Yes, but specific requirements apply to taking controlled medicines abroad.
Some prescribed medicines are controlled under the Misuse of Drugs legislation. They are sometimes referred to as controlled drugs. This means extra legal controls apply to these medicines for safekeeping, supply and import/export. Examples of controlled medicines include:
As with all medicines to be taken abroad for personal use, your medicine should be accompanied by a doctor's letter. You may also need a personal licence issued by the Home Office to take controlled medicines abroad – for example, if you travel abroad for more than three months.
Check the list of controlled drugs or contact the Home Office to find out specific requirements for your medicine(s) or email DLCUCommsOfficer@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.
A personal licence permits you to take prescribed controlled medicines for personal use out of the UK and bring them back in when you return. You still need to check regulations for other countries by contacting their UK embassy.
You need to apply to the Home Office for a personal licence at least 10 working days before the date you will be travelling on. Your GP will need to provide a letter supporting your application.
If you take your prescribed controlled medicines abroad, you must carry them:
You must also take a letter from your GP giving the information below:
The letter should also list the controlled medicines you're carrying. For each medicine, it should show:
Other than medication such as the contraceptive pill, GPs do not usually prescribe more than three months of medication at one time. Patients usually have to get further supplies in the country they are staying in, but the GP will decide this based on the medication and the condition being treated – for example, epilepsy.
Be advised your surgery may charge for writing such a letter, as GPs are not obliged to provide the service under the NHS.