a plane flying over clouds revealing biologic in its path

Traveling With Your Biologic

Are you taking a biologic and have you traveled with it? I feel like it is safe in this COVID world to take a trip again. It is important to know that we are still in COVID times and travel should be approached when you feel like you are ready. I am taking a short domestic trip and I will need to travel with my biologic. It will be my second time traveling with a biologic, however, my first time traveling with this particular biologic.

Plan ahead: traveling with asthma medication

In preparation, like most medications, my biologic will go in my hand luggage. The patient support program, which provided me with transition support from a clinical trial to this drug, indicated that they would also provide a letter for airport security if I needed or wanted one. I have not heard back from them, however, it cannot hurt to have it. There is a part of me that feels like no one will care about this letter.

General tips for travel with a biologic

This particular medication came with a handy checklist and general tips for preparing for travel. Here are some highlights:

  1. Ensure that you have enough medication for the entire duration of your trip. This should not be an issue for my particular trip, however, if your insurance has a strict schedule for dispensing your medication this may result in an out-of-pocket expense that you may want to plan ahead for. You may consider inquiring about travel dosages or modifications to the dispensing schedule to allow for you to have adequate dosage. I am a bit nervous about losing this medication since I know that my insurance will not likely replace it. I would be left paying out-of-pocket as it has a high price tag and special pharmacy dispensing arrangements.
  2. Ensure that the dosing is marked in a calendar (digital calendar) to ensure that it will be taken at the correct time.
  3. Ensure that you pack an adequate amount of alcohol swabs, cotton gauze, and a sharps container. I think I will acquire my sharps container at my destination since mine is large and it would be impossible to travel with it.

Check specific instructions

You may find that your medication has specific instructions for air travel. It is important to factor in the temperature that your medication needs to be stored. There may be specific instructions for the maximum number of days that your medication may be able to be stored at room temperature.

My particular biologic requires storage at a specific temperature and it is recommended that I use the provided cooler bag to keep it at the recommended temperature, as well as out of the light. The manufacturer recommends that I notify my airline that I am traveling with medication that needs to remain cold (refrigerated) before, during, and after the flight. I can reach out to them, however, I am unsure this is something that they care about. On a transatlantic flight, I can see how this could be useful, however, I am unsure about a short-haul domestic flight. I will inquire and report back on this one. They also recommend that I bring a thermometer. I am not exactly sure how you take the temperature of a syringe, so I will need to investigate this further.

Still have questions?

If you have any questions about storing or traveling with your biologic you can reach out to your care team or patient support program. They will be able to guide you through any additional requirements.

I am hoping that this last half of 2021 will include more travel and good asthma control. If you have experience traveling with your biologic I would love to hear about your experiences.

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