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Going through USA customs with perscription drugs

tom carr

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  • Added on: December 15th, 2004
What is the law about bringing back medicine for personal use from overseas, when the medicine requires a perscription in the USA, for example valium or darvon?

Ms. California

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  • Added on: December 15th, 2004
Check it in your suitcase. No worries. So long as it is not medically pescribed marijuana you should be fine.
...She went...she saw...she took the pictures...there she goes...

Prisa

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  • Added on: December 15th, 2004
I smuggle in Tylonal 3 from Canada every time I go there. I usually take the train and I just don't declare it.
Once my less then travel savvy friend told them she had it on them and they held up the train to search through the luggage and then took it. She was freaking out as I was in the background rolling my eyes.
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Libby

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  • Added on: December 15th, 2004
Tylenol 3 is worth holding up a train?

Prisa

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  • Added on: December 15th, 2004
yup,
allthough you must understand the situation

Customs Agent: And are you bringing back with you any drugs, plants, fruit or perscription drugs?
Unsavvy Friend: Um...no...well yes, well a drug...perscription. I bought it there anyway.
C.A.: What is the name of this drug
U.F.: Um...I'm not sure, I don't remember...It's in my suitcase. Geez...crap I don't know. I think I took a pill or two, it's nothing bad I don't think. I'm just getting them for a friend, officer.

(at this point I'm almost in tears in both laughter and pain)

So anywhoo the lady demanded to see them and it held us up for a bit. The customs on trains at the US border takes forever anyway. But ya, no fun. Don't travel with her anymore.
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'The time has come,' the Walrus said,
'To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot --
And whether pigs have wings

tom carr

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  • Added on: December 15th, 2004
So I wonder what would happen if you did not declare them and they searched your bag and found them?

irishpdx

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  • Added on: December 15th, 2004
I hate to be a downer, but your original question was about the law so here's the FDA's website in case you haven't seen it: http://www.fda.gov/ora/import/traveler_alert.htm

I think your questions would fall under: "Possession of certain medications without a prescription from a physician licensed in the United States may violate Federal, State, and/or local laws" and "It is against the law not to properly declare imported medications to U.S. Customs."

But tons of people bring in prescription drugs from abroad and not many are "caught." I'm a scaredy cat when it come to things like this, so I wouldn't import a controlled drug like valium, but if it was something dumb like allergy pills or an antibiotic that I needed, I'd have no trouble bringing it in and not declaring it.

Grasshopper

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  • Added on: December 18th, 2004
quote:
Originally posted by Prisa:
I smuggle in Tylonal 3 from Canada every time I go there. I usually take the train and I just don't declare it.
Once my less then travel savvy friend told them she had it on them and they held up the train to search through the luggage and then took it.


And then what happened, Prisa? Was she fined or justscolded? I bring back (undeclared, of course) Paracetamol (similar to Tylenol 3) each time I go to Europe and have often wondered what customs would do to me if they found it. It's over-the-counter in the EU, but for some bizarre reason it's illegal in the USA.

koukla mou

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  • Added on: December 19th, 2004
i'm traveling for eight months, and i'm planning on bringing my prescription drugs with me, but i have a lot of them- i mean, i take at least one every day, and i have a presription for eight months! i wouldn't worry, but it's just that i'm carrying so many with me. . . should i have any issues, even if they are prescribed?
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PhotoChick

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  • Added on: December 20th, 2004
When I returned from my RTW trip, I was red-flagged by customs and had my bag searched. I had syringes, an epi-pen, and a bunch of persciption med stuff (in little vials as well as pill form) a friend's dad who is a pharmacist demanded I take with me still in my med kit. They saw it, didn't care, and were more interested in my wooden masks that I bought.

Time before, the same thing happened and I had some weird voo-doo narcotic drug I was given as a painkiller in China when I had needed some stitches there. I had this funky little packet with a few pills in it with Chinese writing. THey saw it, didn't care.

Of course I may have gotten lucky, who knows. I'd not worry too much about it though.

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