Travelling With Prescription Drugs to the USA: All You Need to Know

Petr Novák

Traveling to America and Need to Take Medication with You – Either Prescription or Over-the-Counter? Importing medicines into the USA for personal use is allowed, with a few exceptions, and no special arrangements need to be made. You can also find a sample of a doctor’s note for taking medication in this article.

Travelling With Prescription Drugs to the USA: All You Need to Know | ©

  1. What to Do if You Bring Prescription Medicines to the USA

    I recommend following these guidelines when traveling with medications:

    • Always bring only the amount of medication necessary for your personal use.
    • Keep your medications in their original containers.

    Issues can occur with medicines that contain narcotics or those administered via syringe. In such cases, I recommend obtaining confirmation from your doctor (in English) confirming your use of the medication.
    Personal use is typically deemed to be a maximum supply of 90 days.

  2. Sample Doctor’s Note for Prescription Drugs

    Request your doctor or GP to provide you a prescription medication certificate. You can get an idea of the document’s format from the template below.

    📝 Sample Certificate for Importing Medicines into the USA for Personal Use

    May 28, 2023
    Name of the patient.
    Date of birth: (Patient’s date of birth)
    Sex: (Sex)

    To Whom It May Concern,

    My patient (Name of patient) has been diagnosed with (name of condition) and requires the following medications and devices to manage their condition:

    • (List of medications including exact label, e.g. Dasselta 5mg por. tbl. flm.)
    • (List of medical devices, e.g. syringes)

    The aforementioned medications and supplies are for the patient’s personal use and should remain with the patient at all times. If you have any questions related to the treatment of this patient, please contact me at (doctor’s phone number).


    (Doctor’s name and stamp)
    (Name and address of their practice)

  3. Permitted and Prohibited Drugs in the USA

    For a list of approved drugs in the USA, refer to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Among the better-known drugs, Rohypnol, GHB, and Fen-Phen are prohibited in the USA.

    If you are traveling overseas for an extended period and regularly take a medication that is prohibited in the USA, consult with your doctor to prescribe an alternative medication. You can also seek advice from a travel medicine center.

    Before you leave, make sure to secure travel insurance.

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