Traveling With Your Prescription

The last thing you want to think about before you go overseas is your prescription medication.   If you need to travel with a prescription, here are some key tips: 

  1. Have your doctor write you a letter on his or her letterhead describing any medical condition you might have, the prescription medications, and the generic names of prescribed drugs. All medications should be kept in their original containers and clearly labeled with your name. Be sure to bring your doctor's and pharmacist's telephone numbers with you on your trip.
  2. In case of loss or theft, ask your doctor to write new prescriptions for all your medications. Make sure there is only one prescription per form, since some pharmacies will not fill just one prescription from a multi-prescription form.
  3. Search for key words and phrases in the local language of where you are traveling for your condition and your medication, write them down and bring them with you. 
  4. Pack all your medications in your carry-on bag in case your checked luggage is lost or delayed. In addition, cargo holds are not temperature-controlled for medications.
  5. Pack enough medicine to last your entire trip. Always include some extra in case you are unexpectedly delayed.
  6. If you are crossing time zones, the times you take your medications may change. Discuss working out a schedule with your doctor and ask him or her to record it. If you have access to the Internet, you may want to set up a medication dosage reminder at a site such as
  7. If your medication cannot be purchased over the counter, you may need a prescription from a local physician.
  8. According to the State Department some U.S. prescription medications are illegal in foreign countries and may subject you to arrest. Check with the foreign embassy of the country you are traveling to or passing through to make sure your medications are not considered to be illegal narcotics in that country. Make sure to bring official medical documentation. On first entering a country, bring only medication that is sealed in its original container with its original label. This helps to assure customs officials that the contents have not been changed.
  9. To obtain country-specific information on medications, prescriptions and more, consult the U.S. State Department web site,


Seven Corners
Seven Corners is one of the industry's most experienced travel health insurance providers. The company serves leisure, student, business, government, missionary and volunteer travelers. It offers an extensive selection of international medical and travel insurance policies to U.S. citizens traveling overseas or foreign nationals visiting the United States. The company maintains the industry's most comprehensive network of international health care providers. Seven Corners is a member of the United States Travel Insurance Association, is GSA certified and is currently pursuing a SAS 70 Type II compliant designation. The company is privately held and headquarters just north of Indianapolis in Carmel, IN.