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Traveling with prescription medication the UK/Ireland

Traveling with prescription medication the UK/Ireland

Old Oct 7, 19, 3:02 pm
  #1  
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Traveling with prescription medication the UK/Ireland

I have a bunch of medications including antidepressants and adderall, and they're labeled and I have the pharmacy prescription sheet for them. Is that enough, or might there be another possible problem with these specific meds entering the UK/Ireland if they're restricted or something, specifically the adderall?

Last edited by Nayef; Oct 7, 19 at 3:13 pm
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Old Oct 7, 19, 4:15 pm
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So, dexamfetamine is a schedule 2 controlled drug in the UK. The offical UK Gov advice on travelling with controlled drugs is here:

https://www.gov.uk/travelling-controlled-drugs

However... This is framed from the perspective of a UK Citizen travelling abroad and coming home. Most repeat prescriptions here are electronic. If you have a schedule 2 (which I do), then practically, all that means is that you have to sign and countersign a form at your nominated pharmacy, when you pick it up (you also have a 14-day limit from issue). For the pharmacist, there are other storage and countersignatory requirements. You don't get to keep a prescription form here - you get a receipt that tells you what you've got, and how many refills you have until you're due a medical review. Your medication box will have a sticker on (signed by the pharmacist for a CD) and that's generally taken as proof that a medicine is prescribed to you. YMMV, of course, and this is my home country, so I'm probably less risk averse here.

So, I don't know how the system where you are works, but the important point is that you can prove that the drug you have is prescribed to you, and that the quantity you have matches your trip. If you have a long trip, you may need a licence.

Personally, I always ensure I take the original boxes with pharmacy stickers, and have never bothered to get a letter - but if it's a country whose rules are rather strict, then I go straight to the red channel on arrival and say: this is what I've got, is that OK. It always has been. The red channel in the UK, where customs tends to be intelligence led, can often end up being nothing more than a phone and a long wait.
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Old Oct 7, 19, 6:19 pm
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I think I might just not carry the Adderall. I don't think I'll need it outside of work.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 4:36 pm
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Originally Posted by Nayef View Post
I think I might just not carry the Adderall. I don't think I'll need it outside of work.
I have never had a problem as long as the medicine is in the original bottle and it is about the right amount for your trip.

BUT, I AM SAYING THAT FROM A POSITION OF WHITE AMERICAN PRIVILEGE.

So, where are you flying in from? If you are flying in from the asia / middle east / africa and / or are non-white, I sadly suspect you are correct that it is safer to leave the Adderall at home.
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Old Oct 8, 19, 8:31 pm
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I'm flying from the US (permanent resident of the US, Saudi passport holder here). So I have to have a visa to visit the UK.

I found this in that link:

You need to get a letter from the person who prescribed your medicine. You might need to show this at the border.

The letter must include:
  • your name
  • what countries you’re going to and when
  • a list of your medicine, including how much you have, doses and the strength
  • the signature of the person who prescribed your drugs
In addition, it's labeled and I have the pharmacy's full prescription sheet. I might try to get this document from my doctor.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 5:08 am
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Originally Posted by stc View Post
I have never had a problem as long as the medicine is in the original bottle and it is about the right amount for your trip.

BUT, I AM SAYING THAT FROM A POSITION OF WHITE AMERICAN PRIVILEGE.

So, where are you flying in from? If you are flying in from the asia / middle east / africa and / or are non-white, I sadly suspect you are correct that it is safer to leave the Adderall at home.
I wonít presume to say how things work in the US, but here in the UK Iím quite sure oneís ethnic origin and flight origin will have little to no effect on whether one can bring medicine into the country, all things being in order.

Originally Posted by Nayef View Post
I'm flying from the US (permanent resident of the US, Saudi passport holder here). So I have to have a visa to visit the UK.

I found this in that link:

In addition, it's labeled and I have the pharmacy's full prescription sheet. I might try to get this document from my doctor.
From a UK citizen and resident perspective, if I was prescribed medication whilst away in the US, I would have no concerns just bringing it back. I would consider the named label sufficient. This is assuming the drug in question is cleared for clinical use in the UK.

I can understand that you may wish to take more precautions and it is natural to be less concerned about customs checks in oneís own country. If I was flying to Saudi I may be a little more thorough!
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Old Oct 9, 19, 6:45 am
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Your doc in the US will provide what amounts to a written prescription. Remind her to include not only the branded name, but the generic compound as branded names vary by country and are of no consequence. The information on the written prescription should match the label on the container and the container should not include an excessive quantity, e.g. a 90-day supply for a 3-day visit.

The chances that you will need this are slim, but if you are asked, simply provide it and that will be the end of it.
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Old Oct 9, 19, 7:09 am
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Originally Posted by krispy84 View Post
I won’t presume to say how things work in the US, but here in the UK I’m quite sure one’s ethnic origin and flight origin will have little to no effect on whether one can bring medicine into the country, all things being in order.



From a UK citizen and resident perspective, if I was prescribed medication whilst away in the US, I would have no concerns just bringing it back. I would consider the named label sufficient. This is assuming the drug in question is cleared for clinical use in the UK.

I can understand that you may wish to take more precautions and it is natural to be less concerned about customs checks in one’s own country. If I was flying to Saudi I may be a little more thorough!
Have you every looked at who is being picked for luggage inspection landing at LHR? It is largely NOT white people from the USA.

Last edited by stc; Oct 9, 19 at 7:55 am
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Old Oct 10, 19, 11:21 am
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Originally Posted by stc View Post
Have you every looked at who is being picked for luggage inspection landing at LHR? It is largely NOT white people from the USA.
UK Customs is highly intelligence led - you are needlessly worrying the OP by again insinuating there is some sort of racial profiling at work - there most certainly is not.

It is generally flights that are considered at risk - indeed, the only time I’ve been stopped at LHR in recent years was coming back from Singapore. US flights generally are very low risk.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 12:04 pm
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Anecdotally I would agree that not being white and/or arriving at the same time as lots of flights from countries with majority non-white populations may lead to a higher chance of a spot check, however, since the OP's medication is all in order with a prescription from the USA, there is nothing to worry about even if the OP is spot checked.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 12:31 pm
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I'm flying from IAD to EDI but connecting in DUB. The customs part is still in EDI while immigration is in DUB, correct? And I imagine that these are locations that aren't suspect?

And I guess this will be a test of my brown-ness.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 1:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Nayef View Post
I'm flying from IAD to EDI but connecting in DUB. The customs part is still in EDI while immigration is in DUB, correct? And I imagine that these are locations that aren't suspect?

And I guess this will be a test of my brown-ness.
You will probably have immigration in both DUB and EDI. I know that flying BOS-LHR-DUB, I had immigration in both LHR at DUB (and also flying DUB-LHR-BOS, I had immigration at LHR.) Of course if you are flying after 10/31 you are more likely to have immigration in both.
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Old Oct 10, 19, 1:17 pm
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This whole trip is happening pre-the Brexit deadline.
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Old Oct 11, 19, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by NWIFlyer View Post
UK Customs is highly intelligence led - you are needlessly worrying the OP by again insinuating there is some sort of racial profiling at work - there most certainly is not.
.
I'm calling it like I literally see it almost every time I go through LHR.
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Old Oct 11, 19, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by Nayef View Post
I'm flying from IAD to EDI but connecting in DUB. The customs part is still in EDI while immigration is in DUB, correct? And I imagine that these are locations that aren't suspect?

And I guess this will be a test of my brown-ness.
You will go through immigration in Dublin,thatís where you enter the common travel area between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom
At EDI actually,youíll walk off the plane as a domestic traveler
There may or may not be spot checks
I wouldnít worry one iota about your medication which I presume will be in your hand luggage,itís extremely unlikely youíll be searched,and even if you are by formality stopped and searched ,I doubt prescribed medication will be an issue
Enjoy your trip
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