Stay Safe, Snowbirds

Managing your prescriptions away from home

Updated on: December 7, 2020

Originally posted on: December 19, 2018
Express Scripts Pharmacist Mr. Reyes specializes in medication management issues for seniors. Topics include best practices for managing multiple prescriptions.

One of the many joys of retirement is the ability to spend colder winter months in sunnier climates. You may plan to split your time between two residences, or travel for an extended time. Many Medicare Part D prescription drug plans can help to manage your medications when you’re away from home.

Prescription Home Delivery Can Help

Part D plans with home delivery pharmacy services eliminate the need to coordinate the transfer of maintenance medications that you take on a regular basis to a pharmacy in a different location. Home delivery pharmacies make it easier to change your address so that your medication can be mailed to your winter home. Plans usually offer around-the-clock access to pharmacists who can answer questions or concerns about your medication, plus, home delivery also removes the risk of important prescription details being lost between pharmacies.

Tips for Seasonal Travelers in Retirement

If you are a seasonal traveler, here are some tips to manage your medication:

  • Document your dose: Keep a list of medications in a central location at all times. Your wallet may even be a good place. List prescriptions, over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and any vitamins or supplements you are taking. Make sure to note your dose, how often you take it, and what it is for. Share this list with your doctors. Some Part D plans provide mobile applications and web tools that make obtaining and sharing this list easy. Download our Medicare Roadmap for an easy-to-use medication checklist.
  • Stay on track: Prepare extra reminders on your calendar or smartphone so you can stay on track taking your medication as prescribed when you travel. If you miss a dose while traveling, check the prescribing information to find out what to do about your missed dose. You can find this information with your prescription’s packaging. It is also available online through many Part D plans. If you are unsure about what to do or are experiencing side effects, call your doctor or pharmacist immediately. If your travels take you to a different time zone, a pharmacist can tell you about any changes you need to make before you leave.
  • Use original containers: Carry your medications in their original containers with original labels. This will keep anyone from mistaking them for other substances. Pill sorters are great for keeping track of your dose, but they are not ideal for travel. Pack the sorter and fill it when you arrive at your destination. If you are flying, keep your medications in a carry-on bag.