Many Americans rely on prescription medications to stay healthy and pain-free. If you’re traveling overseas, however, you need to think about how your prescription will affect your trip.
Here’s what you need to know if you use prescription medications and you are traveling outside of the United States.
Stock up on your pharmaceuticals before you travel.
Getting your prescription filled overseas can be a hassle, so try to bring a sufficient amount of your medications with you for your entire trip. Talk to your doctor and explain the circumstances. Ask for an extended prescription. While you’re at your doctor’s office, get a signed description of your medical condition. Consider getting a medical alert bracelet if you have serious medical conditions that might cause an emergency overseas.
After you get your prescription, contact your airline and let them know that you’ll be traveling with a large amount of medicine. This is particularly important if you need to take a liquid due to airline security restrictions.
If you run out of prescription drugs overseas, you’ll need to visit a pharmacy.
Check online to find a nearby pharmacy with a good reputation and call ahead to make sure that they have your prescription in stock.
Foreign pharmacies cannot check your prescription as easily as your local pharmacy, so bring contact information for your physician. The pharmacist can then call or email your doctor to verify your prescription while you wait.
Make sure to keep track of time zones when you visit a pharmacy. If your doctor’s asleep, he or she obviously won’t be able to verify your prescription. Bring the description of your medical condition.
Remember that some prescription drugs are illegal in certain countries.
Before you travel with prescription drugs or visit foreign pharmacies, contact the U.S. Embassy in your destination country. Ask about local laws and tell them about your medication needs. They will provide accurate information that will help you stay legal when traveling with prescription drugs.
If you get a prescription filled overseas, try to get the smallest possible dosage. In some countries, a large prescription might seem suspicious, particularly if you use a medication that is associated with drug trafficking.
Finally, take care when traveling from country to country. What’s legal in one country might be completely legal in a neighboring country, so always check with the U.S. embassy when traveling with prescription medications. If you use some common sense and keep appropriate paperwork on you at all times, you should have a hassle-free, safe trip.