Before you leave Australia

Here are some tips to travel safely with your medicines and medical devices.

  • Talk to your health professional
  • Check with your destination country if your medicine or device is allowed there, and if there are any restrictions
  • Carry a prescription or a letter from your health professional
  • Keep the product in its original packaging
  • Take enough for your whole trip
  • Carry medicines and devices in your hand luggage

For more information about travelling out of Australia with medicines and medical devices, please visit Australian Government, Department of Health and Aged Care, Therapeutic Goods Administration – Leaving Australia.

Packing and Preparing Your Medications

Consider the amount of medication you will need, and it pays to pack extra rather than being caught out without enough. Remember to pack medical equipment such as measuring cups, syringes and hypodermic needles.

If any medical device requires batteries, packing extra is also a good idea. Make a spreadsheet of your medications and the times you take them, as this will ensure you pack enough.

Alternatively, ask your local chemist to make up a Webster pack for you. Webster packs can be used when travelling. The photo on your Webster pack should match your passport identification, providing you that extra verification and assurance when travelling through customs with your medications. Please note that all medications must be in their original packaging, and Webster packs are permitted provided they are prepared by a pharmacist. If your doctor changes any of your medications, it is important to notify your pharmacist so that your Webster pack can be updated promptly. Click here for more information.

Bring your medication prescriptions in case you’re separated from your bags, your travel is delayed, or there is an emergency. Don’t rely on refilling prescriptions or buying regular over-the-counter medications whilst overseas as regulations may vary. Check that your various prescriptions and over-the-counter medications are legal in your destination. You can ask your health professional, chemist or travel agent about this. If they are unsure, contact your destination country’s embassy in Australia. By identifying this early, you may be able to organise alternative medications or provide appropriate documentation from your health professional that would protect you in any unexpected situation.

Travelling with mito page images

Ask your health professional to write a letter listing each medication and its use. This could be useful at airport security and in an emergency.

Medications and Air Travel

Different rules apply for airlines and destinations. You can take prescription and non-prescription medication on board domestic flights. However, if you are taking an international flight, regulations may apply.

  • In Australia, liquid, aerosol and gel medications are permissible. According to the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, a reasonable amount means the amount needed to cover your needs for the duration of the flight including any delays that might occur. This applies to ‘special dietary and therapeutic products’ such as supplements.
  • If travelling overseas, look into international regulations.
  • Medication documentation including prescriptions may be needed by security.

When considering how much medication to take in your carry-on luggage, you should always be prepared if your checked luggage does not arrive at your destination at the same time as you. Making sure you pack enough to last you a couple of days will prevent you from being stuck without enough to last until your luggage arrives. Prepare for any medications that need to remain cool. These can be contained in polystyrene boxes, and you may be able to put them in the fridge on the plane. Otherwise, it may be necessary to travel with sufficient ice packs for the journey.

Useful links

For further information, you may wish to contact one of the following organisations:

Disclaimer: Resources provided by the Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation Limited (Mito Foundation), offers general information and is not a substitute for medical advice. It is essential to assess the suitability of the content for your individual circumstances and make decisions based on your medical condition. The information’s accuracy is subject to change, and we do not guarantee ongoing currency or availability. While efforts are made to ensure accuracy, Mito Foundation is not obligated to provide updated information. The copyright for this document and its content belongs to, or is licensed to, Mito Foundation, and reproduction without prior written consent is prohibited.

Author(s): Mito Foundation
Reviewer(s): Kindly reviewed by mito community members
Version: 1
Date published: 19 December 2023