Bringing Medication to Thailand – A Guide

A question that comes up regularly is about bringing medication to Thailand, what is allowed and what is not. I have been asked this dozens of times over the years and again last night, so I thought I will address it here as the information can sometimes be difficult to find.

*Note: I am not a doctor or a lawyer, below is my opinion on how I understand the literature available. If there are any discrepancy between what I say here and what you read in the documents linked here please accept the official documents as accurate Thai Narcotics Act 2522.

These regulations change from time to time as the law is updated, if you are concerned it would be a good idea to check with the Thai embassy prior to your trip.

Bringing your medication to Thailand if you are prescribed the medication in your country from a licensed physician and can prove it then the vast majority of of your medication is fine. What I always suggest when bringing medication to Thailand is to put them all in a clear ziplock bag in the original containers with your name, the name of the drug and the prescribing physician clearly marked on the bottles or packaging. Also it is a good idea to get a letter from your doctor explaining the medications your on, what the condition is the the medication is for and that he/she legally prescribed them.

The above is referring to common medications ie: heart medication, blood pressure, allergies, diabetes, etc.

Pain medication, narcotics and psychotropic drugs have some different and stricter regulations. You can bring some of them but only a maximum of a 30 day supply and for narcotics listed in Category 2 you will have to apply in advance.

Bringing Medication to Thailand (Narcotics)

A. Bringing Medications to Thailand that contain narcotics - Category 2

The Ministry of Public Health issued the Ministerial Regulation B.E. 2552 (2009) under the Narcotics Act B.E. 2522 (1979), amended by the Narcotics Act B.E. 2545 (2002). It became effective on September 29, 2009. According to the new regulation, travelers to Thailand under medical treatment are allowed to carry medications containing narcotic drugs of Category 2 for personal treatment in a quantity not exceeding 30 days of prescribed usage and must follow the applicable regulations strictly.

Travelers to Thailand under treatment of these medications are required to obtain a permit (Form IC-2) issued by the Food and Drug Administration before traveling to Thailand.

*NOTE HERE, be sure to read the guide for these drugs as they can land you in prison in Thailand if you don't follow the regulations.

Common examples of narcotic drugs in Category 2 according to The Narcotics Act B.E. 2522 (1979), which are controlled under the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs (1961):

  • Examples of Category 2 Narcotics
    • Codeine
    • Dextropropoxyphene
    • Dihydrocodeine
    • Fentanyl
    • Hydrocodone
    • Hydromorphone
    • Methadone
    • Morphine
    • Oxycodone
    • Pethidine

Any of the above you are going to have to get permission in advance and can only bring a maximum of a 30 day supply, check the Check the PDF here Thailand Narcotic Drugs for a full list of drugs in Category 2. Also take note any drugs in Category 1, 4 or 5 are not permitted to be brought into Thailand without special permission for research purposes, anything not in Category 2 are illegal. Category 2 narcotics can also get you incarcerated if you don't follow the rules as they are laid out.

Bringing Medication to Thailand (psychotropics)

Medications containing psychotropic substances of categories 2, 3, and 4

According to the Psychotropic Substances Act B.E. 2518 (1975), Travelers to Thailand under treatment are allowed to transport medications containing psychotropic substances of Categories 2, 3, and 4 for personal treatment in a quantity not exceeding 30 days of prescribed usage when accompanied by a certificate/medical prescription from the prescribing physician.

The certificate/medical prescription from the prescribing physician must indicate:

1: the name and address of the patient 2: the identified medical condition 3: the name of the medications and the reason that those medications were 4: prescribed for the patient's treatment 5: the posology and total amount of medications prescribed 6: the name, address, and license number of the prescribing physician

The quantity of the medications carried into Thailand must not exceed 30 days of prescribed usage.

Examples of psychotropic substances in Categories 2, 3, and 4 according to the Psychotropic Substances Act B.E. 2518 (1975):

  • Examples of Category 2 Psychotropics

    • Buprenorphine
    • Methylphenidate
    • Midazolam
    • Nitrazepam
    • Phentermine
    • Temazepam
    • Triazolam
    • Zolpidem
  • Examples of Category 3 Psychotropics

    • Pentazocine
  • Examples of Category 4 Psychotropics

    • Alprazolam
    • Bromazepam
    • Chlordiazepoxide
    • Clonazepam
    • Clorazepate
    • Diazepam
    • Oxazepam
    • Phenobarbital

Follow this link for a PDF with the full list of Thai Controlled Psychotropic Drugs.

You can also check the government regulations for bring psychotropic medication to Thailand at this link, Psychotropic Substances Act B.E. 2518 (1975)

When bringing medication to Thailand basically any of your medications in Psychotropic category 2, 3 and 4 you can bring so long as you can prove that they were legally obtained, you have a prescription, a health/treatment need and you are not trying to bring more then a 30 day supply. Category 1 will are strictly prohibited. Please note here Category 2 Psychotropic drugs are not the same as Category 2 Narcotics drugs they are different lists with different requirements.

It is to the best of my knowledge correct at the time of writing this article however I can not stress enough, double check, with the Thai FDA if you are planning on bringing any of the narcotic or psychotropic drugs to Thailand on the lists.

Another option to consider when bringing medication to Thailand is to leave the Category 2 drugs at home. Speak with your doctor in advance an obtain a prescription. They will not be able to fill it in Thailand based on an overseas physician prescribing, however if you shop around doctors at the hospitals you will usually find one that will write it based on your prescribing physicians advise. To the best of my knowledge however Oxycodone is not available in Thailand at all. Morphine and tramadol are, as well as codeine however only from a hospital pharmacy with a prescription. So if you have to have Oxycodone in Thailand you will have to go through the advance permission application to bring it.