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  1. #1
    Gastric Sleeve Member Dutchie's Avatar
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    Simonne
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    Default Question regarding medication for trip

    I need some help from you online friends.
    We are planning an extended trip, with our RV, to the USA.
    We will be there for a year and travel around.
    Bringing prescription medication for such a long time will be difficult, so I need to buy those in the USA.

    I see, that I can buy those medications online.
    Does that mean, I can basically buy them everywhere in a drugstore?
    That would be very convenient of course, but I am not sure how this works.
    Does the fact that I can buy them online mean, these are non-prescription drugs in the US?
    If not, do I have to go to an ER to get the medications we need?
    Personal medication btw, nothing to do with the sleeve.
    English is not my first language anymore, so I may and do make mistakes in my spelling, or say things oddly. Please ask me, if you want any clarifications.



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  3. #2
    Gastric Sleeve Member sraebaer's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
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    Default Re: Question regarding medication for trip

    You won't get any medication, online or in a drug store, without a prescription from a doctor. And I'm not sure how that would work when you are visiting from another country. Talk to your doctor to see what he/she says.

    I think CVS and Walgreens are all over the USA. If you get a prescription at one, you could get refills at any of their branches, which would work while you're on the road.

    What fun you will have!



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  5. #3
    Gastric Sleeve Member Dutchie's Avatar
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    Simonne
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    Default Re: Question regarding medication for trip

    So I would only need one prescription and that could last me the whole year?
    So, when I take a prescription from my doctor I could visit another doctor somewhere on our trip (where? ER? Other place?) and get a US prescription?
    And with that I can go to one of those stores you mentioned?

    O yes, we will really have a ton of fun.
    We already have!
    I am planning like crazy.
    You wouldn't believe the to-do list we already have and we have only begun to make plans!
    Starting our trip in Washington DC and than traveling anti clockwise to Alaska, then down south, California, (Las Vegas of course! ) , and then along the southern border to Florida and back up north, ending in Baltimore.
    All the National Parks we want to see and all the cities!
    I am going nuts...
    English is not my first language anymore, so I may and do make mistakes in my spelling, or say things oddly. Please ask me, if you want any clarifications.



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  7. #4
    Gastric Sleeve Member sraebaer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question regarding medication for trip

    The National Parks would be top of my list! Arches is my favorite, but I love them all. Mesa Verde, Yosemite, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, etc.

    Typically here we get prescriptions written for 6 months, so get a refill each month. Not sure if you could get them for a year. But yes, if say CVS or Walgreens has your prescription on file you could pick up a refill at any location in the country.



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  9. #5
    Gastric Sleeve Member Dutchie's Avatar
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    Simonne
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    Default Re: Question regarding medication for trip

    That is very convenient!
    Thanks!

    And check, check, check, check and check!
    Plus a lot of others.
    Arches, which one is that?
    The one in Moab, Utah?
    In that case: check!

    So many beautiful parks... just looked into Denali, in Alaska.
    I'm in love...
    English is not my first language anymore, so I may and do make mistakes in my spelling, or say things oddly. Please ask me, if you want any clarifications.



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  11. #6
    Gastric Sleeve Member sraebaer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question regarding medication for trip

    Yep, Arches is near Moab. Most famous is "Delicate Arch" but I think the park has hundreds. Close by is Mesa Verde, Canyonlands, and the Great Sand Dunes. All fun! You should be able to buy some sort of pass to get you into them all for the year.



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  13. #7
    Gastric Sleeve Member Ann2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question regarding medication for trip

    I dunno about the prescriptions, but US national parks are DA BOMB! They should be the skeleton of your itinerary.

    And, of course, you'll come to see me.

    In Missouri, depending on where and when you'll be near here.



    Consult: 235 lbs
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  15. #8
    Gastric Sleeve Member EllisM80's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question regarding medication for trip

    You won't be able to get a prescription in the US that was written by a doctor outside of the US but yes, you could go to an urgent care or primary doctor to get a prescription. You might want to have your current doctor write you a script that you can pick up before you leave home along with some kind of records that show you need refills while in the state. A letter from your doctor maybe.




    HW: 315 lbs (2008) Maintained at 296 until 2015.
    SW: 255 lbs (10/11/18)
    1 mth post op: 229 -26lbs
    8 weeks post op 213 -42lbs
    3 month post op 197 -58lbs (at home)
    3 month post op appt 196 -59 lbs (1/28/19)
    6 month post op 171 -84 (4/11/19)

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  17. #9
    Gastric Sleeve Member Dutchie's Avatar
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    Simonne
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    Default Re: Question regarding medication for trip

    Thanks Michelle! (love your name btw, we named our daughter Michelle... )
    Multiple possibilities, as I understand you correctly.
    I can either go to an ER (which is basically the same as in Europe) or a primary care doctor.
    They have practices like in health care centres, which I can find in most towns?

    Well, I still have a lot of time to figure things out, we are aiming to set sail in March 2020.
    March/April is a good time to start the journey, but next March is too soon.

    Yes, the NP's are first on the list and there are a lot of them.
    And I would love to see you Ann!
    English is not my first language anymore, so I may and do make mistakes in my spelling, or say things oddly. Please ask me, if you want any clarifications.



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  19. #10
    Gastric Sleeve Member Sandra3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question regarding medication for trip

    Hi Simonne!!

    What a nice project!!! you will have so much fun during that year!! We lived in total over 8 years in the US, took me like 8/9 years of vacations to see all that. And I have a sweet spot for Arizona and Utah, also Portland...parks are all a gem...but anyway...don't expect too much from Vegas, I was disappointed and had to go at least 7 times (with guests) the best part for us was the amazing shows, my fav was LOVE...

    After many years in the US, with many kids and my complicated health, here is what I learned:

    Prices are very different from Europe for medication. And many things that you can't buy in Europe without a prescription, you can in the US. (PPI are on shelves in the US, not in France you need a script).
    For example, my ventoline which cost nothing in France was like 100$, same for my Epipen, it's like 15 € in France but can go up to 350+$ in the US.

    So the best way to get ready is to look at the prices before your trip and stock up what's expensive, and also sometimes in the US you can download coupons for the expensive stuff from the company making it (did that for the epipen when I had to renew it in the US).

    What I also did : I had a reward card for CVS and Walgreen, also Aid something an other pharmacy, but CVS is almost everywhere, it was always my first choice. I would get discount coupons also that way.

    And I made an appointment with a nurse practitioners at CVS or Walgreen if I was running out of something, they would write me a new script. Those consults are way cheaper compare to the ER or urgent care, and you can book it online, usually you can see someone the same day or even one or two hours later.
    Also a cheap way to get vaccins.

    Actually in a few cases I was able to get refills from my French scripts when the pharmacist was smart enough and seen me a few times before. For example, one of my ventoline was by accident in my suitcase in cargo, gaz got lost, and the one I have always with me was empty because something pushed on it in my bag. The pharmacist could hear I had an asthma attack, I did show him my French prescription and my empty spray and he did refill it no question asked, and even got me the other medication I needed which was not written on the script.

    What's weird is that a few items can be crazy expensive, others are crazy cheap. For example acetaminophen and other stuff like Tums or Loperamid (Imodium) I would buy the store brand (Equate) at Walmart, Walmart has one of the cheapest pharmacy (from my experience and the medications I use) and you can actually transfer your RX there, also they have this 4$ prescription program which is really cool but also Costco can have amazing deals as well.

    For example, Loperamid, at Walmart they have the gel capsules, really efficient and cheap, but in some States you can't buy much because of a Law...because people use Loperamid to make a street drug. During my last trip in 2017 the pharmacist was telling me the sale would be restricted soon. So I got 3 bottles...Still have 2. The gel version is really fast and efficient compared to the capsules, and no gel in France or Asia.

    When I was living in Asia, I would stock up all my (shelve) medication and vitamins for almost one year for the cheap stuff during a trip to the US.
    Also when you travel with prescription medication, always keep your script or they could confiscate it at the border. Also get your google translate ready in case Customs don't understand what's on the bottle you can scan it and get the translation on your phone, did that for Chinese...was a life saver.

    For vitamins, vitacost.com is my fav, even for organic grocery. Really cheap.

    And most important, pay for a really good travel insurance. Because surgery or any accident you might need to have during your trip would cost a real fortune, hopefully you won't need any, but better safe than sorry.

    I was covered by my French insurance (we are covered in all countries with my work, but usually unless it's a hospital stay we have to pay upfront), they had a satellite office in Florida, but the coverage was not always the same, depending on where I was, some States are cheaper. When I worked in DC prices where crazy and I had to actually negotiate the prices myself at the pediatrician, pay and get a refund later directly from France, because at the end it was cheaper that way than letting our satellite office "discuss the price" with the doctor 's office. At the end I would pay much more from my pocket that way!
    Also in DC, the pneumologist visit plus one hour of "spray with mask" or tests would cost 690$, my insurance at that time would pay directly only if it was over 700$, so I had to pay that amount each time during my pneumonia, then wait 3 months for refund..

    Anyway, good thing you can prepare and get ready it will avoid surprises!

    Have a good Xmas day!!! XX


    HW : 150 kgs
    09/02/2014 : 142 /1st apt
    01/20/2016 : 134 /surgery
    01/30/2016 : 130 /1st post-op
    02/27/2016 : 126 /2nd
    04/23/2016 : 118 /3rd
    07/16/2016 : 109 / 4th
    10/01/2016 : 103 /5th
    01/21/2017 : 98 /1 year post-op
    February 2017 : 100 lbs lost
    07/22/2017 : 96
    10/21/2017 : 93
    12/22/2017 : 91
    01/02/2018 : 96!! regain (medication)

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  21. #11
    Gastric Sleeve Member Dutchie's Avatar
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    Simonne
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    Default Re: Question regarding medication for trip

    Wow Sandra!
    Thank you so much!

    Luckily, our medical insurance provides global coverage, for all costs, medication included.
    But I'll make sure to check that out again.

    I don't think the immigration officer appreciates us bringing our drugs for one year into the country...
    But as long as I can get them en route, it's fine.
    We are quite used to that, being the perpetual travelers as we are.
    I'll copy and paste all the things and tips here, you won't believe how long my list with notes already is...

    Now up to the next challenge: entering the country and get a permit for one year, instead of six months.
    Our RV can stay for one whole year, but we have to leave the country after six months...
    English is not my first language anymore, so I may and do make mistakes in my spelling, or say things oddly. Please ask me, if you want any clarifications.



  22. #12
    Gastric Sleeve Member Sandra3's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question regarding medication for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by DutchSleeve View Post
    Wow Sandra!
    Thank you so much!

    Luckily, our medical insurance provides global coverage, for all costs, medication included.
    But I'll make sure to check that out again.

    I don't think the immigration officer appreciates us bringing our drugs for one year into the country...
    But as long as I can get them en route, it's fine.
    We are quite used to that, being the perpetual travelers as we are.
    I'll copy and paste all the things and tips here, you won't believe how long my list with notes already is...

    Now up to the next challenge: entering the country and get a permit for one year, instead of six months.
    Our RV can stay for one whole year, but we have to leave the country after six months...
    Your very welcome Simonne!

    For your insurance, just make sure if they have a limit or not. I just learned a few weeks ago that our insurance do (now) in the US, they didn't when we worked there (so at least until 2011). But some colleagues abused the system and got there chimo covered in the US which cost like 30 times more than in France. So now there is a limit of 200 000$, and after that the insurance pay for a medical flight back to homeland.
    Since I'm considering a job in the US for September, that's one point to explore on my side too. Because I've been sick for several months, and until I find out what's really behind (or not) I wouldn't go the coverage is too low. Or I would have to pay for an other insurance, but in our case, work pay part of it so...something to think about.

    For the medication, I used to travel from France to the US with lots of medication, but never any strong painkiller or narcotic, don't need to use that. So customs didn't really care, but I always declared everything at the custom, wrote it in details on my custom form. Traveling with my many kids the officers never asked anything, they checked once when I was by myself for work. When they see the containers are new and sealed it's also easier, they will not test it for narcotics. (we've been tested once in London, open container).
    From the US to other countries, no issues, and I was coming with lots of pills and bottles, but lots of vitamins, homeopathy and just basics stuff...

    Good luck for the immigration and tourist visa/permit. My longer stay being for work I didn't do much in that area, someone at work took care of it. But when doing it for myself, that was something else...not really fun! but you should be fine, at least for applicants from Europe it's much easier compare to other countries. The officers know we will leave. Showing your life is in your own country, if you have properties, family etc is an easy way to convince them you are just there for a short time.
    I know a colleague had his mum stay with him for one year when we worked in DC, and he got the papers showing she was retired and staying with him, he just showed he would pay for all her expenses if needed because her pension was on the low side. He got the permit really fast. Being retired is a good thing!!


    HW : 150 kgs
    09/02/2014 : 142 /1st apt
    01/20/2016 : 134 /surgery
    01/30/2016 : 130 /1st post-op
    02/27/2016 : 126 /2nd
    04/23/2016 : 118 /3rd
    07/16/2016 : 109 / 4th
    10/01/2016 : 103 /5th
    01/21/2017 : 98 /1 year post-op
    February 2017 : 100 lbs lost
    07/22/2017 : 96
    10/21/2017 : 93
    12/22/2017 : 91
    01/02/2018 : 96!! regain (medication)

  23. #13
    Gastric Sleeve Member AnnieG's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
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    Annie
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    Default Re: Question regarding medication for trip

    Quote Originally Posted by DutchSleeve View Post
    I need some help from you online friends.
    We are planning an extended trip, with our RV, to the USA.
    We will be there for a year and travel around.
    Bringing prescription medication for such a long time will be difficult, so I need to buy those in the USA.

    I see, that I can buy those medications online.
    Does that mean, I can basically buy them everywhere in a drugstore?
    That would be very convenient of course, but I am not sure how this works.
    Does the fact that I can buy them online mean, these are non-prescription drugs in the US?
    If not, do I have to go to an ER to get the medications we need?
    Personal medication btw, nothing to do with the sleeve.
    I agree with the travel choices - and if you're going through NC please stop and see us!
    RE: the prescriptions....

    In the US, some prescriptions cannot be filled even in a different state i.e., CVS and Walgreen or Walmart cannot fill any Class 3 prescription without an ORIGINAL handwritten prescription. Some things without insurance stateside may be prohibitively costly. If you want to PM me, I would be glad to give you my direct email and look up the particular medications for you.

    Your physician (or national healthcare?) would need a direct doctor contact for prescriptions to be written. Wherever you are coming in to the states would probably be your best place.

    How exciting you are traveling! <3
    [I]HW: 240 lbs CW: 205 lbs: SW: 199 lbs GW: 130 lbs

    1 MO = 167.0 2 MO = 156.4
    3 MO = 148.4 4 MO = 140.6
    5 MO = 136.0 6 MO = 130.0 (GOAL)
    1 YR = 122.0 20 MO = 130.0

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  25. #14
    Gastric Sleeve Member Dutchie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question regarding medication for trip

    Thank you Annie, that is also very helpful!
    I may take you up on your offer, to help me look at the specific medications.
    But I will go and check with my own health insurance first to see, what they have to offer.
    I still have a lot of time, but I am one of those people that wants to have things done, so I don't have to worry about that anymore.
    Checking off my list, so to speak.

    And yes, we will be travelling through NC, on our way back from Florida to Baltimore...
    Would love to meet you, we will see how things work out.
    English is not my first language anymore, so I may and do make mistakes in my spelling, or say things oddly. Please ask me, if you want any clarifications.



  26. #15
    Gastric Sleeve Member Christie13's Avatar
    I have had a gastric sleeve.
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    Default Re: Question regarding medication for trip

    Most pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS have clinics inside and depending on the type of medications you can get a prescription there. But not sure what kind of medications you are talking about. You could go to a doctor and get a prescription and then once you have it you can fill at any pharmacy.



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