Medication for a Heart Condition
Depending on your heart condition you may have been prescribed on-going medication, this could be to help stabilise the condition or prevent/treat any associated side effects.
If you are using a travel insurer that uses a medication-led risk rating tool you will be asked to declare the name of your mediation/s and the reason for taking each one. Similar to declaring a heart condition, you will need to know the exact condition each one has been prescribed for i.e. Ramipril is taken to control blood pressure following a bypass for a coronary blocked artery.
If you are unsure what condition your medication has been prescribed for, before calling your travel insurer or going online for a quote check your prescription or speak with your GP.
Prevention and Treating Medications
After diagnosis you may be prescribed medication to take as a precaution, for example Statins are taken to keep your cholesterol level low to prevent additional strain on the arteries surrounding your heart.
Other medications, such as Bisoprolol and Atenolol (also known as beta-blockers), may be prescribed to control the symptoms of atrial fibrillation and also to reduce high blood pressure. Knowing the exact reason for your medication is important when looking for a travel insurance quote as it will help to assess the risks and ensure you are paying a fair price.
It’s worth noting, if you receive any medication on a prescription and the travel insurance provider asks what medication you take, even if the medication is only used as a preventative or precaution it will still need to be declared on your policy to make sure you have full cover.
Taking medication abroad
When choosing a suitable holiday destination, it may be worth checking that your prescription medication is legal in the country you are planning to travel to. This information can be found by contacting the country’s Embassy or visiting the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website.
Attempting to take illegal or banned medication, whether deliberate or not, into a country could result in a hefty fine, imprisonment or in more extreme cases the death penalty.
A GTN Spray, used to relieve the symptoms of angina, is safe to use in flight however you will need to make the airline and cabin crew aware.
Medications in liquid form should be carried in your hand luggage to prevent any breakages that could occur when your case is in the hold. If you need to take more than 100ml of essential medication away with you, you should speak to your airline to see if they are able to accommodate this– if not, it is a good idea to distribute the medication into several 100ml bottles; one to carry in hand luggage and the rest to wrap in towels/clothing and place in the middle of your suitcase.
Remember to always carry a doctor’s note and your most recent prescription to confirm the reasons for the medication and quantity in case you are questioned by security.