If you have a condition that requires you to take prescription medication with you when travelling, it is important to know the documentation you may need. Different countries will require differing documents and protocol, so check regulations against your destination ahead of departure. This way you’ll avoid any issues with travelling with your medicines.
Here are a few important facts about taking medicines abroad with you:
Pack prescription medication in your carry-on luggage
It is important to keep all medications in your carry-on luggage so they’re easily to hand should you need to explain what they are, and why you have them. If they are in your checked-on luggage, your bag could be confiscated by security or searched, which could be very disruptive to your travel plans.
Pack copies of all prescriptions, including the generic names for medications
It’s important to have copies of all your prescriptions for any medicines you take with you. If possible, try to have the generic names and translations for medications; these may be helpful when you try and explain why you have them with you. It is wise to leave a copy of your prescriptions at home with a friend or relative in case you have any issues, or lose the original copies.
If carrying controlled substances or injectable medicines, bring a note on letterhead stationery from your doctor
If you must carry injectable medication or controlled substances, always carry a doctor’s note with you. You may require this if you carry an EPI Pen for severe allergies for example. Doctor’s notes should be signed and on headed paper, and can save valuable time if you need to explain what medications are for. Again, try and see if you can get letters translated into the language of the country you are travelling to, to avoid extra hassle.
Check the FCO recommendations for travelling with medicines or controlled drugs
Before travelling, check with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office to be sure your medicines will be allowed into the country you are visiting. If you are abroad already, check with the nearest British embassy or consulate.
Even if you are not planning to bring any prescribed medication abroad, you may still need to carry records of your immunisations with you. Always check with your doctor and with your destination country to see what you need before departure.