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Traveling abroad with prescription medication

If you will need to take medications for a medical/psychiatric condition while traveling abroad, it is very important that you plan ahead to ensure that you can bring your medication with you into your host country and to determine if your medication is available in your destination (in case yours is lost, stolen or becomes unusable).

One important step you should take early in your planning process is to check with the embassy of your host country to make sure that you can bring those medications with you, and to determine what additional documentation you may need (original prescription, physician's letter, etc.). You may also contact ASU’s medical assistance provider, On Call International, at 877-714-8179 to ask for help with this research (even before being enrolled in ASU’s international insurance program).

Keep in mind that some countries DO NOT allow certain medications (including both prescription and non-prescription) and/or may require that you obtain a medical provider note or prescription documentation. If you are in possession of illegal medications (even if you obtained them legally in the U.S.) or do not have the proper documentation, your medications may be confiscated and you can get arrested or deported.

The following are some medications that travelers may be taking, but in certain countries may be illegal or may need additional supporting documentation (this list is not all-inclusive, so if your medication is not in the list you should still check if it is allowed):


Medication Class

Brand Names

Generic Names

Pain medications Norco, Vicodin, Demerol, Percocet, Oxycontin, MS Contin, Hycodan, Tussin AC, Ultram hydrocodone, oxycodone, dilaudid, fentanyl, morphine, methadone, codeine, tramadol
ADD/ADHD stimulants Adderall, Vyvanse, Concerta, Ritalin, Dexedrine, Methylin, Metadate dextroamphetamine, lisdexamfetamine, methyphenidate
Steroids (oral/topical and injectable) Androgel Testosterone
Sedatives/anxiety meds Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Valium, Buspar alprazolam, lorazepam, clonazepam, buspirone, diazepam
Injectable medications Check on country’s policy with bringing ANY injectable medication abroad  
Other Miscellaneous Sudafed decongestants & cold medicines that contain decongestants ("D" versions) Pseudoephedrine, Medical marijuana/cannabis


Travel Tips

  • Always keep medications in original labeled bottles, and keep with your carry-on luggage to reduce the chances of lost medications. Do not plan on sending medications abroad.
  • Make sure you have a back-up plan in case of lost/stolen medications - many prescription medications are not readily available overseas.