Never take drugs on a plane without trying them first, warn experts

Keeping up to date with which pills you need to take can get really tricky when you are on the move. But whether you’re taking a daily prescription or just need something to help with general aches and pains, experts warn that it’s important to always do one thing before taking medication on an airplane. Read on to see what should always come first for your health.

RELATED: Never Do This When Eating On An Airplane, Flight Attendants Warn.


Maybe you are eager to catch your first flight in a while. Maybe you want to make sure you get enough sleep on your long distance night. Or you could even just try out a new set of supplements that you bought while visiting your friend from out of town. Either way, experts warn that you should never take any medication for the first time while you are on an airplane.

woman sitting in an airplane with mask
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While this might not occur to you before you embark, it is important to be aware of how any type of new pill will affect your physical and mental well-being before you take off. Experts warn that the strength of some pills could cause unwanted effects, ranging from sleepwalking induced by sleeping pills to potential allergic reactions to certain drugs, or even to poor interactions between different drugs.

If you are a nervous flyer try to calm your nerves, you may want to be extra careful before trying any unapproved in-flight pills. “People with genetic anxiety (who are most of us) are generally very sensitive”, Polly Meyers, MD, author and co-founder of Break Free from Anxiety, told Insider. “[Because of] this genetic variation, we can overreact or have a poor response to drugs. “

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Woman holding her head with a headache on an airplane

Even if you plan ahead by selecting a certain dose of a new medicine before your flight, you might be surprised. A report from the University of Cincinnati found that changes in your body, particularly a spike in red blood cells and a reduction in plasma proteins, could alter the potency of certain drugs at high altitudes, Insider reports. This is a bit similar to how alcohol may have a stronger effect in flight than on the ground.

Certain medications could also increase the likelihood of a medical emergency during a flight. The combination of decreased oxygen on board, long periods of sitting or inactivity in your seat, and the dehydration caused by dry conditions on an airplane already makes a blood clotting problem known as of deep vascular thrombosis (DVT) a potential problem on any long-haul flight. But anyone taking hormonal treatments such as birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy could be at high risk for a bleeding incident, especially if they have a history of heart attack or stroke, reports The Conversation.

Woman talking with her doctor

Experts recommend that you discuss any pills you plan to take for your next flight with your doctor. Even if you’re only interested in the over-the-counter options, your doctor can help you find the right dosage or avoid any potential interactions with other medications you’re taking.

Otherwise, it is recommended that you only consume alcohol in moderation during your flight and avoid mixing strong drinks with your medication. You should also make sure you stay adequately hydrated and try to get up and move around every now and then on long flights if your doctor has told you that you are at high risk for blood clotting problems.

And if you’re still trying to overcome stage fright, it may be best to talk to your doctor on the best option before you decide for yourself how to handle it. “It is important to have a good primary care physician who is ready to prescribe anxiety medication right before travel, which could be helpful for people with genuine anxiety disorders. ” Tania Elliott, MD, says Healthline. “Find a provider who is willing to listen to where the anxiety is coming from and to diagnose appropriately. “

RELATED: If This Is Offered To You On A Plane Just Say No, Warn Flight Attendants.

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