If you take medications regularly, simply packing ’em up and heading off to the airport is not the only thing you need to prepare for. Other countries can have very different laws and regulations when it comes to prescription (or even non-prescription) medications. Here are six important things to keep in mind if you’re an international traveler who takes medications regularly.
This information can be found on the country’s travel site (most countries have one to promote tourism), or their embassy website. Rules range from how much you can bring to outright bans on controlled substances. Drug laws are not limited to prescription medications. Over-the-counter meds in North America such as motion sickness pills may also have restrictions.
Travelers who take psychoactive drugs (ie. antidepressants and benzodiazepines) or painkillers (ie. narcotics) should pay extra attention, as these drugs are often controlled substances in other countries. Drug trafficking punishments can be extremely harsh, with hefty prison sentences or even the death penalty. Your status as a foreigner does not equal exemption, and there may be little your home country can do if you get arrested.
2. Bring a signed prescription.
Bring a physical prescription with your doctor’s contact information and your details in case you need to prove that your medication is for personal medical use. Always bring prescription medication in their original packaging. Not doing so will look a lot more suspicious, and your medication will likely be packaged with useful information such as dosage, your name, and your doctor’s contact information.
3.Research ways to find your prescription medication if you lose it.
Unfortunately, property can get lost or stolen. You may want to discuss with your doctor about possible withdrawal effects and how to deal with them in the off chance you lose your medication.
4. Translate medical information.
If you have a serious medical condition, carry a medical bracelet or card on your person. Make sure the information is easily accessible and available in the local language. Include data such as your birthday, blood type, height and weight, medications, country of origin, and emergency contact.
Note that drugs in other countries with the same name can be very different in terms of ingredients and dosage. If you can’t find someone to translate, contact the country’s embassy to see if they have any suggestions.
5. Research what the law says about bringing medication home.
Just like other countries abroad, your home country may have more (or less) stringent laws about certain drugs. A drug abroad may be available over the counter but be a heavily controlled substance back home. Do your research!
Need Affordable Medication? Find it Online!
Due to high drug prices back home, many Americans are now looking abroad to buy their prescription medications. Medical tourism can be risky, and an easier and safer way to buy cheaper meds is buying online from an international or Canadian pharmacy.
A Canada pharmacy referral service like Rx Connected is an affordable solution. Rx Connected has undergone a rigorous approval process and only sources from licensed pharmacies and fulfillment centers that have been approved by their respective regulatory bodies.