As European summer hits its stride, travellers are jetting off to chase the sunshine. However, with all the viral travel hacks floating around social media, we’ve clocked one that you really shouldn’t risk.
Travel hacks are one of the industry’s best developments in recent memory. From hacks that will help you get a free lunch, beat ‘recline rage’, or ensure you can sit next to your pals using Mia Khalifa’s dirty trick, all of them are interesting but some are more successful than others. One to definitely avoid, however, has been identified this week by pharmaceutical experts who want to nip one of TikTk’s most dangerous travel hacks in the bud, before it’s too late…
The premise of the hack is pretty simple and seemingly harmless: if you need to take large quantities of medication away with you, repackage it into small containers — with many creators specifically referencing TicTac boxes — in a noble attempt to save space. While it may seem like a clever way to make room in your luggage, medical experts are issuing stern warnings against this practice for a multitude of reasons, as reported by The Daily Mirror.
Mitesh Desai, Director at Landys Chemist, has highlighted several key points that underline the potential dangers of repackaging medications for travel. One of the foremost concerns is the potential for delays and complications during airport security checks; removing medication from its original packaging can result in confusion for security personnel and — in extreme cases — could even result in medication being discarded if it can’t be properly identified.
WATCH: Want to try a slightly less risky travel hack? Look no further…
Even more concerning, however, is the fact that transferring medication into different containers can actually compromise its effectiveness. Medical packaging is meticulously designed to shield medication from external elements such as light, heat, moisture, and air, all of which can degrade the potency of the medicine over time. The stability and therapeutic benefits of the medication can be massively undermined when removed from its original packaging, potentially jeopardizing the user’s health.
And yet, there’s an even greater danger lurking behind this issue, which Desai clarifies:
“Child-resistant features are a fundamental part of medical packaging, incorporating mechanisms like anti-twist child locks to prevent accidental ingestion by young children.”Mitesh Desai
By transferring medications to non-child-resistant containers, there’s an elevated risk of unintended poisoning or the consumption of harmful substances by curious kids which, once again, could have fatal consequences. Desai’s final point is a little more bureaucratic in nature, but no less important to consider when packing for your next getaway:
“Medications that are readily available in one country may be classified as controlled substances in another. Numerous countries mandate that medication should be kept in its original packaging when taken overseas.”Mitesh Desai
All in all, what Desai is saying is that your health must always be the priority, above and beyond a little extra luggage space for another bikini, book, or pair of thongs. Tempting as it may be to pop those pills a little early, airport security won’t look fondly on lithium made to look like lollies…