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Pernicious Anaemia Society
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Going abroad

I've been self injecting for just over a year now and inject once a week to keep me ticking over.

I haven't been on a holiday longer than 1 week since I started this journey and so have been able to manage my B12 requirements without having to worry about giving myself a shot whilst being abroad.

I am wary about taking needles and syringes and all of the rest of the kit through customs in England and Barbados.

Do I have anything to worry about?

Am I safe just taking it in my luggage or am I going to get busted as a suspected druggie?!

Advice from anyone with any experience of this would be very welcome!

12 Replies
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Hi Mr_E do you know anyone who is diabetic? They must manage O.K.

I've been abroad many times but as my injections have been every four weeks for the past 46 years I have managed to schedule them accordingly.

I wish you well and hope you enjoy your holiday

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Mr_E

Umm, I've wondered this too, although I rarely go away. Diabetics will have a doctors prescription to back them up whereas, us 'selfies' don't have any prescription for the B12.

I'll be keeping an eye on this thread ... ;)

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I also self inject once a week, I went to St Lucia last year and I packed everything inside a sock in my case

Had no problems at all at either end

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I've done this a few times and been fine. I went to The Gambia and Italy with everything just packed normally in my case and it was fine. I also went to Dubai and Australia with it in my hand luggage and there was no problem but that could have been an oversight as you shouldn't have sharps in your hand luggage. If you can get a letter from your GP though, you could be OK but it would be easier to just pack them in your suitcase if you are taking one. I made sure my B12 was in the box with the label on it but no one checked in the end.

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Thanks for the responses, in the luggage it goes!!

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Hi Mr_E.... I go abroad twice a year and take my meds in my hand luggage and my hold luggage just in case one goes missing, and never had a problem, even whenone occasions they've asked what it was, I even paid for a letter from my doctor to take with me once that I've never needed till this day..... Hope that helps ☺ ☺

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Having worked in airport screening for a long time (outbound and inbound) I'd just let You know this.... if you can produce a letter from your GP dated recently, like within a few weeks of the journey, it needs to state precisely the drugs, quantities and condition they are required for, as well as the name of the patient-which mush match exactly that on your passport. Even with all that, it doesn't exempt the liquids from testing, so your handluggage may still be from the x-ray machine for additional tests. SOme cancer meds cannot be x-rayed and the letter will always make this clear but they can still be subject to testing. This doesn't mean the ampoule/bottle has to broken open to expose the liquid, it can be atomically weighed without affecting the med. If you can, put it in check-in luggage, if you only have hand luggage and have the letter etc, still be prepared to be put aside for some extra checks.

Needles, sharps, the only EU current directive states that any sharp pointed or edged item can be allowed if under 2.5 cm long, so most med needles are ok, again, just be prepared to explain your possession.

Happy travels!!!!!!!!!!

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Thanks everyone, as always the advice on these pages is very greatly received

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If it is in your hold baggage I don't think there's an issue (I use a cool bag to keep temperature consistent). If your doctor would give you a letter to say it is a prescribed (or if not that, approved in some way) medication then that might be added security. I've done this to various countries and never had an issue - but perhaps I was just lucky and not caught.

I haven't got a GP's letter and feel I ought to. I have also had to go to hospital in Thailand as an emergency because I didn't take enough B12 with me- - I was lucky, Thailand is really easy and well set up, they gave me all I needed - but you don't want to run out if you need it.

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Hi MrE

I'm always worried about taking needles etc with me as I can't get a letter from my gp. I always inject just before going away and then take b12 mouth sprays with me. It's not a great solution but it keeps me going.

My gp stopped my b12 about 5 years ago.

I hope that you have a great holiday whatever you decide to do.

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Why not take some b12 patches to wear overnight, you could use more than normal in order to get a larger amount into your system or some 5000mg sublinguals, wouldn't that suffice for once just until you get back.

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The supplements never really did it for me, maybe I’ll give them another go or take them as a backup option as well as the injectables.

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