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Perception drug documentation for Britain

We will be traveling through Britain next month and, being in our mid-seventies, carry many prescribed medications from different doctors. How stringent is the UK policy of having signed prescriptions for each drug?

Posted by
189 posts


If you’re not a UK resident, you will need to carry a letter of proof that the medicine was prescribed for you.

The letter must include:

your name
the dates you are travelling to or from the UK
a list of your medicine, including how much you have, doses and the strength
the signature of the person who prescribed your drugs
You can only bring up to 3 months supply of your medicine with you.

Your doctor or pharmacist can tell you if your medicine contains a controlled drug. You can also check the drugs listed on the packaging of your medicine and search for them on the controlled drugs list. The list does not give names of medicines, only drugs that are used in medicines.

If it contains a drug listed as schedule 1
You must contact the DFLU before you travel to the UK.

You cannot bring schedule 1 drugs into the UK without a licence. Licences for schedule 1 drugs are limited to research or other special purposes. You cannot use a Schengen Certificate to bring schedule 1 drugs into the UK.

Posted by
11392 posts

Perception drug documentation for Britain

And they want computers to run self driving cars????

Posted by
979 posts

I was taken aside at Heathrow and asked to produce my prescriptions and doctor's letter for my medication in 2023. The security people compared my medication with my prescriptions and also asked quite a few questions. I was travelling with medication that needed to be refrigerated in a thermos-style flask which I think is what triggered the scrutiny.

I was glad that I spoke English and that my prescriptions were all in English/latin as the security staff were pretty rude and aggressive.

Posted by
6832 posts

I had a four different prescriptions with me in March when I arrived at Heathrow; none of which were in their original containers, and got through with no one asking me about them. Now, I wouldn't count on that always happening, but just saying...

AussieNomad, you're probably right. I think meds like that stand out a bit more.

Posted by
538 posts

I've never been asked by immigration authorities whether I was carrying prescription medications. And how would they know if I were? None of what I take is either a liquid or a controlled substance; I'd certainly want to have my prescription details well prepared in the proper format if they were. But for Lipitor and blood pressure meds? I'm sure no one cares.

Posted by
15564 posts

I'm in an out of the UK a great deal and on some trips I have up to 3 months worth of medications. Quite a few.

Almost all of my medications
are transferred to ziploc bags. This saves space. I also have a copy of the prescription label of each medication. (This is what you get from your pharmacist. He/she can print these out for you.) It answers all of the questions the immigration authorities want to know.

If any of the drugs you take are narcotic or controlled substances, keep them in their original container and you might also want to get a note from your doctor besides the prescription label. Also make sure that none of these meds are banned in the UK.

If you are carrying any liquid medication or syringes, do the same as you would for narcotic or controlled substances.

Security isn't interested in pills. They might give a second look to liquids and syringes.

If you are traveling for two weeks, only bring enough for your trip plus a few days leeway. Don't bring three months. That could throw up some red flags if questioned.

Customs is not interested in your prescription meds unless you are bringing in much more than you need.

On a personal note, I've never been stopped by security or customs and questioned about my prescriptions anywhere.

Posted by
2774 posts

Thanks for asking this question and to those who have responded. My sister takes 3 drugs on the controlled drug list so I will make sure she has letters from her doctors. We seem to always get questioned about something when we travel together, so I don’t want to risk not complying.

Posted by
18544 posts

Some of the answers were pretty accurate. What isnt important is what people DID, what is important is what people SHOULD HAVE DONE. Earlier this month i, unknowingly, carried a folding pocket knife thru security in Hugary, Turkey (twice), Malasia (twice) and Australia; without incident. But what I did, is not what anyone should do.

A lot better to go to the source and follow the directions to the letter.

If there is an issue, much better to quote the government website than the RS forum.

This way you will have absolutely (almost) nothig to worry about. If you do a google search you will find articles about those that were stopped and did have their medication confiscated. No need to be the topic of an article.

Posted by
2783 posts

I have always carried my medicine into the UK and have never been asked about it.