Travelling with Ritalin
November 21, 2009 9:57 AM   Subscribe

I currently live in Brazil but shall be returning to my country of origin, the UK, for a month or so in December. I recently managed to get a prescription for Ritalin from a psychiatrist here in Brazil and was wondering whether I'd have any complications in bringing this back into the UK.

I will most likely be travelling with two 10mg boxes containing twenty tablets each. Perhaps even less. I only use it when I have a really important project to do and, as I'm in the middle of my Masters dissertation, I'm going to need it big time.

Any tips would be appreciated. Luckily, I photocopied the prescription before handing it to the pharmacist because she kept it and I'd have had no supporting documentation. The matter is somewhat complicated by the fact that I was prescribed by a psychiatrist friend without a proper diagnosis, though I have known for a long time that I have a pretty severe case of ADD Inattentive-type for which Ritalin helps me tremendously (i.e. on Ritalin, I can behave like a normal human being).
posted by Zé Pequeno to Law & Government (4 answers total)
I had a contagious-diseases specialist MD in-law, that has handled in some pretty wild stuff. From his anecdotes, it seemed that medicine is medicine. It is generally respected as such. If a human being needs something, measures are in place to handle transport etc. I am GUESSING that you can facilitate this small-scale import if you follow the correct protocol. But note that I am guessing - based on subjective reading of anecdotes.

Do take the copy of the prescription, of course. Perhaps check with the airports you'll be going through, and a medical doctor.
posted by krilli at 10:19 AM on November 21, 2009

Dos the medicine have your name on it? I think that is what really counts to the people who check. Ritalin is a controlled drug, but that shouldn't make a difference. I've taken Class A category medicine in my checked luggage and Class C in my hand luggage, sometimes with prescriptions which were a little iffy. It's been okay entering the UK every time though. I guess that a not insignificant percentage of people who are travelling carry some form of medicine they require, and customs/security are well used to differentiating between what's what.

The prescription itself may not suffice if it's a photocopy, but if you're unsure, you should contact them ahead of time.
posted by Sova at 10:39 AM on November 21, 2009

I think this might help you. It's the UK Border Agency website.
posted by b33j at 1:45 PM on November 21, 2009

my relatives always need to bring their prescriptions from Brazil when they visit. They usually bring a note from the doctor with their name and drug name, usually from the same paper as the prescriptions. Contact the doctor, it shouldn't be a problem.
posted by Neekee at 8:11 PM on November 21, 2009

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