Taking Medication Abroad - Advice for Travellers with Medical Conditions

If you are a traveller with a pre existing medical condition, it's likely that you will have medication that you'll need to take with you. Don't let this stop you from travelling abroad.

You might be concerned that the enhanced airport security measures will prevent you from taking medication on flights. This needn't be a worry - if your medication is accompanied by the relevant documentation then you are entitled to take it with you on board your flight.

What to remember about taking medication abroad:

  • Take enough medication to last your whole trip and any spares in case of emergencies
  • Keep all your medication in your hand luggage in the event of your hold luggage getting lost
  • Be prepared to be questioned at the airport about the medication you are carrying
  • Get a letter from your doctor outlining your entitlement to medication - you may need to show this at airport security
  • Keep your medication in its proper packaging and note down the name of it in case you need to purchase more while you are away
  • Your medication might be illegal in some countries. Visit the travel section of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website for details or contact the embassy in the country you are planning to visit
  • There is a limit to the quantity of controlled drugs that you can carry with you abroad. If you need to take more than the authorised amount, you will need to contact the Home Office to apply for a licence. To find out if your medication is a controlled drug, visit www.hmrc.gov.uk
  • Consider how hot or cold climates might affect your medication
  • If you have diabetes, take a cool bag to store your insulin in if you are visiting a hot country
  • Find out what your medicine is called in the country you are visiting so that you know what to ask for if you need to buy more. It might have a different name overseas
  • Ask at your local pharmacy for brochures about taking medication abroad

Your medication might be an important part of your daily life, and it's just as important when you go on holiday. With the right research, you are sure to find the right holiday destination to meet your needs.