What restrictions are there on mailing over-the-counter medicine from the United States to Japan?
May 18, 2008 7:15 PM   Subscribe

I have relatives in Japan who want me to mail them some over-the-counter medicines--specifically, extra-strength Tylenol and Sudafed (the new kind, without pseudoephedrine.) Both are legal in Japan and would be for their personal use only. So how do I find out how much of each I can mail them at once?
posted by aws to Travel & Transportation around Japan (6 answers total)
Why do they want it mailed from USA if it's available in Japan? If it's just that they want someone to arrange delivery, is there an online store in Japan you could order it from for them? Or is it that much cheaper in the USA?
posted by winston at 7:26 PM on May 18, 2008

Response by poster: It is apparently that much cheaper in the USA.
posted by aws at 7:55 PM on May 18, 2008

Best answer: Here's the relevant page from Japan Customs' website. Basically, two months worth of medicine is the limit for private consumption.
posted by armage at 9:27 PM on May 18, 2008

Legal in Japan != Available in Japan too. Japanese meds are often pretty weak compared to US counterparts too.
posted by ejoey at 12:42 AM on May 19, 2008

Tylenol Extra Strength is just 500 mg of paracetamol, which will have the same strength all over the planet. The old Sudafed was just pseudoephedrine. The phenylephrine version is apparently not as effective.

I can't believe it's cheaper to send the branded version of such basic medicine from the US. Try asking for アセトアミノフェン (acetaminophen) and 塩酸プソイドエフェドリン (pseudoephedrine), see what that costs.
posted by stereo at 3:11 AM on May 19, 2008

Note that it says powerful medicines are 1 month supply so you may want to get a definition of that (I got this from the link above).

FWIW, when I was in Japan and on SSRIs (obviously different medicine, but they considered it "powerful") my parents sent me 2 months and it was seized by customs and a pain to get from them.
posted by zennoshinjou at 6:10 AM on May 20, 2008

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