Last reply 8 years ago
Avonex Pen & Travelling!!!

Hi Guys,

Has anyone done travelling and had to carry their medication around with them?? I an going to South America for 4 months and wonder if I will be able to get a cooling bag large enough for 4 months supply in a convenient sized bag preferably a backpack??? Will it keep my medication cool enough?

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jat721
8 years ago

I use Copaxone, which is able to come to room temperature. But I do travel with a small gel pack to keep it from getting too warm. Just make sure you have the prescription label with it, and I would get a doctors note as well since you will be taking such a large quantity with you. Check with the airline to make sure you can carry that much on; if not you can check with Avonex to see if they will ship it to you down there.


chia
8 years ago

I travelled with partner (and his Avonex pens) and had to plan it myself.
We used to backpack before his diagnosis and travel really low budget anywhere. We decided to keep doing it as long as it was possible. Last trip was for a month in Vietnam.
I got cooling bags calling the Avonex helpline (the NHS later sent us a cooling bag and a practical carrier bag too). They carry 4 doses, but I reckon you could fit more removing the pens from their boxes.
Since they only keep the temperature for 24h I had to book the first night in a little hotel with mini bar where to store it after the long flight. I also contacted private clinics throughout the country where we left and stored the pens and later collected them according to need. People was really supportive.
That allowed us to freely travel exactly how we used to do!
Make sure you bring a small thermometer to keep near the pens all the time to check fridges and cooling bags temperature.
Good luck and enjoy your travelling.


pebbles19
8 years ago

Thanks for the advice, starting to wonder if my trip is really feasible to do. As i’m going to South America we will be travelling around and so won’t really be able to leave the pens anywhere and be able to pick them back up when we’ll be on the move. Also looking at staying in hostels along the way and we won’t be booking them until we are in the country and so don’t know what fridge facilities will be like. I guess I should speak to my Avonex nurse and see what she thinks


chia
8 years ago

Leaving the pens into the clinics allowed us to stay in hostels without booking, the only booking was for the first night. We left them in 2 big cities in the north/south of the country.
Also, a pen could be stored at room temperature for up to 7 days, which allowed us to travel with the weekly dose without bothering about the temperature.
4 months id definitely a bit harder to plan, though.


pebbles19
8 years ago

Yeah it feels like its going to involve a lot of planning, but I guess where there’s a will, there’s a way 🙂


chia
8 years ago

Sure there is!
Good luck and enjoy, it’s going to be easier than it may seem now… I am amazed how can things, with just a little bit of thinking in advance, results feasible and easier than thought in spite of MS 🙂


catarina
8 years ago

I’ve have only done it BEFORE I was diagnosed – fridge facilities… it depends on what kind of trip you’re planning (cause there are hostels and “hostels”, these last ones being my favourites thought=P) Bolivia will be the most dificult country in terms of facilities, but all rural areas in general (colombia, peru, argentina…) can be quite challenging – but then again, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!
Let me know how it went, I’m doing it again WITH MS in a few months (so looking forward to it!) =) Good luck with that, boa viagem!


gpeps
8 years ago

@pebbles19 firstly, I think it’s great that you’re looking to go travelling in South America. I think it might be worth trying to contact the UK rep at Biogen Idec (the company behind Avonex) to ask them directly how they might be able to help you. After all, it’s a great advert for their treatment if you’re able to go travelling while on their therapy so I hope they might be able to help. Your neurologist might be able to put you in touch with the rep.

If you can give the rep a vague idea of your itinerary, they might be able to arrange for you to collect a supply part way through your trip. Major cities of the more developed countries might be the best places to try and arrange this. Could you ask if the Avonex could be couriered to an a pre defined address (private hospital, smart hotel etc.?) – don’t know but maybe worth asking…

As you say, with time and a bit of planning I hope you can make it work. I definitely think it’s worth asking the questions though.

Best of luck!


cbeebies
8 years ago

Hi. My daughter is diabetic and the diabetes websites are a good source of info as you need to store insulin in a fridge. I’m sure you’ll find a solution there, they do cool packs especially for carrying insulin around. Try DiabetesUK as a starting point.


pebbles19
8 years ago

Thanks Catarina, I’m really excited about the trip but do have doubts 🙁 when are you off?? Are you travelling around South America?

Gpeps, I’m actually from Ireland, would you say there is an Irish rep I could contact? If not I will have to contact my Avonex nurse and see what she can do/advise for me. As it stands this is the only (as far as I am aware)stumbling block remaining in planning the trip!!! I seem to have figured ways around everything else!! It doesnt seem to be a problem getting 4 months supply to South America, it’s more making sure I can store and keep cool along the way. Maybe if I was really lucky, as you say they could deliver to places for me each month and I would just have to collect, I have an itinerary so could present it to them and see what they say!!

Cbeebies, thanks for the advice. I actually had a look at some of the insulin cooling bags yesterday, but am hoping Avonex wil be able to supply me with an appropiate bag!!


pebbles19
8 years ago

So after speaking to my Avonex nurse yesterday evening it looks like it’s not going to work travelling with the Avonex Pen to South America, too much trouble with refridgeration!!!! She has suggested that I change to the Avonex powder solution which can be kept at room temperature and so takes out the hassle!! Apparently not as simple as the Avonex Pen as I will have to learn to mix solution etc…….but if I want to go on my hols, this seems to be the easiest option!!!! Potentially another problem overcome!!! 🙂

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