Sometimes you have no choice except to fly with your prescription drugs, whether they're birth control pills, acne medication or a simple round of antibiotics. However, you can't simply chuck those drugs in your carry-on and forget they're there – the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulates how travelers pack their prescription medicines. Read the rules regarding traveling with prescription drugs to make sure you're flying legally with yours.

TSA Drug Rules

You won't run into too many complications when it comes to getting your prescription medications through TSA. The administration doesn't require you to keep the drugs in their prescription bottles, and if they're in pill or solid form, you can take them in carry-on or checked bags in unlimited amounts as long as they undergo security screening. If you don't want your medication screened by an X-ray, simply ask your TSA agent for an inspection when you go through security.

If your medication is liquid, you'll run into a few TSA-related hang-ups. In most cases, TSA doesn't allow travelers to pack liquids in containers larger than 3.4 ounces in their carry-on luggage, per the 3-1-1 liquids rule. However, medically necessary liquids are exempt from this regulation, as long as they're packed in "reasonable quantities for the flight." You also don't have to pack your medically necessary liquids in zip-top bags. You do, however, have to notify your TSA agent at security that you're traveling with medically necessary liquids in quantities larger than 3.4 ounces.

Destination Regulations on Prescription Drugs

The TSA's medication regulations are pretty straightforward and simple, but unfortunately, they're not the only regulations you have to worry about. Each foreign national government has its own rules regarding prescription medications, so you may run into snags traveling with your drugs, depending on where you go. Check with your travel medical insurance company or pharmacist to make sure you're traveling legally with your medications.

To keep things simple, try to carry all your drugs in their originally, clearly marked prescription containers, even if it's not required by the TSA. Also keep copies of your originally prescriptions on-hand, and if possible, obtain a letter from your physician listing the medications you need and why you need them. Translate this letter to the language of your destination country as an added precaution.

Narcotic and psychotropic medications, often used to treat the symptoms of mental illnesses, are the most strictly controlled in travel. If you've been prescribed these types of drugs and want to travel somewhere where they are prohibited or their permitted amounts are capped, consider lowering your dosage or taking a substitute drug. If that's not possible, you may want to reassess your travel plans.