People who have illnesses that require regular medication should be mindful of their medical condition when they plan to travel outside the UK. It is vital to have enough supply of their prescribed medication, since their medicines may not be readily available at their destination.
If you’re travelling with medication, you should check the rules that apply when taking your medicine out of the UK and into a foreign country. Think of the possibilities. You may extend your stay in the country and run out of prescribed medicine. The drugs may not be sold in the country where you’re staying, or your medicine may be considered illegal in another country.
Taking your medicines with you while travelling
Here are a few tips to ensure that you do not have to worry about your regular medication while visiting another country.
- Make plans ahead of time
If your health condition requires you to take prescribed medicine, it is vital to discuss your travel plans with your GP. Do this step at least two months before you leave the UK. Your doctor will tell you if you have to make some special arrangements to take your medicine outside the country.
- Check what medicines are allowed
Keep in mind that different countries have a different set of rules, so you should check what rules apply in the countries in your travel itinerary, including the places where you have to pass through between flights. Some of the things you have to check include the types of medicines that the country allows travellers to bring with them and the maximum quantity you can bring with you.
Always remember that some medicines you can buy over the counter in the UK may be controlled elsewhere. For example, Turkey, Pakistan, and India have a list of medications that you cannot bring. The best thing to do is to check with the embassies of the countries you plan to visit.
- Protocols to follow
Ensure that you can safely bring your medicines with you to another country by following these guidelines:
- Your drugs and medical equipment, such as syringes and needles, should be in their original packages. Ensure that they are labelled correctly.
- Check the airline’s regulations before leaving your home. Most airlines allow you to carry your medicine in your hand luggage. Make sure that a new copy of your prescription is packed with your medications.
- Pack some extra medicine in your check-in luggage or suitcase to ensure that you have a supply in case your hand luggage is lost. Consider getting a prescription medicine travel pack from a reputable pharmacy such as anytimedoctor.co.uk.
- Make sure that the expiry dates of your prescription medicines will be valid for the duration of your trip. Likewise, check your pharmacist’s advice on storing medications that should be refrigerated or kept at room temperature.
- Bring a letter from your GP describing your illness, the details of the prescribed medications, and their brand names and generic names.
Follow these guidelines so you can safely travel abroad with your prescribed medicine. If you are travelling to a country where English is not a common language, have your prescription translated into the local language.