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Summary of laws concerning taking supplies of ADHD medication in or out of the UK.

Summary of laws concerning taking supplies of ADHD medication in or out of the UK.We get a number of people contacting us about the issue of taking supplies of ADHD medication out of the UK when they go on holiday. We also get people contacting us from outside the UK who are coming to the UK on holiday or for longer periods of time.

We have contacted the Home Office who have sent us copies of the regulations, which we have copied later in this Information Sheet.

However we have summarised this initially but would recommend that if anyone is thinking of travelling they should read the information from the Home Office in this sheet or to contact the Home Office direct on 0207 0350472 and ask for the Drug Information Department who will be able to advise you further.

Summery of Information from the Home Office

Taking any controlled medication out of or bringing to the UK is subject to import or export conditions and need to be declared at the customs at any port of exit or entrance.

Methylphenidate - Ritalin, Equasym, Concerta

Dexamphetamine Sulphate


All come into this category.

As the regulations stand at the moment it is OK to travel with Controlled Drugs into or out of the UK provided the amount is no more than 3 months supply and does not exceed 900mgs - an update here as at May 2007 the Home Office only now issue a license if you are going to be out of the UK for a month or more - so basically if you are just going on a two week holiday, you are no longer required to have the license. However, it is advisable, even if you are travelling with less than this amount, that you get a letter from your doctor giving:

  • The name of the medication both generic and brand name
  • saying that you are prescribed the medication
  • what it is prescribed for
  • the accurate dosage per day
  • strength of medication
  • total quantity to be taken out of / into the country
  • the patient's name, address, date of birth
  • the country of destination and departure,
  • return date to the UK or the country you are visiting the UK from

However there are still some countries which have different regulations, so you can check the information from the Home Office below for more details of these countries and the particular regulations and relevant contact details below.

It is also a good idea to check out the details for the ID Card produced by the Milton Keynes Support Group as this is another good way of proving who you are and that you have been prescribed the medication.

If you are going out of / or visiting the UK for longer than 3 months, you would need to follow the Home Office Regulations below. It is also worth remembering that a doctor will normally only give supply for one month in advance anyway.

You should also contact the Embassy for any Country you are visiting before you intend to travel to confirm any particular regulations they have and how you can sort out the prescribing of medication in the Country you are travelling to and to ask for details of a doctor you can register with on a temporary basis to enable you to continue with your medication whilst away.

The Embassy should be able to put you in touch with someone before you travel to arrange treatment whilst away. You need to remember that there are some places where the condition of ADD/ADHD is not so well recognised, so make sure you find out all information well in advance of any travel. It would also be worth speaking to your prescribing doctor for details of your medication including dosage and any reports which you can take with you to confirm your diagnosis to any temporary doctor you have to see whilst away.


Copy of Information from the Home Office including relevant medication details:

Personal import/export licences are issued to travellers who are carrying controlled drugs abroad (or in the case of an import licence, into the UK) for short periods for their own personal use. They are issued in circumstances where the total amount being carried exceeds the maximum amounts shown on the Open General Licence List (See 1.5) and where the period of travel does not exceed 3 months.


Where the total quantity of the drug being carried does not exceed the aximum amount shown on the Open General Licence List, patients can be advised that they do not need a licence - a covering letter from their prescribing doctor will suffice.

Licences are issued to expire one week after the expected return date to the UK (or one week after the expected date of departure from the UK in the case of an import licence).

A personal licence has no standing outside the UK and is merely a document which allows travellers to pass through UK Customs unhindered. Travellers should, therefore, be advised to contact the Embassy or Consulate of their country of destination (or any country through which they may be travelling) to check that there are no regulations or problems concerning that particular drug before embarking upon their journey.