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A component of the Canadian Medication Incident Reporting and Prevention System (CMIRPS).

SafeMedicationUse Newsletter

Losing Medications Can Spoil Your Vacation


Whenever you go on a vacation, it's important to bring enough medication for the time you will be away. It's also important to take steps to keep your medications safe. Forgetting or losing your medications can spoil your vacation and might put your health at risk. received a report from a consumer who lost his medications while on vacation. During a fishing trip, the consumer was caught in a thunderstorm. His bag, with the medications inside, fell off the boat. The report did not describe whether the consumer experienced any harm, but missing a dose of some medications can be serious. has the following advice for consumers on how to avoid losing medications while travelling:

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  • Update your medication list with your healthcare provider before your trip. Keep the list in a safe place that is separate from the medications.
  • Keep your medications in a water-resistant bag. If travelling by air, keep your medications in your carry-on rather than check-in baggage.
  • Keep your medications somewhere safe (e.g., in a pocket, or a handbag, with a zipper).

It's also important to know what to do if medications are lost or forgotten while travelling:

  • Within Canada, most prescriptions can be transferred between pharmacies. If you lose your medications while travelling within Canada, take your medication list and your pharmacy information to a local pharmacy to get new medications.
  • If you are travelling outside of Canada, you will likely need new prescriptions to replace lost or forgotten medications. Take your medication list to a local doctor to make this easier.
  • Remember that medications may have different names in different countries. If you are unsure about anything related to your medications, ask a healthcare provider for advice.

Read more information on How to Have a Safe Trip - Avoid Problems with your Medications.

Medication safety bulletins contribute to Global Patient Safety Alerts

This newsletter was developed in collaboration with Best Medicines Coalition and Patients for Patient Safety Canada.

Recommendations are shared with healthcare providers, through the ISMP Canada Safety Bulletin, so that changes can be made together.

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