Take Some Time Before Taking Your Medications
By John Gobbels, Medjet VP/COO
Many travelers don’t realize their prescribed or over the counter (OTC) medications may be illegal in other countries.
Daily OTC and prescription medications that have federal regulations or lack thereof here in the U.S. could be illegal in other parts of the world. As a savvy traveler, it’s important to take some time to verify that the medications you will require for your trip don’t place you or your health in hot water.
As an example, Sudafed and Actifed are illegal in Japan as they contain pseudoephedrine which is a catalyst in making methamphetamine. Even Adderall, used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorders in children, is illegal in the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic.
So what are we to do to make sure we have the medications we require and not find ourselves halfway around the world with these prescriptions? One suggestion is to find out what medications are permissible in the country you will be visiting. Individuals can contact their local travel clinic or the U. S. State Department’s website for consular information (available at www.state.gov). The consular country information will provide the traveler with illegal medication information for that region.
If an individual finds that their prescribed medications are illegal they should immediately contact their physician to begin looking for a non-regulated substitute. Make sure to start your investigation several months prior to your trip so your physician has enough time to change your medication requirements.
Finally, travelers should always take enough medication to last 1-2 weeks past their trip duration in the event of unforeseen circumstances. Also remember to split your medications between your carry-on and checked baggage. This will provide a safety net in the event that a bag is lost, stolen or confiscated.
Remember, travel smart, stay safe!
Resource: Smart Traveler Magazine – Issue and Date, page 17