Travelling overseas whilst on mtx and embrel injections

Hi All

I'm new to the site and after reading archived blogs, thought would ask the question, does anyone have any advice or experience of travelling overseas whilst having injections!!

I've recently changed from mtx tablets to injections, and the introduction of anti-tnf Embrel due to my RA active and not responding to other treatments.


13 Replies

  • no.. but you would be adivised to have letter from gp listing your medication and a small cool bag with ice blocks..


    Welcome to the site! xx

    im sure some one who has travelled with these will reply, but this is intial standard advice.

  • Thank you Summer

  • Hi Anna, Welcome to the site and I'm sure you will get lots of useful info here, it's been a saviour to me. I am taking MTX in tablet form aswell as anti tnf CIMZIA injections which have to be maintained at 2-8 dgs (in a fridge) I'm also on all the other usuals, naproxyn,mepradec, prednisolone,amitriptyline, paracetamol & codiene. We have a home in France and travel back and forward regulary when fit enough. I always carry all my drugs with me in their packets with their instructions in a seperate container together with a copy of the doctors prescriptions. My CIMZIA injections have to be carried in a freezer bag or car fridge if travelling by car. I also carry a 'Custom Letter' which was supplied by Healthcare at Home to enable me to carry the syringes on ferries and aeroplanes. You must always carry your own drugs as the airlines and ferries will not accept responsibility for storing them (in their fridges). I also carry a letter from my RA consultant with the latest info about me and my RA. I also carry a full medical contact list packed in with my meds. I have been stopped many times at customs and never had a problem because I've carried all this info.

    This all sounds excessive but I've done it so many times now it becomes the norm. The main thing is not to forget any meds you may need.

    If you need anymore info please just ask.

    Hope you have a lovely time.

    Love Sue xx

  • Hi Belle, I travel regularly by air and carry two letters with me. One from my GP re the MTX and one from Healthcare at Home re the Enbrel.

    The enbrel can go into the plane fridge as it has to be kept between 2 and 5 degress centigrade. The crew are usually very happy to accommodate you with this. I have never had a refusal yet! Until you get on the plane, keep it in a cool bag wrapped in a tea towel and resting on an ice block. I keep the MTX in its box in my handbag.

    Have not been stopped yet (there's always a first time) so I have everything to hand in case.

    If travelling by car, again use an ice bag to keep the Enbrel cool (or any other anti tnf) and stick it straight into the fridge when you get to your destination.

    I travelled 2 years ago on a 7 hour journey to Dorset and my Enbrel was fine when we got to the hotel. It then went straight into the hotel fridge.

    Not had to travel by ferry yet but much the same criteria would apply. If you have a cabin, you will have a steward who may be able to help with storage whilst you are on the journey.

    Hope this helps. LavendarLady xx

  • LavendarLady, thank you for your advice, I hadn't thought about getting a letter from my consultant or Healthcare at home.Will arrange that...

    My other is about sharp boxes, do you take your own for MTX needles?

  • Hi Belle, welcome to HU.

    Good advice from the others above, I do much the same. Have the injections in my travel luggage, kept inside a cool bag. Enbrel needs to be at a certain temperature, check the leaflet that it comes with. The new MTX injection can now be stored out of the fridge but I would still keep them cool together, I still keep my MTX in fridge at home.

    Always carry a letter with you, in my experience from as many specialists as you can! Mainly of course from you consultant, you can give their secretary a call who will arrange this for you. GP letter is also good, and even from the Healthcare at home team. Letters from consultant will explain your condition, what medication you are taking etc. The Healthcare at home team may also give you up to date advice on traveling abroad.

    Depending on where your going to,somewhere nice and hot I hope!, it can sometimes be a good idea to check the airlines policy for this type of thing, there won't be a problem in taking them it's just they all have slightly different policies on these sorts of things especially since 9/11, and of course the country your traveling to.

    Just one more point check your room as a fridge to store your injections in!

    Have a lovely holiday.

    Speak soon and take care.

    mand xx

  • Mand

    Thank you for your advice, my trips not till end of October so plenty of time to get things in place.

    again thank you....Anna

  • Hi Belle, I don't bother with a sharps box although I have a small one. The enbrel needle retracts after using so I put it back in its holder and back into the cool bag, wrapped in the tea towel. Likewise with the MTX needle, I put the cap back on, it goes back into its box and I seal the end with sellotape and put that into the cool bag with the Enbrel box. The whole thing then goes into my case and once home, I put the various needles into their sharp boxes.

    You can get a small sharps box from Health at home for travelling which is where I got mine. LavendarLady x

  • Thank you all for your advice and wish you all a great weekend..

  • Hi Belle

    I have just return from Barbados I too am taken Enbrel I carried it in my hand luggage in a cool bag with bottles of cold water that had been in the fridge and then whilst on board the plane I replaced the bottles of cold water with new ones from the cabin stewards, from leaving home to arriving at Barbados It was out of the fridge for 15 hours this is acceptable according to The Healthcare at Home Team. I am about to travel to New Zealand and they have advised that this time that It might be advisable to purchase from them a cool bag that would work better for longer periods out of the fridge, they were basing this on Humira, when I explained that I have changed to Enbrel they re advised me saying that Enbrel would be ok out of the fridge for 72 hours as long as it was kept in a cool bag as I have done above. The Healthcare at Home can also supply you with all the necessary Docs. for customs and airlines, with ref the sharp boxes they can supply these also. I hope this helps and enjoy your Travels.


  • Paul, thank you for your response, have a wonderful time in New Zealand. Anna

  • What i find really frustrating is that next year I want to travel by car across Europe stopping a various hotels taking about 3 weeks then stay at my property in Bulgaria for 3-4 months. You can get a plug in storage container for 2 vials of diabetic medicine but not multiple injections such as mine which is Cimzia. The chinese make a carry case that plugs into your car then into the mains in your hotel room at a cost of about £70 but we can only order in large quantities. But to buy the unit in this country cost over £400. There is a market for these machines but they have to be cheaper. So I am going to have to chance a temp controlled cool box. I am gonna try it at home first.

  • I too am travelling with Cimzia syringes, flying from UK to Spain. Thanks for all the advice above. My questions are:-

    1) Is there a risk that the icepacks in the cool bag will be too cold for the Cimzia? I was told to buy gel packs but could only find mini ice packs. I have a sandwich cool bag so I can take 2 boxes of Cimzia.

    2) Is it safe to put one icepack on the top of the Cimzia box and another under it?

    3) Also as it cools, will the change is temperature harm it?

    4) We have just heard that there are airport strikes so we will be over 12 hours travelling. I was told that Cimzia will be OK for up to 12 hours.

    5) If the cool bag is opened by customs staff, will it harm the Cimzia? Can I refuse to open it? I was told not to let it go through x-ray.

    Hope you can help me. We leave tomorrow, Tuesday 19th Feb '13

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