Prescriptions for Travel Abroad

If you are planning a longer holiday abroad and require extra supply of repeat prescriptions, please give the dispensary adequate notice of your requirements. If, however, you require up to three months’ supply of repeat medication the agreement of your GP will be required. Please see further DoH advice below.

It depends on several things, including:

  • how long your GP thinks you need medication for your condition
  • how often your treatment needs to be reviewed
  • how long you’ll be away

Your medication

If you need regular medication for a stable long-term health condition, your GP can
prescribe a maximum supply of three months.

If you’re taking a course of medication that will finish during your holiday, then get
advice from your GP. They may be able to give you a repeat prescription.
However, this will depend on, for example:

  • how long your GP thinks you’ll continue to need your medication
  • how often your treatment needs to be reviewed

Will my GP prescribe medication in case I’m ill when
I’m away?

Talk to your GP about this. They will only give you an NHS prescription if they
think that you need the medication. They don’t have to give you an NHS
prescription just because you think you should have the medication.

Some GPs will provide private prescriptions if they agree that you should take
medication in case you’re ill while you’re away. You will have to pay for a private

Travel abroad for more than three months

If you’re going abroad for more than three months, your GP may prescribe medication to last until you can make arrangements to get it at your destination. This might be by:

  • registering with a doctor in the country you’re visiting
  • buying the medication from a pharmacist while you’re away

If you’re travelling outside the EU, before you go, check with your GP whether you
can get your medication in the countries you’re travelling to. You can also contact
each country’s embassy or high commission for advice.

Check what medication you can take

Before you travel find out if there are any restrictions on taking your medicine in and
out of:

  • the UK
  • the country you’re visiting

Some medicines available over the counter in the UK may be controlled in other
countries. For more information, see Can I take my medicine abroad? and What is a
controlled medicine (drug)?

When you return

If you’re given any medication while you’re away, try to find out if it’s legal to bring
it back into the UK. If you’re in any doubt, declare it at customs when you come back.

Read the answers to more questions about travel health.

Further information: