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What to do about Prescriptions

Travel Forums Round the World Travel What to do about Prescriptions

1. Posted by Paulaboo (Budding Member 10 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I have a few meds that I take regularly. I've filled the prescription enough for a while. If I need to refill it, can I bring in a photocopy of my prescriptions? Is it enough that I show them my existing meds?

2. Posted by JungleJano (Budding Member 54 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

That depends on where you are going, and what meds they are. I supposed you can always have meds mailed to you if need be. Try to take a good supply with you.

3. Posted by alsalis (Full Member 63 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

Depending on where you're going I've often found places outside the UK sell some stuff over the counter that you need a prescription for here. But you'd need to check for your specific prescription.

4. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y Star this if you like it!

I agree with both previous posts - it will depend on your destinations and the prescribed medications. Other members have found it very useful to e-mail (or even call) the local embassies for the desired destination (country) and inquire about the status of their medications. Only one particular member has had a problem getting an answer and that was from Israel. All of the other embassies told them exactly what was recommended for entry with prescriptions. Though few and far between, there are certain countries which will not let you enter with a particular drug and require you to have it filled in country. Others, again few and far between, have policies about oral contraceptives.

Check here for information about the countries you plan to visit. If the medication information is not listed in their medical section (toward the bottom of each page), then definitely try the consulates.

My recommendations (and they are ones I follow) are:

  • Request new prescriptions from your physician with expiration dates longer than your time of travel.

  • Carry photocopies of those prescriptions in a seperate place (bag) from the originals - both in carry-on.

  • Request a letter of health from your physician which includes the list of prescribed meds and their contact information (ie: phone and fax numbers).

  • Carry all of your meds in their original containers and in your carry-on luggage.

If you need to refill a medication while away, be sure to ask for that prescription to be returned to you before leaving the pharmacy/chemist. If necessary, the pharmacist can write on the back stating the date of refill and location. This will let the next pharmacist know you are not just going from country to country loading up for resale. (Sounds dumb but it can be a realistic concern.) The first pharmacist may make a photocopy of the prescription for their records.

As alsalis has stated, some medications are available as OTC in some countries. This is particularly true of anti-malarials, with the exception of Malarone which is strictly a prescription med. If you chose to buy something OTC, be sure to use a very reputable pharmacy in a metropolitan area as conterfeit meds are prevalent, especially in S.E. Asia and Africa.

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 4, 2008, at 11:34 AM by Isadora ]