Travelling with medicines

Did you know that some countries restrict or ban medicines which are prescribed in the UK or are available to be bought over the counter here?

Restrictions may cover both the type and quantity of medicine that can be taken in. For example, countries such as India, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Turkey have strict lists of medicines you are not allowed to bring in.

If you are planning to travel abroad and you need to take medication with you, it is essential that you check if there are any restrictions BEFORE you go.

I need to take my prescription medicine with me. What can I do?

  • Plan ahead carefully.
  • Check any restrictions with your airline or travel carrier.
  • Check with the embassy of the country you are planning to visit, and of any country you may be transiting.
  • Take a copy of your prescription(s) with you.
  • For prescribed medicines, check if your prescription will be accepted in English at your destination country.
  • If you need a letter from your GP or healthcare professional confirming you need to carry medication or medical equipment, do allow enough time for this to be prepared (usually 10 working days). Please be aware there may be a charge for this.
  • If you want to travel with liquid medicine that is over 100mls in your hand luggage, you should contact airline prior to travel and check their regulations.
  • Make sure you take enough supplies for the whole of your trip and include extra for unexpected delays, damage or loss.
  • Check that the expiry dates of your medicines will be valid for the duration of your visit abroad.
  • If your medicine needs to be kept at a special temperature or refrigerated, you may need to store it using an ice pack, insulated pouch, thermos flask, cool bag, etc.

How should I travel with my medicine?

  • Keep all your medicines and any medical equipment (needles, syringes, etc.) in their original labelled packaging.
  • Carry your medicines in your hand luggage. If possible, split the medicine between bags, in case one is lost in transit.
  • Keep the copy of your prescription and any letter from a healthcare professional with your medicine or travel documents.

Find out more including link to list of embassies in UK.

Updated: 30.6.22