Taking Medication To Spain From UK

If you take regular prescription medications, then it’s likely that you’ll want to bring these with you when you travel to Spain. And many people who don’t take medications on prescription will choose to bring regular over-the-counter medications, vitamins and other essentials (such as plasters or a first aid kit) with them just in case. But what can you pack and what should you leave at home? And how much medication can you bring with you when you travel to Spain? Here’s everything you need to know:

Can You Bring Prescription Medicines Into Spain?

The short answer is yes. It is possible to bring the medication you need into Spain. If you are travelling outside of the UK with prescription medications then it is important that you keep these in their original packaging, with your full name and the name of the prescribing doctor included. Where possible you should also travel with your written prescription script.

The rules on bringing medicines into Spain from abroad are set out in Artículo 74 of the Royal Legislative Decree or BOE.  This states that  "Spanish law allows you to carry your own personal medication for treatments of up to three months, as long as it is accompanied by a medical prescription...If you are transporting narcotics and/or psychotropic medication into the country you must get a permit issued by the Spanish health authorities. In this case, you must request e-mail permission from your local Spanish consulate, providing the medical prescription and the following information:

  • Doctor's information and collegiate number
  • Telephone and e-mail contact
  • Plus all your personal details such as name, address, passport number, date of birth etc.

What Medication Is Not Allowed In Spain

Certain drugs that are prescribed in the UK are considered to be ‘controlled drugs’ in Spain. If you take these medications, and need to travel with them when visiting Spain, then you should visit your doctor before you travel to get a letter clearly stating that the medicines are prescribed to you and that you need to take them.

 You are advised to always travel with any prescription medications that you need to carry in your hand luggage.

 What About Bringing Medicines Into Spain Without A Prescription?

There are some medications you may choose to travel with that you can buy over-the-counter in the UK. Many people will always travel with painkillers, or something to relieve an upset tummy, for example. But its important to know that some drugs that don’t require a prescription back in your home country may require a prescription in Spain. This could cause issues at passport control, so you’re always advised to check beforehand before you travel with any medications.

 If you’ve checked and the medicines you want to travel with don’t require a prescription, such as vitamins for example, then you still shouldn’t travel with more than a three month supply.

 If you’re traveling from the UK, which is considered outside the EU, then this may further limit the medications you can travel to Spain with. The UK government website states: “You cannot take some products prescribed for health conditions with you into the EU. These include special food required for medical reasons containing meat or dairy”. This could include certain brands of probiotics.

 Why Travel With Medications In Spain

Unlike in other countries, you cannot buy medications in the supermarket or local corner store in Spain. Only pharmacies can sell medicines, even if these are available over the counter, without prescription.

If you wake up with a headache on holiday in Spain then not only will carrying your own painkillers save you time hunting for a pharmacy, it could also save you money.

Some medicines in Spain are significantly more expensive than they are in the UK. For example, 10 sachets of cold and flu medicine in Spain will cost you around €9.68, while in the UK it costs £3.49 or €4.05.

For this reason, planning your medication needs ahead, and bringing some of your medicines to Spain with you can be a good idea, and one that will save you time and money.

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