I recently got anti-bacterial cream from my GP. I need to apply it twice a day every day for 2 weeks. I am going to the US on the 2nd of June, can I bring it with me? If so, do I need to put it anywhere specifically ?


Yes, you can bring it; it should be in its original container. See https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/67/~/traveling-with-or-mailing-medications-and-medical-devices,-such-as-needles-or:

Prescription medications should be in their original containers with the doctor's prescription printed on the container.  It is advised that you travel with no more than personal use quantities, a rule of thumb is no more than a 90 day supply.  If your medications or devices are not in their original containers, you must have a copy of your prescription with you or a letter from your doctor.  A valid prescription or doctors note is required on all medication entering the U.S.

As it is a cream, you will probably need to comply with the restrictions on carrying liquids and gels in your luggage.

There are certain exemptions for liquid medications, usually along with "baby food":

The EU air safety page says:

The volume restriction does not apply to medicines and baby food.

However, that page links to another page with more details about liquid restrictions, and that describes an exemption for:

liquids which are to be used during the trip for medical purposes or special dietary requirements, including baby food;

It is not clear whether "during the trip" means "until you reach your next destination" or "until you get home again." In other words, if you're traveling to the US, it's not clear whether use that will occur while you are in the US is included.

The Munich airport, for example, is less ambiguous. It specifically considers the needs on the flight, rather than the entire trip, saying:

Medication and special foods (e.g. baby food and meals for diabetics) needed during the flight (including nose sprays, eye drops and insulin) can be taken on board.

Finally, for reference, the US TSA says:

You may bring medically necessary liquids, medications and creams in excess of 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in your carry-on bag. Remove them from your carry-on bag to be screened separately from the rest of your belongings. You are not required to place your liquid medication in a plastic zip-top bag.

Here, the restriction is only that the liquid or cream be "medically necessary." This is much more flexible, but still doesn't specify whether it must be medically necessary during the flight or in general. I gather that the usual interpretation is permissive, but that could always change.

  • Prescription medicine is exempt from the normal liquid and gel restrictions for TSA screening. You can pull it out separately so it won't count toward space in your plastic bag, and it can be more than 3.4oz. Just keep it in the original packaging with the prescription label so they can identify it. – Zach Lipton May 26 '16 at 17:00
  • @ZachLipton to bring the medicine to the USA, the traveler will need to pass screening by some agency other than the TSA. My understanding of the rules in Europe is that you can bring more than 100ml of medication in your hand luggage only if you will need to use it before you reach your destination. – phoog May 26 '16 at 20:09
  • Interesting. I didn't know Europe restricts liquid medication in this way. – Zach Lipton May 26 '16 at 20:34
  • @ZachLipton well the EU's liquids page is slightly ambiguous, exempting (emphasis added) "liquids which are to be used during the trip for medical purposes or special dietary requirements, including baby food;" That could mean your whole trip until you get home, or just the current day's trip to your next destination. I can well limagine that at least some security services take the first interpretation. The general security page, however, says, "The volume restriction does not apply to medicines and baby food." – phoog May 26 '16 at 21:35
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    @ZachLipton I've expanded the answer with information about liquids rules. I expect in the end if someone showed up with a 150g tube of prescription cream in their hand luggage they'd be likely to get it through security, but I wouldn't want to count on that. It would be safer to put it in a checked bag. – phoog May 26 '16 at 21:48

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