If you’re taking medicines for a health condition, and you’re planning on being away from home for a while, you need to be prepared before travelling.
If you are travelling outside the UK and you have a health condition which requires prescription medicines, your GP will be able to prescribe a maximum of 3 months supply.
If you are going to be away for more than 3 months, you should ask your GP to give you a letter confirming the details of the medicines you are taking. This will enable the doctor you see while abroad to prescribe the appropriate medicine. It might even be worth having the letter translated into the language of your destination country, to avoid any further confusion.
If you are travelling outside the EU you can also contact the relevant country’s embassy or high commission for advice before you go.
Different countries have different rules and regulations about which medicines they allow in or how much of a particular drug you can carry. To avoid risking your health or having a nasty experience with foreign customs, make sure you check all the facts before you leave.
Some prescribed medicines, such as Temazapam and Ritalin, contain controlled drugs meaning they are subject to control under the Misuse of Drugs legislation and there are limits to the amount you are allowed to take abroad. If you need to take more than the maximum allowance, you will need a special license from the Home Office. See the HM Customs and Excise website at http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/ to check the permitted allowances on various drugs.
Countries such as India, Pakistan and Turkey have lists of medicines that they won’t allow in the country so it is worth visiting the UK Foreign and Commonwealth website at http://www.fco.gov.uk/ for a full list of embassy contact details that way you can check well in advance.
Further information can be obtained from the NHS 24 website at http://www.nhs24.com/.