Northfields Travel Clinic

Guidelines for Travelling Abroad with Medication


Planning to travel abroad soon? Worried about managing your medication while away? Northfields Travel Clinic provides comprehensive guidance to help ensure your journey is safe and hassle-free when travelling with medications.

Preparing for Your Trip

Start by discussing your travel plans with your GP at least two months in advance. This will allow time for necessary preparations such as vaccinations, ordering extra medication, and verifying if your medications are restricted or controlled in your destination country. Your GP can also help adjust your medication schedule to accommodate time-zone changes, reducing any potential health disruptions during your travels.

Understanding Medication Regulations

Travelling with controlled substances that are legal in the UK but illegal in your destination country can result in serious consequences, including fines or imprisonment. It is crucial to check if your medication is allowed through UK security, on your flight, and in your destination country.

Regulations in UK

If your medication is classified as a controlled substance under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, you may need to take additional steps to travel with it. This might include obtaining a special personal licence from the Home Office or carrying specific documentation from your GP.

Your GP can provide a letter that includes your name, travel itinerary, a list of your medications (including their use, dose, and quantity), and the prescriber’s signature. This is important for both controlled and non-controlled medications, especially for liquids over 100ml, syringes, or medical devices.

Regulations of Airlines

For those travelling with specialist equipment such as needles, pumps, continuous glucose monitors, oxygen, or pressurised canisters, contact your airline in advance to determine if a GP’s letter is necessary. 

Regulations in your Destination Country

Research the medication regulations of your destination country, even if you are only passing through. This information can be obtained from the embassy of the country you are visiting. 

Practical Tips for Travelling with Medication

– Keep Medication in Hand Luggage:Store your medication in its original packaging to reduce the risk of loss or damage.

– Pack Extra Medication:Bring more medication than you need to cover any travel delays. For serious conditions, consult your GP for advice on how much extra to take.

– Temperature-Controlled Storage:If your medication requires refrigeration, ask your pharmacist about maintaining proper storage during travel and upon arrival. You may need to request refrigeration at your accommodation.

– Ensure Adequate Travel Insurance:Confirm that your travel insurance covers pre-existing medical conditions, including medication and specialist equipment. Make sure it covers loss or damage to your medications or medical devices while you are away.

Contact Northfields Travel Clinic

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact us through our website or visit our clinic in Northfields, Ealing. Your health and safety are our top priorities, and we are here to support you every step of the way.