To avoid getting hung up at airport security, it’s best to be aware of the rules and regulations the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has when it comes to packing vitamins and medications in your checked and carry-on bags.
Here’s all you need to know before boarding your next flight.
Pills and powders
TSA has no restrictions on bringing vitamins in pill form and powder supplements in your checked luggage or carry-on bags. You can pack these items in their original packaging or transfer to pill organizers. You won’t need to declare or show them to TSA agents when going through security.
Capsules, soft gels and liquid vitamins in your carry-on luggage
Over-the-counter, non-prescription capsules and soft gels can be packed in carry-on bags like any other vitamin pill. However, with non-prescription liquid vitamins and supplements, you must follow TSA’s 3-1-1 rule. This rule requires all carry-on liquids, gels and aerosols to be placed in a 3.4 ounce (100ml) container and packed with other liquids in a quart-sized, clear ziplock bag.
When going through security, you may be asked to place this resealable bag of liquids on the conveyor belt along with your other belongings.
Prescription vitamins and medication in your carry-on luggage
You can put prescription vitamins and medication of any kind (pills, gels, liquids, etc.) of any quantity in your carry-on bag, but they must be declared to TSA. An agent will need to inspect them as you go through airport security. The pharmacy’s prescription label with your name on it must be on the bottle or packaging.
Vitamins in checked bags
TSA has no size restrictions for packing vitamins and supplements in checked luggage when you fly. This means you can relax and pack as much as you need for your trip.
Keep in mind, however, there still are rules for total amount of medicinal and toiletry liquids in checked bags. They can’t exceed 70 ounces (2 kg) or 68 fluid ounces (2 L) per person. TSA also states that the “capacity” of the containers must not exceed 18 ounces (0.5 kg) or 17 fluid ounces (500 ml).
Official TSA rules
To read TSA’s rules in their entirety, see the sections on vitamins and liquid medications.