Can I bring Imitrex in my carry on bag?
May 4, 2008 7:41 AM   Subscribe

Airport Security Filter: Can I bring injectable Imitrex in my carry on bags without causing problems during security screening? I will be going through airports in US, UK, Africa.

I'm about to embark on a three week work trip that will take me to Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Nigeria, UK, and Uganda. I use the injectable Imitrex for occasional migraines and would like to take my statdose kits and keep them in my carry on bag. I want them in my carry ons not because I anticipate having to use one in-flight, but in case my checked bag gets lost I can still stop a developing migraine once I'm at my destination.

Has anyone had any experience with airport security screeners' reaction to Imitrex? Since I will be gone so long, I'm planning on taking three of the statdose kits. I know the amount of liquid doesn't come close to violating the liquid ban, but I don't know how security will respond to the needle in the injection cartridge.

Information or experience at any airport would be helpful. However, here are all the airports where my carry on bag will likely be screened:
Charlotte, JFK, Brussels, Abidjan, Lagos, Abuja, Heathrow, Nairobi, Entebbe.

Realizing, of course, that security screening is a random process and just because Person "A" had a certain experience is no guarantee that Person "B" will have the same experience.
posted by cptspalding to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
Can you get a doctor or pharmacist to write an explanatory letter?

I don't have experience with Imitrex or the specific countries you mention, but I had to carry (someone else's) Heparin syringes and sharps box through two French airports and one Irish one, and they didn't bat an eyelid at the syringes, which I presented visibly (with the letter) at the x-ray checks, but they did examine each of the ~40 colouring pencils in my carry-on luggage. YM will undoubtedly V.
posted by carbide at 7:57 AM on May 4, 2008

I don't know about your particular medicine but you might try posting this question at the security/ safety forums at
posted by sharkfu at 9:20 AM on May 4, 2008

From the TSA's site:

All medications in any form or type (for instance, pills, injectables, or homeopathic) and associated supplies (syringes, Sharps disposal container, pre-loaded syringes, jet injectors, pens, infusers, etc.) are allowed through the security checkpoint once they have been screened. Atropens, an auto-injection system that can help treat many emergency conditions (low heart rate, breathing problems, and excess saliva related to insecticide, nerve gas or mushroom poisoning) are also allowed.

Sorry, don't have time to Google the international stuff.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:47 AM on May 4, 2008

I have carried injectable medicine (Raptiva) through security but only in Canada. I carried it in a zippered case with two icepacks. Inside were a travel sharps container, one syringe filled with saline, two needles, powdered medicine in the vial and alcohol swabs. I made sure I had a prescription label on the little tray each dose came in (I just peeled it off the main box and stuck it on there). I had no problems; however, I was unable to convince a flight attendant to store it in their fridge as I had been advised online. Fortunately my flight was only a few hours and the icepacks kept it cool. However, since it sounds like you're flying a hell of a long way, I'd try to make advance arrangements with the airline for them to store your kit in the fridge on board the aircraft rather than just count on the giving-a-shit-ness of the flight crew.
posted by loiseau at 5:13 PM on May 4, 2008

Oh, I should mention that I announced that I had medicine and sharps up-front when I arrived at security and they just tossed it into the x-ray without flinching. They see this stuff (insulin, most commonly) every day.
posted by loiseau at 5:17 PM on May 4, 2008

I've carried lovenox (injectable blood thinners in pre-packaged syringes) in my carry-on during both domestic and international flights (to Turkey) with no problems. I've brought my prescription (just the note-bits I get from the pharmacy) with me, just in case, but I've never even had anyone say anything about it. Including when I had to get the syringe out of the bag during the flight to inject myself (which I did in the bathroom so as not to gross my seat-mates out).

I doubt you'll have problems with it, but you may want to stash some in your carry-on and some in your check-in luggage in case one or the other gets confiscated.
posted by batcrazy at 8:35 PM on May 4, 2008

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