Humira is a prescription medicine used for the symptomatic treatments of various inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Crohn’s disease (CD), and others. It’s one of the best-selling drugs in the World and comes in the form of self-injectable pens or prefilled syringes.
Like most injectable liquid medicines, Humira is sensitive to high temperatures and temperature changes. It requires refrigeration when not in use and needs to be protected from the heat once open. Because of these specific storage requirements, traveling with Humira can be challenging. How to make sure your Humira pen stays refrigerated and protected from the outside heat while you’re traveling?
Related article: 8 Great tips for traveling with Psoriatic and Rheumatoid Arthritis
How to travel with Humira?
Traveling with chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn's disease raises a great number of questions. Keeping Humira cool is a big concern for people traveling with this medicine. Another one is about documentation: what papers do you need to travel nationally or internationally with Humira?
How to keep Humira cool while traveling?
Like similar injectable medications used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease such as Enbrel, Actemra, Cimzia, Orencia, Taltz, Kevzara, Cosentyx, or Simponi, Humira (Adalimumab) is sensitive to temperature and light. It quickly deteriorates and loses efficiency when exposed to high temperatures or direct light.
Traveling with refrigerated medications requires carefulness and organization. Whether you’re flying, taking a cruise ship, road tripping through the States, or spending a day at the beach, your life-saving medicine needs to stay cool, so it does not spoil.
According to Abbvie, Humira’s manufacturer, “Humira needs to be stored in a refrigerator ((2°C-8°C/36°F-46°F) in its original container and protected from the light until it’s used (…). It may be stored at room temperature up to a maximum of 25°C/77°F for a period of up to 14 days, with protection from light.”
To make sure your Humira pen is safe and does not deteriorate while traveling, you must keep it refrigerated (when not in use) or protected from the heat (once open). If you're living in or traveling to places where the outside temperatures are often above 25°C/77°F, you need to use a medical travel cooler.
Here are a few pieces of advice to keep Humira cool and protected from the light in all situations:
- Use a medical cooler if needed
- Avoid direct sunlight
- Always keep your Humira pen in the shade
- Leave it at home if you're going to the beach or other sunny and warm places
- Never leave your Humira pen in the car
- Keep it far away from heat sources such as the hot plate, burner, oven, fireplace, barbecue, etc.…
Caution: Humira pens or syringes that have not been stored according to the above instructions aren't safe for use anymore.
How to travel internationally with Humira?
Another big concern for people traveling with chronic diseases is how to travel internationally with their medications. When you live with diseases like diabetes, asthma, chronic migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, or others there’s no way you would leave your home country without your life-saving medications.
But how to cross borders with your meds? What documents do you need to go through airport security and customs checkpoints? Will your travel insurance cover the costs of an unfortunate health-related event while in Thailand?
While Humira is a drug that's sold in most countries around the globe, you still have some paperwork to plan before flying off! Here’s a list of the documentation you might be required to show when traveling internationally with medications like Humira:
- A doctor’s letter
- Your medical prescriptions
- A document from your pharmacy
- The original containers and labels of the medicine
- Your medical health card
Related article: Arthritis Travel Insurance: How to Make Sure You're Covered?
Can you fly with Humira?
Yes, you can fly with your Humira pens and prefilled syringes, as well as all the necessary medical supplies associated with their use (unused and used needles, alcohol swabs, syringes, etc.). Medications are not subject to the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule for liquids, gels, and aerosols. The Transportation Security Administration expressly states so on its website.
When traveling by plane, always pack Humira and other medicines and medical supplies in your carry-on. Checked luggage sometimes gets lost. Besides, the atmosphere and temperature conditions in the hold aren't stable and your medicine could get damaged during the flight.
To speed up and smooth the airport security screening process, you may want to download, print, and fill out a TSA medical notification card, but it’s no obligation.
Be aware that due to pressure changes during take-off and landing, air bubbles can appear in your Humira pens or prefilled syringes. It's no problem, but you must prime your pen or syringes before proceeding to the next injection to get rid of all the air inside. If not, you would be injecting air instead of medicine, which could lead to a lack of medicine and the correlated side effects.
Related article: Flying with Arthritis, How to Prepare for Long-Haul Flights?
Can Humira go through airport x-ray machines?
Yes. Humira can safely go through airport x-ray machines. But if you’re not comfortable with putting your medication in the x-ray machines, note that you always have the right to request a hand-screening of your luggage instead.
Related article: 10 Great Anti-inflammatory Snacks for Rheumatoid Arthritis.
4AllFamily Humira Travel case to keep Humira cool
Because of its high sensitivity to temperatures and its rigorous storage instructions, traveling with Humira can be stressful. How to make sure your medicine is safe and kept at the right temperature at any time and in any situation?
What if you're on an off-the-beaten-track hiking route and have no electricity to refrigerate your Humira pen? What if you're going on a 4-week road trip across Canada? Or what if you need to take your refrigerated pen of Humira on a 14-hours flight?
4AllFamily Humira travel cooler
4AllFamily specializes in medical-grade travel coolers for people living with chronic diseases and depending on refrigerated medications. Our product line is made to fit everyone’s needs from a few hours of protection from the outside heat to several days of constant refrigeration.
Depending on your needs and lifestyle, our different coolers can function with simple biogel freeze packs or USB power. They're pluggable into any USB-compatible power source such as household power, car cigarette lighters, travel-size power banks, or portable solar panels.
All of our medicine travel coolers are TSA-approved so you can board the plane with your refrigerated medicines.
Related article: 10 Useful tips for traveling with Crohn’s Disease and IBD
We hope this article has answered all your questions about traveling with Humira. If not, please do not hesitate to ask in the comment sections. We’d be happy to help you out!