Feeling unwell in a different country can be one of the hardest parts of travel. It is difficult to know how to treat various pain or illnesses without familiar medications or natural remedies.
Medications in the U.S. are tested thoroughly and are generally safe. Many common medications, such as pain relievers, stomach medicines, and allergy and cold medications are even available without a prescription.
Some medications can seem expensive to visitors from other countries. Other people prefer more natural remedies, which may or may not be available in the U.S. Still others need prescription medications for chronic medical conditions.
It is possible to bring medications into the U.S., but you need to do thorough research on your particular medication before bringing it.
Some general guidelines, which may or may not apply in your situation, are:
- The item should be in the original container with the doctor’s instructions written on the bottle.
- You should only bring enough of the product for personal use during your program. Generally, no more than a 90-day supply is allowed.
- Prescription medications are often not allowed unless the medication has been approved for use in the U.S. or is for a serious condition for which there is no treatment available in the U.S. (there are many requirements for the latter)
- If you have a prescription medicine, you should bring a prescription or doctor’s note in English about the medication and why you need it.
- Natural remedies or medications which have ingredients from animals may be banned.
For more information visit the FDA Consumer Update regarding traveling to the U.S. with medications or the FDA page regarding personal importation.