Traveling With Enbrel: A Guide For Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
Greetings to all my fellow rheumatoid arthritis patients out there! As someone who has been living with this condition for years, I understand the struggles that come with it, especially when it comes to traveling. That’s why I want to share my personal experience and tips on how to travel with Enbrel, a commonly prescribed treatment for RA.
What is Enbrel?
Enbrel is a biologic medication that reduces inflammation in the body, helping to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. It’s administered through injections and is typically taken once a week.
Preparing for Travel
Before embarking on a trip, it’s important to plan ahead and make sure you have everything you need. This includes packing your Enbrel medication and any necessary supplies, such as syringes and alcohol wipes.
It’s also a good idea to bring a doctor’s note explaining your condition and the need for your medication, in case you encounter any issues at airport security or customs.
Enbrel must be kept refrigerated, so it’s essential to pack it in a cooler with ice packs. Make sure to check the temperature of the cooler regularly and replenish the ice packs as needed.
If you’re flying, you can bring your Enbrel on board as a carry-on item. Inform the TSA agent that you have medication that needs to be refrigerated and they will allow you to bring it through security.
When you arrive at your destination, make sure to store your Enbrel in a refrigerator as soon as possible. If you’re staying in a hotel, call ahead to ensure that your room has a refrigerator or ask if there’s a communal refrigerator available for guests to use.
Managing Side Effects
Some patients may experience side effects from Enbrel, such as injection site reactions or flu-like symptoms. It’s important to bring any necessary medications, such as pain relievers or antihistamines, to manage these symptoms while traveling.
Sticking to Your Treatment Schedule
Travel can disrupt your normal routine, but it’s important to stick to your Enbrel treatment schedule as closely as possible. Set reminders on your phone or bring a travel-sized pill organizer to ensure that you don’t miss a dose.
Traveling can involve long periods of sitting or standing, which can exacerbate RA symptoms. Make sure to take frequent breaks and stretch your joints to keep them limber. Consider bringing a travel-sized foam roller or yoga mat to use in your hotel room.
When planning activities, keep your RA symptoms in mind and choose activities that won’t cause excessive joint pain. For example, if walking long distances is difficult, consider taking a bus tour or renting a mobility scooter.
Traveling with rheumatoid arthritis can be challenging, but with a little preparation and planning, it’s possible to enjoy your trip while still managing your condition. By following these tips for traveling with Enbrel, you can ensure that your medication stays safe and effective throughout your journey.