NY Travel Clinic

How To Ensure Travelling with Medication Legally

Most people take different medications when they travel. In the past, carrying medicines while traveling was not much of a hassle. It was not uncommon to find people traveling with sleep medications, painkillers, and pills for nausea, diarrhea, migraine, high blood pressure and diabetes in their carry-on luggage. For the most part, the officers at the airport just let things slide.

However, the world has changed a lot in the past two decades, and the growing epidemic of drug abuse and drug trafficking now affects travelers.

Today, any person who is planning to travel needs to be  better prepared or risk having their medications confiscated by the authorities. Not only can one face difficulties while traveling with prescription medication within the US, but also some sleeping pills, cold medications, pain pills and anti-allergy medications are illegal in certain countries.

Two countries with very rigid laws on medications on travelers are Japan and the United Arab Emirates. These two countries have a total ban on travelers bringing in sedatives, common cold medications and any type of pain pill. The majority of travelers will not have a problem if they are carrying one prescription pills for personal use but if you take a jar full of codeine or tramadol for your joint pain, not only will the medication be confiscated but you may be arrested, incarcerated, fined or even deported. In Indonesia with its very severe drug laws, any type of opiate pill, even if legally prescribed, is viewed seriously.

Here are some tips on how you can travel with your prescriptions and over-the-counter medications legally:

It is very important that you carry a letter from the doctor or the pharmacist about the medications you are taking and have the name and phone number of this professional healthcare worker handy just in case. One can never be too safe in today’s highly monitored traveling environment.