I have not been to Thailand yet but I have read several stories about people getting into trouble with controlled substances. I will be bringing with me two controlled substance medications for chronic pain and ADHD. They are legitimately prescribed by USA doctors and will be in original labeled containers. Should I expect any problems with customs entering or leaving Bangkok? Thanks for any advise.
#1 husqvarna has been a member since 7/9/2009. Posts: 47
Where ever you go in the world, there will always be a difference between 'recreational' and prescribed drugs.
All you need to do is get a letter from your doctor that states that (1) you have prescribed medication, and (2) the letter lists the medications that you are prescribed.
I suggest that with such a letter, you will have no issue.
Be sure to check the lists concerning prescription drugs on the Thai embassy. I know for a fact that there are medicine commonly used in the west that under no circumstances (even with a certificate from your doctor) are allowed in Thailand. I guess trying to bring any of those could get you in serious trouble.
Here's the url to the list of narcotic drugs;
and here's the url to the list of psychotropic drugs; http://www.thaiembassy.se/info/PHYCHO2004.htm
The url's are from the Thai embassy Swedish website but the documents are in English so you should be able to read them, but if you can't, they should be available on your local Thai embassy site.
#3 Sampan has been a member since 3/9/2009. Posts: 110
Hi. This list scares me because I am on a paracetamol and codeine tablet and diazepam for my prolapsed disk. Nothing can be done for 6 weeks in case it fixes itself, meanwhile my holiday in Thailand, Laos and Cambodia will not be put off - but only if I can control the pain.
Any suggestions? Please? I really, really don't want to miss my brother's wedding.
#4 Missis has been a member since 6/8/2009. Posts: 30
I had the exact same painkillers (paracetamol/codeine combo)as you do and i'm afraid it's VERY hard to find anything with codeine in Thailand, i've tried. You're supposed to able to get it but you have to visit a doctor in a public hospital or clinic for a prescription. But even then you can end up without if the clinic or hospital doesn't carry it. It happened to me after visiting Krabi public hospital just the other day.
The solution for me has been to swap codeine for tramadol, which are available without prescription in any pharmacy, (you might have to explain why you need it, the same goes for diazepam) and take those with paracetamol. This works fine for me, but i advice you to speak with you dr. first.
Hope this helps, and good luck.
#5 Sampan has been a member since 3/9/2009. Posts: 110
Missis: You can check out this website. http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/thailand-thailande/consular_services_consulaires/drugs-medicaments.aspx?lang=eng
Hope this helps some.
#6 husqvarna has been a member since 7/9/2009. Posts: 47
Thanks for your replies, I have a letter from my doctor, everything is in orginal boxes and I will take a note of Tramadol and hope for the best. I am sure I am worried for nothing.
I will also report back in case it helps anyone else.
#7 Missis has been a member since 6/8/2009. Posts: 30
Does anyone have any information on bringing in prescription medication to vietnam, cambodia, and laos? Also, does anyone have any experience with bringing dexamphetamine, adderall, and zopiclone into the above listed countries as well as thailand with the proper prescriptions from a doctor? Any information on this would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance.
#8 perceheadies has been a member since 30/11/2009. Posts: 4
Dear Perceheadies: I have been trying to get some official information myself regarding Thailand. I have tried to contact the FDA of Thailand, the Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C. and in Los Angeles with on avail. Several people who know much more than I do about this matter (outside of Travelfish) have recommended just having the proper medicine in the properly labeled bottle with a letter from the doctor explaining the diagnosis and use, carrying only the amount of medicine you need for your trip and just bringing it in my carry-on luggage. I am very cautious with regards to medications and the legal system, so I have been in somewhat of a quandry as to what to do. It does seem reasonable that given the above guidelines, the worst that the authorities would do is to destroy the medication. I am certainly not trying to import or export any medications for illegal or inappropriate use. I have emailed a hospital in Bangkok about the availability of Dexedrine SR and they said it was not available in Thailand. Not sure what Thai physicians use to treat ADHD/ADD.
#9 husqvarna has been a member since 7/9/2009. Posts: 47
My concern with thailand was raised by the links in Sampan's above post. In the thai embassy drug schedules as of 2004, apparently dexamphetamine is a schedule 1 drug in the narcotics schedule, and another drug that I get prescribed called zopiclone falls under a schedule 2 drug in the pychotropic drug schedule. I have been informed by several different people that yes, everything should run smoothly at borders with prescriptions as long as you have the proper documentation from doctors, original bottles, and proper quantities, however what worries me is the message on this link: http://www.thaiembassy.se/info/medicine.php regarding the narcotics and psychtropic drug schedules of thailand, which for those who do not wish to use the link, says that any drug in schedule 1 of narcotics, and schedules 1 and 2 of psychotropics can under no circumstances be brought into the country, even with proper documentation. I am wondering if anyone has any experience with bringing dexamphetamine, adderal and or zopiclone to southeast asia. My most specific concern is if anyone has any information about these matters in vietnam. Something similar to the above info for thailand but from a vietnam embassy perhaps. Anything at all would be greatly appreciated as I am leaving for vietnam and SEA in the early new year. Thanks in advance, and thank you Lee for responding to my earlier post. Cheers.
#10 perceheadies has been a member since 30/11/2009. Posts: 4
No problems at all and seemingly no interest at all from any border in searching any of our party of 5 bags. We picked up our suitcases from the baggage claim in Thailand and walked out as usual. I had put most of the drugs over two suitcase in case of loss and carried just what I needed for the journey in my pill tin.
Thailand to Laos - crossed the border by bus from Ubon Ratchathani to Pakse and no interest to check/search bags.
Laos to Cambodia - crossed by bus and no interest to check/search bags.
Cambodia to Thailand - by bus and no interest in checking/searching bags.
Hope this helps
#11 Missis has been a member since 6/8/2009. Posts: 30
I can see that you need a letter from the docs for taking in medication but does this equally apply to anti-malarials (about 3 months' worth of either Malarone or Doxycycline) and the pill (about 10 months' worth of Cilest to last me my round the world trip)?
#13 LaraP has been a member since 17/8/2009. Posts: 20
I'm about to go to Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia in about 2 weeks. I have noticed that some of you have already asked about any issues with bringing Dexamphetamines into any of these countries, but I am yet to see a reply. I did notice that Dexamphetamines are on the 'banned substances' list for Thailand. Does anyone have any information regarding what I need to do to get Dexamphetamines into these countries or if they had any issues getting them there??
#14 LizzyJane has been a member since 20/10/2011. Posts: 1
Hi LizzyJane: I have been to Thailand 3 times since January 2010. Carried my meds in my carry-on baggage. I had Rx documentation and original bottles from the pharmacy.
Never even been asked about anything. I hope I am just a low profile person.
I doubt you will have any problems, but I would be prepared to show documentation and perhaps to have the meds destroyed.
Enjoy the Land of Smiles
#15 husqvarna has been a member since 7/9/2009. Posts: 47
Ritalin is available over the counter in Thailand, unsure about dexiamphentamines but if you bring your prescription from home to show that you do need it there shouldn't be a problem at any one of the many pharmacies there
#16 mrgn has been a member since 6/12/2011. Posts: 1