Can You Bring Ibuprofen On A Plane? (TSA Rules For Advil, Motrin)

Last Updated on March 22, 2021

Ibuprofen is a handy pain killer and anti-inflammatory to have around.

But can you take ibuprofen on a plane, and if so, where should you pack it?

Let’s take a look.

TSA Ibuprofen Rules

The Transportation Security Administration run airport security screening at the checkpoint.

They don’t mention ibuprofen specifically on their website.

Gail on Twitter asked them if she could pack ibuprofen in her carry-on luggage.

The TSA isn’t there to stop passengers from bringing legal medications onto planes. They have other things to worry about. Illegal drugs are a different story!

You can also pack ibuprofen in checked bags but keep in mind that hold luggage occasionally goes missing. It’s usually best to pack medicine in hand luggage so you don’t lose it.

If you are flying internationally then you should check that any medication you are flying with is legal at your destination.

Questions About Flying With Ibuprofen Or Other Medication

If you have further questions about packing pain killers then you can use the @AskTSA service on Twitter.

Just write a message and the TSA will respond to you.

Here are a few of the questions that travelers have already asked.

Nancy checked about Advil soft gels. They are liquid-filled capsules and we know the TSA can be very particular about flying with liquids.

Even though soft gels contain liquid you don’t need to pack them in your plastic quart-size toiletries bag. Besides medications are exempt from the 3-1-1 liquids rule.

Milani asked if she needed to take her ibuprofen out of her carry on bag when going through the security checkpoint.

The TSA replied, “medication in pill form can remain in your carry-on bag during the screening process. You don’t need to take your ibuprofen out of your carry-on bag.

Heidi asked about bringing children’s liquid ibuprofen in her carry-on.

You can bring liquid ibuprofen on a plane, it doesn’t need to be below 3.4 ounces. If you are traveling with medical liquids that are over the 3.4 oz limit then you should take them out of your bag and ask the TSA officer to apply the exemption for medicines. You don’t need to do this for pills.

A travel size liquid medicine could be packed in your quart-size bag, you don’t need to declare it if it’s under the liquid limit.

And it doesn’t matter which brand of ibuprofen you are flying with. This passenger asked about bringing a 4 oz bottle of Motrin.

The only thing to note is that with a travel size bottle of liquid medicine under 3.4 oz you can simply pack it in your toiletries bag (if you have space) and you don’t need to show it to the TSA officer for additional screening.

Travel size bottles are always handy to have around in case you want to decant any liquid into a TSA approved size of bottle.

It shouldn’t be a problem that it’s not in the original bottle, but make sure you pack the leaflet with the instructions in case you need dosing information.

Alejandra asked if ibuprofen would need to be in original packaging.

For domestic travel within the U.S., you don’t need to have your pills in their original bottles. So you can pack ibuprofen in a pill box or a plastic bag if you want to.

Sara asked if their was a limit to the size of Advil bottle she could pack in hand luggage.

There are no quantity or size limits for medications in pill form.

The Verdict

You can bring ibuprofen or other pills on a plane. They are fine to be packed in carry-on luggage or checked luggage.

Don’t worry that soft gels contain liquid. The TSA doesn’t require you to pack soft gels in your quart size toiletries bag.

If you have liquid medicines that are over the 3.4 ounces liquid limit you can still bring them, even without a prescription. You just need to let the TSA team know so they can inspect them.

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