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Author Topic: Disguising pill boxes  (Read 4348 times)

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Offline jeezx

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Disguising pill boxes
« on: September 04, 2013, 05:16:22 AM »
Hello.
I am about to travel abroad with my family, but they don't know about my HIV status.
I take 2 pills a day (truvada + stocrin), and I wanted to ask if I can put my med pills into , lets say, a vitamin pill box so it wont look suspicious.

anyone got exp with this? thanks a lot.

Offline xasxas

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2013, 06:26:17 AM »
Well if you do that and they check your pills -- which is unlikely -- you might have a lot more explaining to do as to what those drugs are and why you're sneaking them into wherever you're going.

I'd say it's safer and less conspicuous to just take them with you in their original packaging and a prescription or doctor's note.  That way you can quickly explain it away if you're searched in customs, hopefully without going into details about it. 

Offline mecch

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2013, 07:01:12 AM »
Depends where you are travelling from, and where too.
I have travelled around North America and Europe a few times with people who don't know my status and did just throw the pills in other pill bottles.
For that matter, in 25 years of travelling, I've NEVER had a suitcase inspected going through customs anywhere, on arrival. 
Ive heard this recommendation about carrying pills in original bottles. I carry the prescriptions. I figure if there ever were questions, i would just tell them what the pills are and show them the prescription. Plus I have the prescription in case I lose my pills and need to get an emergency supply. 
Medicine bottles don't come with the patients names on them in many countries, anyhow, so this whole idea that your name has to be on the bottle is US-centric.

Of course now we open everything in carryon, before getting into a plane.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 07:03:55 AM by mecch »
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline LiveWithIt

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2013, 08:59:33 AM »
I would suggest buying a large bottle of multivitamins.  Throwing some out, putting your prescription meds in the bottom and filling the top back with the vitamins.  Do what you have to do, but also take the paper from the  prescription refill with you and hide it somewhere in case you do have to present it.
Pray God you can cope
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.

Offline newt

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2013, 09:33:16 AM »
I really suggest not.

Travelling over international borders: meds in original bottles in your hand luggage, prescription or doc's letter if you think you need this. Otherwise the meds are unidentified drugs if you are searched and you will be detained.

I travel with my family often. They never go through my bag.

- matt
"The object is to be a well patient, not a good patient"

Offline leatherman

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2013, 10:06:47 AM »
I am about to travel abroad with my family, but they don't know about my HIV status.
I take 2 pills a day (truvada + stocrin), and I wanted to ask if I can put my med pills into , lets say, a vitamin pill box so it wont look suspicious.
everyone seems to be missing the point :D Jeezx wants to hide these prescriptions from his family not the authorities.

jeezx, are you taking a spare pair of shoes? wrap a piece of blank paper around each bottle and tape it together. Before and suring the trip, that'll hide the label from the casual glances of your relatives if they are nearby. Stuff the bottles into the toes of your shoes when you pack - that'll hide the bottles. Sneak a few pills out when you unpack at the hotel and put those into a container for easy access - then no one should see you sneaking into your shoes and getting meds out of those bottles every day.

Now the big issue though! what happens at dinner when they seeing you popping your pills? ???
Hopefully, you've already got a response to that since you may have been hiding your med-taking for a while from your family.  ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline mecch

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2013, 10:36:34 AM »
That supposes pills must be taken at a table during a meal.  Unlikely.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline Jeff G

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2013, 10:47:37 AM »
Make a candy necklace out of them and have a little nibble at pill time .

I wouldn't worry too much , just put them in your bag and have a great trip , the chance that any questions being asked are low and if they are in a bottle with your name on it the security folks will take a look and put them back . I have had my bags examined and once they see its my pills in my bottle they simply move on and never once have I been asked what they are for .   

Offline LukasFRA

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2013, 11:01:51 AM »
Be careful when putting your meds in a different bottle, esp. Vitamins or asprin. You would notmwant anybody to take a pill by mistake. I am currently trying to figure out the same when going to Canada to visit my family. I will probably go for the "shoe-plan" Leatherman has proposed. I do not want in any case that anyone mistakes the pills for some vitamins.

Overall I would prefer to be open about it, but my mother went through so much over last years, it would be another worry....

Lukas

Offline moxieinme

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2013, 11:58:42 AM »
I have travelled throughout the US, Europe, and to North Africa while on HIV meds. I used to follow the advice about original bottles, especially travelling to international places more far afield. But in the end it's just been easier to travel with my pills in this cheap-o multi-day pill dispensers, even for my vitamins. After I used up a week's worth, I just tossed the dispenser and my packing got that much lighter.

With pills in a dispenser, it's clear to any inspector that they have a specific purpose. I did carry along copies of the Rx though (see below).

So by doing this who's going to know  whether your just have vitamins in those boxes, or other non-HIV meds e.g. lipitor, or HIV meds?  (But yes, a nod to the issue about keeping HIV a secret in the first place. What if something happened while traveling?)

However, I *always* travelled with a copy of the prescriptions. It turned out to be crucial in one instance where I left home without one of my meds years ago on my way to Europe. I was able to fill my Rx before leaving the country. So having the Rx with you is wise not only to vouch for the meds you're casting but is a safeguard in case you lose your meds while traveling.

Bon voyage!

J
Salvage therapy wrangler, riding the poz bronco and dodging bullets for over 24 years.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
CD4 at diagnosis 1989 = 330
Began treatment (AZT) 1989
Lowest labs 1998: CD4=74, 7%, VL=750,000
First sustained undetectable VL in 20 years (2009); CD4=315
Current labs (12/13): CD4=637, 27%, VL=<20
Current meds: Prezista, Isentress, Intellence, Norvir

Offline Bowie-esq

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2013, 05:14:56 PM »
I take my pills in a week dispenser, extra included, and bury at the bottom of my bag or in a hidden zip compartment in my case when visiting family. There is always an opportunity to slip away and take my medication privately without them noticing. The first couple of visits I was so nervous with the pills hidden away that I kept a padlock on my case. Now I'm less worried, though my family still don't know my situation.

I always take my Dr. Number so they can fax a prescription directly if needed, and I also have a medicine passport if I'm stopped, which is issued by my HIV clinic.
Infected: +\-01/2010

Tested positive 08/2010
28/07/11 CD4 420 9% v.l. 20500
16/10/11 CD4 320 10% v.l. 185000
10/11/11 begin Truvada/Viramune
29/12/11 CD4 410 13% v.l. 115
14/4/12 v.l. undetectable
05/7/12 CD4 520 19% v.l. UD
21/08/13 CD4 470 20% v.l. UD
19/12/13 CD4 430 23% v.l. UD
8/12/14 CD4 600 21% v.l. UD

Offline leatherman

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2013, 08:50:57 PM »
That supposes pills must be taken at a table during a meal.  Unlikely.
really? ??? are you sure about that?  :D

I carry a set of pills in my keychain fob because I've been taking reyetaz/norvir/truvada with dinner for a decade now. A lot of people take meds with food because quite a few HIV meds require food for the best absorption.

I've never worried about taking them in front of anyone though. No one but other pozzies have ever asked what I was taking.  I have seen too a ton of other people out in restaurants taking their meds with their dinners too - blood pressure, gastro meds, insulin, etc.
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2013, 09:39:16 PM »
It actually takes several hours for food to move out of the stomach and into the small intestines. I'm sure that excusing yourself after a meal to go to the bathroom, and then sneaking your lil' AIDS pills at that time, fully qualifies for the "take with food" label on your meds.
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline WillyWump

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2013, 10:00:00 PM »
^this.

I cant remember which med it was but when I queried my doc about "taking with food" she laughed and said it didnt have to be literally between bites, but at some point after eating within about 30 minutes.
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
11-6-14 CD4- 871, UD
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline leatherman

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2013, 10:13:59 PM »
it seems that a problem with not taking meds with the actual meal, but waiting until sometime later, would be that the meds could be easily forgotten because the  trigger to remember taking the meds is gone. If the patient gets distracted by everyone else finishing the meal and leaving the restaurant, the patient may totally forget about taking the med.

what we see is that hiding your situation makes everything, even the simple things, harder.  ;)
leatherman (aka mIkIE)


chart from 1992-2013; updated 2/09/13  Reyataz/Norvir/Truvada

Offline mecch

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2013, 05:52:24 AM »
Go to the ladies room to powder your nose?
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline bocker3

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2013, 07:48:12 AM »
Ummm??  How did we get off-track here about pill taking with meals?  If I read the OP correctly, he is taking Sustiva (Strocin), which should not be taken with food.   ::)

To the OP
Personally, I think you are worrying too much about someone finding your pills.  Unless your family searches your luggage, what is there to worry about?  Plus, if they ARE they type to search through your stuff, how is hiding them in a vitamin bottle going to help -- they will see different pills in the same bottle and become even MORE suspicious.  I say, hide them in plain sight.  If they see your pillbox and ask questions, simply say they are vitamins, or some herbal pill to increase sexual prowess!!  ;D

Mike
Atripla - Started 12/05
Reyataz/Norvir - Added 6/06
Labs - Pre-Meds
Sep05 T=350/25% VL98,559
Nov05 288/18%  47,564
Current Labs
May2013 691/31% <20

Offline klassykitty

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2013, 02:39:18 PM »
I put my meds in a little jewelry ziploc bag, this fits in your pocket and no one knows.  I take 7 pills a day and can keep 2 or so days worth in one bag.

 
How to handle stress like a dog:
If you can't eat it or play with it.....
then pee on it and walk away

Diagnosed 01-20-2011
01-23  CD4 32    VL 125,400
02-18        76     VL 189
03-14  no cd4 test done   VL-52
04-14   69  VL-UNDECTABLE  YEA!!
05-26   50  whoopsy  
06-27   71        %-7
08-15   64 WTF %-9 
10-16  80         %7  
2012  CD4  %Thing   VL-UD
01-18  87    7
04-18  93    8  
07-16  151  8         
10-18  83    9    VL-70
2013   CD4   %thing       VL-UD
01-28  121     9
04-24  148    11   
07-25  157    11   
10-22  185    13
2014   CD-4  %thing   VL-UD
02-07 201 YEA!!!!!!  12
06-03  205      12

Offline wolfthorn

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2013, 04:47:24 PM »
How many extra pills do you usually bring with you? I am going to Mexico for 8 days and so I am a little paranoid about running out of meds if there's some change in travel plans especially since Stribild is not yet available there. I figure in Europe or Canada I could always just pick some up in the pharmacy...
7/10/13: Oraquick at Home (+)
7/11/13: CD4 <20, VL 286,000
7/26/13: Start Stribild, Bactrim, Azithromycin
8/13/13: CD4 64, VL 1194
9/11/13: CD4 87, VL 511
10/14/13: CD4 164, VL 34
10/15/13: Stop Azithromycin!

Offline anniebc

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2013, 05:21:47 PM »
I travel International a couple of times a year, up to3/4 weeks each time, depending on how long my flights are I keep a few doses in my hand luggage, I usually keep the last empty bottle with my name on it, you never know when flights will be delayed.

I always carry the rest of them in my checked luggage and in the past 11 years I have never been searched or questioned.

As some of the guys have already told you don't need to take them right after a meal, I take mine usually half an hour to an hour later, when my stomach doesn't feel so full.

Don't stress out about this.

Jan
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline WillyWump

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2013, 09:13:13 PM »
I travel International a couple of times a year, up to3/4 weeks each time, depending on how long my flights are I keep a few doses in my hand luggage, I usually keep the last empty bottle with my name on it, you never know when flights will be delayed.

I always carry the rest of them in my checked luggage and in the past 11 years I have never been searched or questioned.

As some of the guys have already told you don't need to take them right after a meal, I take mine usually half an hour to an hour later, when my stomach doesn't feel so full.

Don't stress out about this.

Jan

This is golden^. If anyone would know about traveling internationally with pills, it would be Jan.

-W
POZ since '08

Last Labs-
11-6-14 CD4- 871, UD
6/3/14 CD4- 736, UD 34%
6/25/13 CD4- 1036, UD,
2/4/13, CD4 - 489, UD, 28%

Current Meds: Prezista/Epzicom/ Norvir
.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2013, 10:13:49 PM »
This is golden^. If anyone would know about traveling internationally with pills, it would be Jan.

-W

Is that why she foolishly puts medication in checked luggage?
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline anniebc

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2013, 12:38:13 AM »
Is that why she foolishly puts medication in checked luggage?

Maybe I should have been a little clearer just for you Miss P, when I said a few doses I should have said 5/6 days worth, this should cover flight delays and lost luggage, but touch wood they have never lost my luggage yet, but if they should lose it then it's normally found and returned within 24 hours.

I don't carry a carryon bag big enough for all my gadgets and an armful of pill bottles. I like to travel light when filling in time between flights.

Aroha
Jan
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #23 on: September 16, 2013, 01:02:48 AM »
this should cover flight delays and lost luggage

So if your trip is for 2 weeks and they lose your luggage, as in permanently lost, what's the plan? Seems like a very unnecessary travel risk to me. I suppose that I'm not cavalier about my loving pills.


I don't carry a carryon bag big enough for all my gadgets and an armful of pill bottles. I like to travel light when filling in time between flights.


sigh
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline LukasFRA

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2013, 02:11:15 AM »
Suitcase is packed, hand luggage as well. Eventually I opted for the "all pills travel with me"-approach. So I am taking the bottle into my hand luggage as well, including the confirmation of my doc that I need to take Eviplera. As I am not staying in Vancouver but going directly up in the mountains a luggage loss would be quite a nuisance, even though I have a full week of meds with me in a dispenser. Plus the fact that I do not want the airline to loose a bottle worth 1500 bucks.

I guess Canada is quite ok with HIV positive people. Once Singapore etc. are again on my travel plan it will be more of a challenge...

Now off for almost 3 weeks... :-))

Lukas

Offline mecch

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2013, 05:23:55 AM »
Suitcase is packed, hand luggage as well.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxVU4wOha8k

Watch out for your bucci bag, girl.  Enjoy your trip!
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

Offline anniebc

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #26 on: September 16, 2013, 06:43:03 AM »
So if your trip is for 2 weeks and they lose your luggage, as in permanently lost, what's the plan? Seems like a very unnecessary travel risk to me. I suppose that I'm not cavalier about my loving pills.

sigh

I have been traveling for 40+ years now and they have never lost my bags once, so I'm pretty confident my meds are safe inside my checked luggage, but maybe it's time to reconsider the way I travel with them.

Aroha
Jan :-*
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Miss Philicia

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2013, 05:16:09 PM »
I have been traveling for 40+ years now and they have never lost my bags once, so I'm pretty confident my meds are safe inside my checked luggage, but maybe it's time to reconsider the way I travel with them.

Aroha
Jan :-*

I would worry less about you if you invested in a proper piece of carry on luggage on rollers. May I suggest an aluminum Rimowa model?
"I’ve slept with enough men to know that I’m not gay"

Offline eric48

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2013, 05:24:21 PM »
I have witnessed some confusing situations at the security gate though. The person I was travelling with was very stressed because of the meds thing. Unfortunately he got search for something else (a lighter). He was so stressed that he was suspicious and got a full search

I usually send my (check in) luggage well in advance UPS ground. It's cheaper and you can verify it has arrived before you take you flight and in case it has not arrived, use plan B : the checked luggage.

With UPS/Fedex, never had a problem. travelling light is cheaper and more convenient as well.

I mean this is an option for some business trips.

Hidding from family ? Why ? everyone knows I take Multivitamin (aka Kivexa, quite conveniently yellowish and metformin (aka Viramune conveniently white) LOL

BTW, the spell check on this site always want to replace Viramune with Vitamins

Pills in a multivitamin container are not un-identified drugs/pills. Our pills bear the manufacturer logo on one side and the med' ID on the other (at least mines do)

My doctors prescription bears that ID number between brackets at the end of the line, but not every doctor is as friendly as mine

These are a few tricks that may help

Eric
NVP/ABC/3TC/... UD; CD4 > 1000; CD4/CD8 ~ 2.0   safety stock : 3 months (2013: FOTO= 5d. ON 2d. OFF ; 2014: NCT02157311 = 4d. ON, 3d. OFF)

Offline anniebc

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2013, 10:31:32 PM »
I would worry less about you if you invested in a proper piece of carry on luggage on rollers. May I suggest an aluminum Rimowa model?

Funny you should say that Miss P, I use a small roller carry on weekend case for when I'm away doing my talks, last time I used it, it fell to pieces, and I have a talk in Auckland on the 7th of Oct so I need to start looking for a new one..thank you for your concerns..Mwah!

Aroha
Jan :-*
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline konrad.deire

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2013, 12:19:50 PM »
well, I'd suggest you keep always spare doses in yr wallet and any other bag or pocket or key chain, which is convenient [it happens to forget and it's good to have an emergency dose just at hand],
If the problem is not to be seen while taking the meds... well yes : a toilet is the perfect place for that
the problem with customs in International travel: ... oh yes that can be serious, I started Haart when it was illegal in Italy, had to smuggle the stuff in from Switzerland.  Got a taste of custom-efficiency another time when I was traveling with a perfectly harmless box of generic ibuprofen pills in sight... the Italian officer was really annoying and it took me an hour to explain and finally proof that said pills had been bought in Italy and that it was a re-import
 Now I am living in Malaysia, which has zero tolerance for POZ ... if they identify me I will get expelled with a nice explanation in my passport and denied re-entry ...for the time being I just smuggle my pills in from Europe on every travel, so far didn't have problems, nor do I know of anybody who had ... (yet)

Offline mecch

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Re: Disguising pill boxes
« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2013, 02:07:17 PM »
Just to be clear, you are saying Malaysia doesn't allow HIV+ foreigners to have working and/or living permits.  I assume Malaysia takes care of its own citizens with HIV...  Not universal "zero tolerance".  But yeah, deplorable.
“From each, according to his ability; to each, according to his need” 1875 K Marx

 


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