Trips abroad with medications – what you need to know

Anyone who relies on medication should find out about the regulations in their destination country and any countries they travel through before taking a trip abroad


Some countries require you to carry the original prescription with you so that you can prove that you obtained the medication legally and that it is for your own use. It is generally advisable to carry your vaccination card with you.

Some medicinal products are authorised in Switzerland but prohibited in other countries. Importing such medications into these countries is a criminal offence. It is therefore advisable to find out about import regulations in your destination country and any countries you travel through before your trip. You can select destination countries and find relevant travel information on the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs website under “Travel advice and representations”.

Note regarding medications containing narcotics

Individuals travelling in the Schengen countries with medications containing narcotics must carry a certificate with them. This is issued by the organisation that dispensed the medication (pharmacy or medical practice). The certification form can be found on the Swissmedic website.

Not only products such as methadone and morphine are considered to be narcotics – strong painkillers and sleeping aids as well as certain psychotropic agents can also fall under this category. The export of sufficient narcotics for 30 days for personal use from Switzerland is permitted. For longer trips, the medications required for treatment will need to be prescribed by a doctor in the destination country and obtained there.

Importing medications from abroad

The following applies when entering Switzerland: one month’s supply of medications for personal use may be imported. Please note: The permitted quantity is calculated based on the dose stated in the Patient information (package leaflet).

Supplementary information

Swissmedic website:
FDFA website:

Wer eine Reise tut ... (PDF, 2 MB, 14.07.2023) [Tips and advice in pocket format] brochure [not available in English]

Swiss Society of Tropical and Travel Medicine: