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Help with taking prescribed Medicines to Dubai

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Edinburgh
posts: 17
reviews: 1
Help with taking prescribed Medicines to Dubai

My mum is travelling to Dubai on Monday with Emirates, she is currently taking Levothyroxine (for thyroid problem) and Tamoxifen (breast cancer drug) she doesn't necessary need these for the flight, but when travelling in Europe your advised to take in your hand luggage incase you luggage was to get lost. Just want to make sure these medicines aren't banned in the UAE and do you think she should pack them in her hand luggage. Thanking you in advance.

Dubai, United Arab...
Destination Expert
for Dubai
posts: 2,973
reviews: 18
1. Re: Help with taking prescribed Medicines to Dubai

Yes, any medication should be carried in hand luggage. Your mother should carry it in the original packaging and with a valid prescription. It's very, very unlikely she will be stopped, just like in any other airport in the world.

Dubai, United Arab...
Destination Expert
for Dubai
posts: 6,182
reviews: 53
2. Re: Help with taking prescribed Medicines to Dubai

Levothyroxine is available over the counter in Dubai without prescription. She can stick that in her checked luggage if she wants. If her bags go astray she can go to any pharmacy and buy it without question (make sure she knows the mcg).

Edited: 11:01 am, March 30, 2011
Liverpool
posts: 102
reviews: 3
3. Re: Help with taking prescribed Medicines to Dubai

Have noticed a few threads on prescription drugs we travel to Dubai on Sunday, my son takes some tablets, we have them in a monday - sunday container so we can keep a check he takes the correct dosage daily, do we really need to take in original box's & valid prescription????

Here and there
Destination Expert
for Dubai, Pissouri
posts: 27,704
reviews: 26
4. Re: Help with taking prescribed Medicines to Dubai

It is actually a requirement of all countries (not just Dubai) that you carry a copy of the prescription and/or a doctors letter if you are taking prescribed meds into any country.

I don't know what the meds are or what they are for (nor do I need to know) but this applies to all countires and to all prescribed meds.

The reason for this could be that the meds your son needs may not be available in another country in the same dosage/formulation or just simply not available at all and it will help a medical person, especially in a life threatening or emergency situation to know what medication is required or alternatively what other medication can be combined with what a person already takes.

Medical practioners can then prescribe similar or alternative treatments if necessary and also know what not to give a person in the event that they or their family are not able to assist by recalling the name of a drug they are taking.

For this reason, prescribed meds should always be carried in hand luggage and not in a suitcase that can go astray.

So it isn't unique to Dubai but people fuss more about Dubai because of the perception that they may get stopped at customs and thrown into jail - highly unlikely if you are doing nothing illegal.

The reality is that taking a copy of the prescription and/or a doctors letter together with carrying the prescribed meds in your hand luggage may safe a life

Edited: 5:58 pm, March 30, 2011
Helensburgh, United...
posts: 858
reviews: 64
5. Re: Help with taking prescribed Medicines to Dubai

Excellent advice from Latimer and makes so much sense. I recently travelled to Australia and New Zealand via Dubai and took a letter from my doctor explaining what medication I had and why I take it. However, this was primarily because Australia specifically asks that you declare such on entry to the country. I had not thought about losing or running out of meds so I'll consider this for future foreign travel.

Dubai, United Arab...
Destination Expert
for Dubai
posts: 2,973
reviews: 18
6. Re: Help with taking prescribed Medicines to Dubai

The reason for keeping the medication in it's original packaging is also to save you time, random unsealed pills and pellets will mean individual testing in the very unlikely event you get stopped by customs. Sealed retailed packaged drugs will just be randomly sampled at the very worst.

Blenheim, New...
posts: 1
7. Re: Help with taking prescribed Medicines to Dubai

We are stopping of for two nights in Dubai. I went to a Doctor (my dr was of sick) and was told that my prescription medications were illegal in Dubai and that I would have to get permission from Dubai consulate to take them into the country! Personally I think she had to many cups of coffee that day!

I need two inhalers for asthma (preventer and normal inhaler).

Amitrip for muscle spasms

zapril for blood pressure

and a hormone replacement patch

also an epipen for allergic reaction to some stings

I am going to my normal doctor tomorrow but would feel reassured if you could tell me if these are ok to take in to Dubai. Also as we are going to be away for four months I can't very well carry 4 months supply in my hand bag!

I will be loaded up with travel documents for the four months so I don't risk loosing them in my luggage.

Thank you for your time

UK, Mauritius
Destination Expert
for Mauritius, Belle Mare, Pointe Aux Piments, Pereybere
posts: 17,010
reviews: 38
8. Re: Help with taking prescribed Medicines to Dubai

I regularly take my two epipens to Dubai but I do have a covering letter attached to the boxes from my G/P explaining what it is and why I need it. I always pop them in the tray at security and have never been questioned about it.

Some inhalers like ventolin you can buy over the counter in Dubai, not sure about the other drugs.

Here and there
Destination Expert
for Dubai, Pissouri
posts: 27,704
reviews: 26
9. Re: Help with taking prescribed Medicines to Dubai

Up and away.

Your locum doctor was erring on the side of extremem caution. All of the medicines you describe are OK to take to Dubai as a holiday maker on vacation - the illegality refers to the sale, trade or prescription of certain medications and I'm assuming you are not intending to do any of that.

That said as a holiday maker carrying prescribed medication you should get a copy of the prescription and a letter from the doctor to produce if you are asked for it.

Just one other point and that is that you say you are going away for 4 months - does this mean you will have 4 months worth of medication with you ?

You must ensure that your dcotor's letter explains that.

Obviously, you don't carry 4 months supply in your hand bag, just enough for the flight and a bit over just in case your luggage goes astray.

And as I said above the requirements to carry a doctor's letter and presecription are not unique to Dubai but apply to every foreign country so wherever else you are going you will need to have them available to produce if asked.

Edited: 7:20 pm, May 14, 2011
Northampton, United...
posts: 338
reviews: 60
10. Re: Help with taking prescribed Medicines to Dubai

my husband and I both take blood pressure medication do you think we should get a cover letter i have been to dubai twice without any problem