Tips For Traveling: Taking Medication To Foreign Countries

Taking medication abroad can be a complicated process. The article tells you what you need to know.

When most people think about the planning and preparation required for an international vacation, they consider the obvious. Nobody forgets about passports, travel visas, lodging, flights, or language barriers when planning their trip. Unfortunately, if you forget to consider the smaller details, your dream vacation can turn into a nightmare. One of these small details is considering what you need to do if you have prescription medication that you need to take abroad.

In this day in age, with security at airports and immigration checkpoints higher than ever, there is a good chance that you may be questioned about the little pills you have in your purse. But don't worry - the customs officers are just doing their jobs, and if you prepare before you leave, you'll have no problems at all.

Before you leave, there are a few things you can do to eliminate future problems. First, ask your doctor's office to provide you with a letter outlining your health condition and which prescription medications you are taking for it. If you are questioned at customs, show this letter to support your claim that you need to bring the drugs in or out of the country.

Talk to your pharmacist and explain that you are leaving the country and need to take your medication with you. Sometimes pharmacies will have helpful informational pamphlets they can give you to read. They can also provide you with a copy of your prescription, and an informational sheet listing the name of the drug, along with any other names it goes by (such as generic names). You can show this information in case of an emergency while you are traveling.

Make sure you have plenty of medication for your entire vacation. Keep your medication in it's original container to discourage questions and to prevent loss. However, you should still call your health insurance company before you leave and explain your situation. Ask what you can do if you need to fill a prescription abroad, in case you lose your medication while traveling.

Finally, if you are still unsure about bringing your medication abroad, you can call the local consulate of the country you are traveling to. For example, if you are traveling to Japan, you can call the local Japanese consulate in your area and ask if there are any restrictions on bringing medications into their country. Consulate members are always very helpful and patient; it is their job to know facts such as these and will gladly assist you.

These pre-travel preparations should eliminate any problems that may arise while you travel. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are actually abroad. First, always carry your medication on your person. Whether this is in a purse, backpack, or pocket, it is important to have it at all times, so you can answer any questions customs officials may have. Also, as we all know, luggage can get lost easily, and it would be a doubly bad event if your medication was lost with it. If you have an emergency or further questions while abroad, you can call the local consulate or embassy representing your embassy. Many embassies maintain lists of local hospitals and doctors, including ones who may speak your language.

Traveling abroad can be a wonderful, mind-opening experience. Don't let a little thing like a bottle of pills get in the way of the vacation of your lifetime.

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