Volcanic Ash Catches Travelers with Shortage of Medications


The volcanic ash cloud continues to disrupt air travel. It has left travelers with shortages on medications. This isn’t a problem for everyone, but at least one American woman stranded in London reveals it can be.

Danielle McCarthy filed an iReport with CNN which was then followed up with a more in-depth report on her condition.

McCarthy had her thyroid removed due to cancer. This requires her to take thyroid replacement hormone daily. Her body doesn’t absorb the natural form of the thyroid hormone well which makes her dependent on the synthetic form Synthroid.


Synthroid is not available in the UK. McCarthy has been stuck in London since Thursday when she was due to fly home to New York after attending a sales conference.

Any chronic condition makes a person dependent on medications. Diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s -- just to name a few. If you have any of these conditions and need or chose to travel away from home, consider these tips:

  1. Make an appointment with your health care provider to discuss your travel plans.
  2. Get twice as many supplies needed to travel and bring extra prescriptions and a letter from your doctor explaining that you have diabetes, etc.
  3. Be prepared. Know what facilities are available within the region that you will be traveling.
  4. If you require a medication that is not available where you will be traveling, take twice as much as you may need. Unplanned events (natural disasters, delayed flights, etc) occur and you may need the backup medication


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