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Prescription Drugs and Canadian Travellers

Some Canadians require personal prescription drugs when travelling. It is important to prepare a list of the generic names of your prescription drugs to assist Thai authorities should you be questioned about your medications.

Bringing Medications into Thailand

According to the Thai Food and Drug Administration, the law states that a maximum 30-day dosage of authorized drugs may be brought into the country without a licence from the Thai FDA. The laws of Thailand, such as the Psychoactive Substances Law, stipulate that the following substances are not allowed into the country:

  1. Psychoactive substances in category 1 (example: Calhinone, DET, Etryplamine, Mescaline)
  2. Narcotics of any type:
    Category 1: example: Heroin, Amphetamine, Desomorphine
    Category 2: example: Morphine, Cocaine, Codeine, Medicinal opium
    Category 3: example: Codeine cough syrup, anti-diarrhoeal drug with Opium
    Category 4: example: Acetic anhydride, Acetyl chloride
    Category 5: example: Marijuana.

However, psychoactive substances in the following categories may be allowed into Thailand for personal use if the dosage does not exceed 30 days consumption. The following medications must be accompanied by the original medical certificate signed by a physician and the passport of the person to whom the prescription was issued:

Category 2: example: Flurazepam, Mazindol, Nitrazepam, Phentermine
Category 3: example: Amobarbital, Meprobamate, Pentazocine, Pentobarbital
Category 4: example: Chloralhydrate, Chlordiazepoxide, Clobazam, Oxazolam, Clonazepam

Purchasing Medications in Thailand

Canadians visiting Thailand for longer than 30 days should consult their doctor or pharmacist in Canada to determine if their medications can be purchased locally in Thailand. If so, original prescriptions and medical certificates should be brought.

Some medications may not be available for purchase in Thai drugstores. Canadians may have to visit a local hospital as an outpatient in order to have their medications prescribed by a physician.

Shipping Medications to Thailand

Medications not available locally may have to be sent by courier from Canada. Often the weight of additional medical supplies (vials of sterile water, syringes, etc.) weigh far more than the medication itself. Large packages may be held by customs and all items are subject to tax (tax is based on declared value from the country of the origin and ranges from 10 to 20 percent depending on the drug category, plus 7% VAT). To avoid these additional costs, Canadians may wish to determine if the medical supplies can be purchased locally and to have only the medication itself couriered in a small package.

Medications may be shipped by private courier companies. This requires an import permit from the Thai FDA. The following information must accompany the package: a statement from the importer that the medications are for personal use, photocopies of birth certificate, health card or driver’s license, and social insurance number. The invoice must state the following: name and address of manufacturer, generic or common name of the product, intended use of the product, daily dosage suggested, a letter from physician stating the condition of the person receiving the medication and information about the prescription. The shipment cannot contain more than a 3 month supply of the medications. Further documentation required includes a photocopy of the label on the medicine container, proof of foreign citizenship of importer (eg. visa), and a “Declaration of contents and shipper’s letter of instruction” customs form.


Food and Drug Administration
Entry Control at Bangkok International Airport
Tel: 0 2535-1159
Fax: 0 2535-4519
Secretary-General (for written confirmation)
Tel: 0 2590-7004
Fax: 0 2591-8636

Ramathibodi Poison Centre
Information about drugs (24 hours)
Tel: 0 2201-1083
Fax: 0 2246 8282 ext. 10

Thai Customs
Tel: 0 2996-8658

Siam Drugs
(Mon. - Sat. 10:00 to 03:00, Sun. and holidays
15:00 to 03:00)
Pat Pong Road
Tel: 0 2234-1711, 0 2237-0878

S.K.P. Pharmacy
932 Rama IV Road
(opposite Thai Red Cross Society)
Tel: 0 2234-3497, 0 2235-6990, 0 2233-1270
Fax: 0 2234-3253

Cool Storage of Medications

Global Doctor
Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Hotel, Ground Fl.
981 Silom Road (corner Silom & Surasak Rd.)
Bangkok 10500
Tel: 0 2236 8444
Fax: 0 2236 8445

Travel Medicine and Vaccination Centre
(TMVC) (Vaccination)
8th Fl., Alma Link Bldg.,
Ploenchit 25 Soi Chidlom
Tel: 0 2655-1024 - 5
Fax: 0 2655-1026


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