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British Lung Foundation
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Medicines when travelling: restricted list

Hi everyone

Just wondering, if you are on a restricted medicine, when you travel to another country, should you take your prescription with you?

I am on a prescription med from a Belgian doctor that as far as I know is illegal in the UK, not banned but restricted.

Should I bring a photocopy of the prescription with me or shouldn't it be a problem? I am going to be travelling to Spain via France then the UK.



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16 Replies

PS I am actually on two different meds that are often "abused" by bodybuilders, I think that's why they're restricted. I am not a bodybuilder, I was deficient in those things.


I would deffo carry copies of the pres. meds Koala. Better safe than sorry.

You never know, they may not find them if you pack in a hold bag & you'll be ok.

I've not had great experiences in Spain recently. P

I do take controlled drugs; I have to sign a register when collecting my prescription. I think it best to make contact with the authorities in the countries you are travelling through to find out what they require. :)

Sandra x x x

Interesting you sign a register. In Belgium they are freer with meds as far as I can tell. I get my, for example, (anabolic) steroids etc on prescription and compounded by the local pharmacist.


No, in the UK I have to sign the register for my MST as it is a controlled drug, opiate based.

hi, im uk and have to sign for oxycontin xx

Be interesting to know your outcome.we are going to San Francisco,( hopefully,lungs permitting ) in October to see my boy and new grandson.and I know it's difficult with some meds in USA

Yes, I think the US is much stricter and of course you have to go through a proper border control. Marie had a great idea about getting a doctor to write a letter stating you need those meds and why.

Hope you make it to SF, it's one of the places I'd love to visit. Is your daughter-in-law American?


She is,and unfortunatly my boy Andrew has got a typical American attitude.the best thing is Ruby,my grand daughter who is 18 months is just talking,and it's so funny to hear 'Hi Grandpa' with that American twang lol

I hope we get there,not seen them since September when they brought her over to see the others,and now Reid has just been born who I want to go see.

Guess the helpline team may possibly know the answer to that one, koala but interesting subject and not something I would have thought of until you mentioned it. :) xx

I was concerned when I went to the US last year. I'm not on restricted meds but none of them were available over the counter. Got a letter from my doctor explaining condition and that I required to travel with them. Maybe something like that might help?

Marie x

Thankyou marie,that's good to know xx

The US can be really strict I've heard although it's easier to get a wide range of meds there.

That is a really good idea about getting a letter from the doctor.

Thanks xxx

hi koala. I went to Portugal 7week ago,took ventolin,seritide and elkira for copd,also tablets for hitus they never even looked in my handbag,but I took my prescription with me in case they did,take care and have a good holiday,

plus a letter of ur gp as marie said ,

for controlled drugs "opiate etc "a letter from the prescribing gp is usually enough,in Europe they usually respect other countries prescribing practices.

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