Traveling With Medications and Filling Prescriptions Abroad

As an international traveler, you are subject to the laws of the country you are visiting. So, what do you do, if the medications you are taking are illegal in your destination country?

Find out in advance whether your medications are going to be illegal by contacting the country’s consulate or embassy in the United States. If the drugs you must carry are illegal, you’ll need to get a letter from your doctor that describes your condition and specifies the precise medication you must take for it.

Whenever you have to travel with your own medications, ask your doctor to provide extra prescriptions, so you can obtain refills while abroad, if necessary. Have the doctor provide both the American name for the medication and the generic name. Pharmacists overseas may not recognize the American name.

When packing, bring along all the medication you’ll need for the whole trip, plus more. Divide it into two or even three piles and pack each pile in a different part of your luggage. Should you lose one or more pieces of luggage, you’ll still have a supply of medication to take.

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.