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Personal Prescription Medications

Posted by husqvarna on 8/9/2009 at 15:21

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

Posted by BruceMoon on 8/9/2009 at 17:52


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.


#2 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by Sampan on 15/9/2009 at 15:56


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.

Happy trails.

#3 Sampan has been a member since 3/9/2009. Posts: 111

Posted by Missis on 19/11/2009 at 20:40

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

Posted by Sampan on 19/11/2009 at 22:18

Hi missis,

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: 111

Posted by husqvarna on 20/11/2009 at 15:32

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

Posted by Missis on 29/11/2009 at 06:20

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.

Thanks again


#7 Missis has been a member since 6/8/2009. Posts: 30

Posted by perceheadies on 7/12/2009 at 08:20

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

Posted by husqvarna on 16/12/2009 at 16:19

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

Posted by perceheadies on 17/12/2009 at 09:50


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

Posted by Missis on 2/1/2010 at 05:59


Reporting back...

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

Posted by somtam2000 on 2/1/2010 at 08:49 admin

Missis -- thanks for the report back!

#12 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 8,089

Posted by LaraP on 1/8/2010 at 15:25


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

Posted by LizzyJane on 20/10/2011 at 22:57

Hey Guys,

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??

Thanks :)

#14 LizzyJane has been a member since 20/10/2011. Posts: 1

Posted by husqvarna on 30/10/2011 at 09:33

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

Posted by mrgn on 6/12/2011 at 04:36

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

Posted by kb7hunter on 13/9/2016 at 19:45

I have inquired of the Thai FDA about taking my prescription medications to Thailand. I sent a list of my medications (one of which was a controlled substance) on 9/11. Here is their reply on 9/13/2016

Among medicines that you are bring into Thailand. Only nacrotics need to have a permits which is Hydrocodone 10/ Acetaminophen 325 mg. The quantity of the medication transported into Thailandmust not exceeding 30 days of prescribed usage. In this case, I want the documents to confirm that he/she will have a long trip more than 30 days .

We would like to informed that we have a new website and now the patient can apply online through that website (began on 5th December 2015).

If you take narcotic medicine and want to carry to Thailand,you should request the permit at least two weeks before the arrival date. This website you can apply request :


You will input your data to request permit (application for carry in). You may read important messages before input data. Blank (red star) is important data that you will input and detail of medicine. Please input medicine data each one item and one strength, then add medication.

Please provide the attachments ((your prescription or medical documentof a physician) and your passport) to complete the process. Don't forget save and submit program. If you click "SAVE&VIEW" you will proceed to next page "Form IC-1". Then if you want to complete the submission you need to click "SUBMIT" button (on the left bottom of "Form IC-1" page).

You don't sent original document by air mail to Thai FDA office, scan and attached true document on website only. If I have received your application complete. The permit will be scanned and sent to you, and then you can print out and use it to pass through the airport customs.

Please submit your request narcotic permit on our website.

PS 1. If you can't attached file, you should change to use Chrome browser.
PS 2. You must have a valid prescription and/or medical document of a physician for any drugs carrying in to Thailand.

Best regards,

Jantra Wichittho (Ms.)
Pharmacist, Practitioner Level
Narcotics Control Division
Food and Drug Administration
Ministry of Public Health
Tiwanond Road, Nonthaburi 11000,Thailand
Tel. 662 590 7346
Fax. 662 590 7346

#17 kb7hunter has been a member since 13/9/2016. Posts: 1

Posted by Apage on 4/11/2016 at 23:09

I would love to find out some information with people who have travelled to Vietnam with Dexamphetamine. I am struggle big time to find out information about it. Can I buy it over there? Anyone with any information pls message me :)

#18 Apage has been a member since 4/11/2016. Posts: 1

Posted by wanderer143 on 14/1/2019 at 20:49

Right. A prescription from your doctor and asking for advise from a Thai doctor regarding your situation will also help. Good luck.

#19 wanderer143 has been a member since 2/11/2014. Posts: 136

Posted by pigchampion on 2/8/2019 at 00:01

I'm starting to really panic here..

I need to travel to Malaysia for 2 weeks for work and i take an Opiod (Suboxone) and 3 Psychotropics (Ability, Lamictal and Wellbutrin)

I'm scanning the internet, Malaysia has an official government pharmaceutic website, with info.... but i can't navigate it, very confusing.

I also wanted to go to Bali afterwards for a week. I'd be travelling under 30 days

I read some replies, some people just keep quiet and officials don't search their bags. Isn't there a customs declaration form in South East Countries asking if you are carrying medication? I'd have to declare it. I know to bring tons of documentation for the meds, but even with that... if it's illegal , does that mean under NO cicumstance can it enter with it???

#20 pigchampion has been a member since 2/8/2019. Posts: 2

Posted by antoniamitchell on 9/8/2019 at 09:07

Realistically, no one is going to check your bags for a few pills, and no one will ask you to declare your meds. They care about drug smugglers, not tourists with small amounts of prescription medications for personal use (the exception bring medical weed /weed oil, which may be legal in some parts of the world, but you absolutely cannot try and bring in to Asia).

Follow the basic advice - keep in original containers, no more than you need for the trip, with a copy of the prescription or a letter from your doc, just in case anyone searches your bag. But its very unlikely that anyone will search your bag.

I've crossed borders several times in the last month with a small bag of pills in my luggage (some prescription, some over-the-counter) and no one has ever even glanced in my bags.

Have a good trip

#21 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Posts: 569

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