It’s inevitable that some travellers need to take medication on holiday, but did you know there are rules about what medication you can and can’t take abroad?
The NHS notes: “Check the rules for all the countries you’re going to, including countries that you’re just passing through.
“Different countries have different rules and regulations about:
- the types of medicine they allow to be taken into the country
- the maximum quantity you can take in
“Some medicines available over the counter in the UK may be controlled in other countries and vice versa.”
Common medications prohibited in certain countries
A number of countries do not allow Diazepam, which is often used in anti-anxiety medication, as well as for muscle spasms and inflammations – and ironically, it’s often prescribed for fear of flying.
Greece and Japan do not allow medication with Diazepam and it is also banned in the UAE.
However, it is allowed in Dubai, but only if it is declared beforehand through an online form introduced last year. If not, tourists may face prosecution.
Codeine and/or Tramadol
Medicines containing Codeine or Tramadol are banned in countries including the UAE, Japan, Indonesia and Greece.
You’re also not allowed to bring too much Codeine or Tramadol into Egypt.
Medication containing pseudoephedrine
Pseudoephedrine, found in common decongestant products such as Sudafed and Vicks, is banned in Japan.
Sleeping pills and treatments for ADHD
Sleeping pills and treatments for ADHD are illegal in Indonesia
Cold and cough remedies
In Qatar, over-the-counter medicines such as cold and cough remedies are controlled substances and therefore must be accompanied by a prescription.
When visiting China, tourists should always carry a doctor’s note alongside any personal medicines.
Gov.uk explains that you should ask your doctor or pharmacist whether your medicine contains a controlled drug.
You can also check the drugs listed on the packaging of your medicine and search for them on the controlled drugs list.
Gov.uk notes that if your medicine contains a drug listed as schedule 2, 3 or 4 on the controlled drugs list, you need to either:
- prove it is prescribed to you
- get a licence – if you’re travelling for at least 3 months or carrying enough to last you that long
Travel Health Pro explains that, “Travellers should check the regulations on importing or transporting medicines to their chosen destination by contacting the relevant embassy or high commission, or by checking the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) country advice.”
This article was originally posted on our sister site, Yorkshire Evening Post.