7 Tips for Visitors Travelling With Medication to Canada

Travelling with medication is not a risk-free experience. There are ways to avoid the risks of travelling with medication, like having your essential prescriptions confiscated. The best way to get prepared for your trip is by knowing what to expect.

How to Travel with Medicine

If you want to bring medication or medical supplies into Canada, here are some tips:

1. Keep Your Medication Within Reach

You should keep your medication in your carry-on luggage. Prescription drugs and essential over-the-counter medicine are exempt from the liquid restrictions for carry-on luggage.

With prescription medication in your carry-on baggage, you will have access to it even if your check-in baggage is lost, misplaced, or delayed.

2. Do Not Repackage Your Medication

When travelling with medication, it may be tempting to use pill organizers. However, using non-original packaging is not recommended. Keep your prescription in its original packet or container. The medication should also have a clear label indicating what the prescription is and contains.

3. Travel with a Copy of Your Prescription

A copy of your prescription is helpful if security officials need to verify who it is for and what the medication is. The copy of your prescription should have

  • Your name
  • The generic name of the drug
  • The commercial name of the drug
  • The dosage

4. Travel with Extra Prescription Medication in Case Your Trip Extends

Sometimes, your trip won’t go as planned. You might want to extend your stay just a little bit longer. Or, your trip might be delayed due to an unforeseen event. If you’re travelling with prescription drugs internationally, having extra medication on hand is always a good decision.

However, you will be restricted to no more than 90 days of medication at any one time. If you are staying longer than 90 days, you may need to go to a walk-in clinic in Canada to have the prescription re-filled. In most cases, this is not covered by your travel insurance policy. Please check your insurance policy wording details to see if you have prescription medication coverage.

If you are a visitor to Canada staying for more than three months, you can bring an additional 90-day prescription every three months by mail or courier. If you decide to bring in medication via mail or courier, you will need to provide evidence of your visitor status, such as:

  • a copy of your passport
  • student or work visa, or
  • letter from an employer or university

5. Use a Separate Carry-on bag for Essential Medical Equipment

If you use medical equipment, you can store it in a carry-on dedicated to your medical needs. 

There is no carry-on bag limit restriction for medical supplies. A number of supplies, including pills, gels, liquids, pumps, and ostomy bags, can be stored here. 

You may need to inform your airline or the airport depending on the medical device or supplies you may have. Visit the travelling with a medical device government webpage to understand the specifics.

6. Keep a Letter from Your Doctor Handy

A doctor’s note can help customs officials verify that you are travelling with medication essential for your health. Your doctor should include the following in the letter:

  • The date
  • Your full name
  • Your doctor’s name and contact details
  • Your health condition
  • Your prescription drugs
  • The use of any medical supplies or equipment
  • What may happen if you are denied access to your medical equipment or prescriptions
  • Your doctor’s signature

7. Do Not Leave Your Bag Unattended

Leaving your bag unattended puts you at risk when you’re travelling with medication. It puts you at risk of having your prescriptions tampered with or having controlled substances placed in your luggage.

Get the Travel Medical Insurance You Need

Investing in travel medical insurance gives you peace of mind when travelling abroad and ensures you have access to healthcare services when needed. We can help you get a travel medical insurance plan that works for you. Generate a quote today or learn more about travel medical insurance for visitors to Canada!