IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are planning to take any medications with you while traveling, please contact the relevant country's embassy who can best advise you on whether the medication is considered illegal or not plus any further information or permits you may need in order to travel with your medications.
As of mid-2018, the government of the United Arab Emirates requires ALL passengers, including those in transit, to register online if they are carrying any medications. There is a long list of narcotics and psychotropics that will require registration. It includes codeine, a drug commonly prescribed in many countries.
To see a list of medications requiring registration and to register them, go to the Ministry of Health and Prevention's webpage.
Always carry your medications, doctor's letter and permits in your carry on luggage; not just in case your checked in bag goes missing, is delayed or stolen, but also for convenience sake as illness could strike at any time while traveling.
Declare any syringes you may have with you for medical reasons to customs.
Try to keep your medications cool and dry. Heat and moisture can damage medications which reduce their effectiveness.
Something as simple as a cold and flu tablet containing pseudoephedrine can get you into trouble. Over the counter medications can be considered illegal in some countries or there may be limits on how much you can bring in.
Carry a doctor's letter outlining its use and make sure the medication is in its original packaging. If in doubt, give the relevant embassy a call and check with them.
Most western nations have removed codeine from over-the-counter medicines in pharmacies.
If there is codeine in a medicine, you'll need a prescription to get it, so the rules above apply.
If you use strong, opioid (morphine-based) painkillers, or treatment for addiction (methadone, for example), many countries require you to get a special permit before you arrive.
This may include codeine-based medicines. You may also need a letter from your doctor which outlines which painkillers you are taking and their dosage.
Contact the relevant embassy in your country for details, should you have any questions before traveling.
Any vitamins and supplements should be carried in their original packaging so authorities can identify their contents. It may also be worth getting them added to your doctor's letter.
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