Can You Take Unmarked Vitamins on the Plane?

Whether you suffer from a vitamin deficiency or you simply make a habit of treating your body to an extra boost of nutrients, you probably plan on bringing your vitamins with you on vacation. If you've misplaced the original packaging for the vitamins, you might be worried the Transportation Security Administration won't allow them through the security checkpoint unmarked. The TSA allows travelers to carry all forms of medication, including vitamins, on board even if they are unmarked, but local laws may differ from the TSA's regulations.

Man helping a woman put her suitcase in the overhead bin of an airplane. (Image: Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Allowed Amount

As long as your vitamins are in pill or another solid form, such as gummy vitamins, the TSA allows you to bring an unlimited amount of them in your carry-on luggage. If you take multiple vitamins each day, you won't have to switch to a multivitamin or downsize, because you should have no issues bringing all of the vitamins you normally take.

Packaging

While your vitamins may be unmarked and you might not have the original packaging, you have to keep them contained and separate from the rest of your luggage. The easiest way to comply with TSA regulations and expedite security screening is to put all of the vitamins together in a clear zip-top plastic bag. If you want to keep all of your vitamins sorted, you can put vitamins of the same type in sandwich-sized bags, then put all of the small bags inside one large, clear bag. To minimize confusion, consider marking the bag with the name of the vitamins it contains.

Screening Options

When you reach the TSA checkpoint at the airport, you'll need to remove the bag of vitamins from your luggage so it can be screened separate from your other belongings. You have two screening options available to you. The fastest and most common screening method is x-ray inspection, so you can simply take the bag out, place it in a screening bin and allow it to travel through the x-ray machine. If you're uncomfortable with this method for any reason, speak with a TSA officer at the checkpoint and ask for a visual inspection of your vitamins. If you request a visual inspection, a TSA officer will go through your vitamins to make sure they are not suspicious and pose no threat. Regardless of which screening method you select, the vitamins may need to undergo further inspection if a TSA officer suspects something is off about them. This could include explosive trace detection screening.

Local and International Laws

The TSA notes that some states have their own laws regarding the marking and identification of medications. While these laws primarily are targeted toward prescription medications, there is a chance such laws could apply to vitamins. When flying internationally, the rules are determined by the country you're flying out of rather than the TSA guidelines. It is best to check out local laws where you're traveling to make sure unmarked vitamins are accepted there.

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