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Taking medicines abroad

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If you are undergoing treatment or taking a particular drug for side effect relief, it’s important you plan ahead and consider what you need for your holiday in advance to allow you to have a worry-free trip.

If you need to take your medication abroad with you, you must check the rules and restrictions within your destination country regarding bringing your medication into the country.

There are certain things you may need to think about or consider before you plan your holiday:

Length of trip

If you’re travelling for more than three months and need to take medication every day you may need to find out if you need a personal medicines licence from the Home Office for carrying this as you will be taking a large amount of medication with you.

Be prepared

Make sure you have your medicines, covering letters and licences for any controlled drugs in your hand luggage as this makes it easier for customs officers to check them.

Time zones

Consider the time differences of the country you are travelling to as you will needed to gradually change and adjust the times you take your regular medicines to fit in with the local time of your holiday location.

Plan ahead

Check in advance how much medication you will need to ensure you have enough medication for your whole trip. You may need to order them in advance.

Check availability

Check that the medication you need is available in the country you’re travelling to and note down the generic drug name of your medication. 


Published: Feb 2016

Next planned review: Feb 2018