA officers at the checkpoint for inspection.


Tip: Check out this Travelpro Platinum Elite 21” Carry-On Spinner, a sleek and versatile carry-on that is designed to fit within the limits of most airlines, to save you from the hassle of the airports and the pesky airline fees.

Can You Sneak Pills Into The Airplanes?


There is no way you can sneak pills through airport security checkpoint.

A decade ago, you can sneak almost anything on a plane.

However; If you are taking the pills for medical use, I don’t think it is worth to try sneaking them into an airplane.

You don’t need to do that, as most airports and airlines do allow them without any restrictions, and you don’t even need to take them out from your bag.

If a passenger is trying to sneak some kind of prohibited pill they will put themselves in serious trouble, or the pills will jest get confiscated.

So it is better to avoid it, especially when traveling to another country.

In other words, they will catch you.

So to leave no room to the Airport security to suspect that you are hiding something else., ensure that you abode by with the TSA and security rules.

Types of Scanners

There are so many types of scanner that you are going to encounter when going to the security checkpoint, and all of them have one goal, to detect any prohibited item that threatens the security of the airplane or the passengers.

Luggage scanners Baggage scanners are those you find at the airport when you first go through the security checkpoint.
Passengers will need to remove their shoes, place electronics in a separated bin before these types of  x-ray scanners will easily detect any item including pills.
 Airport Body Scanners  Body scanners will detect any pills you have in your pocket, after you place your bags in the conveyor built to go to the x-ray scanner, then you will need to go through a body scanner.
The security officer will ask you to remove anything from your pocket, especially metals that will trigger the metal detector.
And even though metal detectors are designed to detect metals like weapons or sharp objects, they can also spot other items like drugs or other prohibited items.

Final Thoughts

Luggage scanners can see almost any item, whether it is metal or no metal, so items like pills are easy to detetcts.

Almost the same process is applied for both luggage scanners and body scanners, even though the scanners will detect only the density of an item, and they won”t tell what exactly the item is, but still they will detect the shape.

We hope this helps

Happy travels.

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