Travelling with medicine containing a controlled drug

You need to prove your medicine is prescribed to you if:

  • it contains a ‘controlled drug’
  • you have it on you when you’re entering or leaving the UK

You may also need to get a licence.

You could get a fine or go to prison if you travel with medicine that’s illegal in another country - check with the embassy of the country you’re going to before you travel.

Check if your medicine contains a controlled drug

Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether your medicine contains a controlled drug.

You can also check the drugs listed on the packaging of your medicine and search for them on the controlled drugs list. The list doesn’t give names of medicines, only drugs that are used in medicines.

If your medicine contains a drug listed as schedule 2, 3 or 4 on the controlled drugs list, you need to either:

  • prove it is prescribed to you
  • get a licence - if you’re travelling for at least 3 months or carrying enough to last you that long

You can’t usually travel with drugs listed as schedule 1 - check with the Home Office Drug and Firearms Licensing Unit before you travel.

Prove your medicine is prescribed to you

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

Get a licence

You’ll need to apply for a licence if you’re either:

  • travelling for 3 months or more
  • carrying a supply of medicine that would last you 3 months or more

How to apply for a licence

Fill in the application form and send it with your letter that proves your prescription to the address on the form.

You should apply at least 10 working days before you’re due to travel. Applications from outside the UK could take longer.

Get help

Contact the Home Office Drug and Firearms Licensing Unit if you need help with your application.

Drug and Firearms Licensing Unit
dflu.ie@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
Telephone: 020 7035 6330
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
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