Q. Can I take medications on board or into foreign countries?

Generally, there are no issues with you bringing your medication on board, however we would like to inform you that some prescriptions, over the counter drugs, complementary therapies and other medicines that are purchased in the UK may be illegal in the United Arab Emirates and are therefore banned in Dubai. Japan also has rules regarding such medication.

Codeine, for example, is banned and no products containing codeine, which may include paracetamol, may be imported or sold in Dubai. An Import Certificate from the Japanese Authorities would be required in order to take such products into Japan.

Penalties can be severe if banned substances are found when entering these countries.

If you are taking any medication and are in doubt then please contact the United Arab Emirates, London Embassy medical department on 0207 486 6281 or the Japanese Embassy on 0207 465 6500 prior to your arrival. You may also check for further information at www.fco.gov.uk.


Anyone travelling with medications and / or syringes should carry a prescription with them. All medications should be kept in their labelled dispensing bottles or packages. If the medications are "controlled" or injectable drugs it is also advisable to carry a Doctors letter.

For United Arab Emirates, it is also essential to carry a prescription for any medication as well as a medical report if you are travelling with syringes or other medical equipment. 

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