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Taking your medicines abroad

If you are going abroad don’t forget to order your prescription in good time before you go away. We ask for 48 hours notice so that the prescription can be prepared, checked and signed by the doctor. If needed at St Peter’s please allow 72 hours. This does not include weekends and Bank Holidays.

Can I take my medicine abroad?

Check the rules for all the countries you're going to, including countries that you're just passing through.

Different countries have different rules and regulations about:

  • the types of medicine they allow to be taken into the country
  • the maximum quantity you can take in

Some medicines available over the counter in the UK may be controlled in other countries and vice versa. Countries such as India, Pakistan and Turkey have a list of medicines they won't allow into the country. International rules vary – contact the embassy for the country you're visiting. The GOV.UK website has a full list of foreign embassies in the UK.

Travelling with your medicines

  • Always carry medicines & medical equipment (needles, syringes, etc) in their original correctly labelled packaging
  • Carry your medication in your hand luggage (check you airline's regulations before travelling) with a copy of your prescription.
  • Pack a spare supply of medication in your suitcase or hold luggage (along with another copy of your prescription) in case you lose your hand luggage.
  • Check that the expiry dates of your medicines will be valid for the duration of your visit abroad.
  • Some medicines need to be kept at room temperature (below 25C) or stored in the fridge.
    • If you're travelling to a warm country, get advice from your pharmacist about storing your medicine.

    How long will you be away?

    NHS prescriptions must never be obtained by relatives or friends on behalf of patients who are currently abroad. Patients are responsible for ensuring that any drugs they take into a country conform to local laws.

    The NHS accepts responsibility for supplying on-going medication for temporary periods abroad of up to three months. For patients who will be out of the country for less than three months, it is reasonable to provide sufficient medicines for an existing condition. Patients leaving the UK for more than three months are advised to register with a local doctor for their continuing medical needs. We will provide sufficient medication to give patients time to do this.

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