Traveling with Medications

Individuals traveling with any medications should research the legalities and availability of their medication(s) in their intended destination. Different countries enforce different limits on the amount of a given medication(s) entering the country. It is the responsibility of the traveler to conduct their own research ahead of travel.

CISI is one resource that travelers may utilize ahead of departure for questions related to traveling with medications.  The host country’s Embassy or Consulate may also have additional information or forms to complete for importing specific quantities or kinds of medications.

  • While traveling, medications should be kept in the original containers. While pharmacists abroad will not honor prescriptions written by a physician from the United States, travelers should also have a copy of the prescription along with a description of the medication and dosage information. It Is the responsibility of the traveler to research what, if any, additional documentation may be needed. 

    During a pre-travel consultation, travelers should consult with their medical provider regarding how to make necessary adjustments due to travel and time zone changes in order to maintain the usual dosage and pattern of taking medication while abroad.

    Medication should not be sent in advance. Instead, it should be packed in carry-on luggage for ease of access during transit, as well as in the event that checked bags are delayed for any reason.  In the event that medication needs to be replaced or a prescription filled while abroad, please be advised that you will first need to schedule a medical appointment to obtain a prescription written by a treating physician licensed in-country.  Contact CISI to schedule a routine medical appointment and to inquire about options for establishing direct pay or securing a guarantee of payment.

  • Some medications may be unavailable, limited in availability, or available in different dosages in your destination country. Prior to travel, it is recommended to research what the available equivalent medication is in-country rather than assume the medication will be available or known by the same name in another country.  CISI is one resource that travelers may utilize ahead of departure for questions related to medical equivalents abroad. 

  • Students participating on an education abroad program requiring medical refrigeration or other storage accommodations should be disclosed to your program coordinator early in the process so that reasonable housing accommodations can be arranged.

    Travelers who are actively managing a health condition necessitating access to medical supplies and devices or periodic testing should research whether or not they will have access to said supplies while abroad. Contact CISI for questions regarding pre-arranging medical appointments or services, including availability of specialists in the destination, or for inquiries related to locating or transporting medical supplies.