Can I carry anti-depressant drugs overseas?
Q: I have been taking Nexito 20 mg once a day for the last 10 months, which my doctor has prescribed. Now, I am travelling overseas for 3 months. Since this is my first trip I would like to know if I can carry enough Nexito tablets for 90 days with me. I have a valid prescription dated last year. I have been having regular follow-ups with my Psychiatrist. Do I need to get an additional letter from my psychiatrist?
A:Nexito is the brand name; the name of the medicine is escitalopram indicated in the treatment of major depression and panic disorders. An international company called Lundbeck in India, which operates in US also, sells the same drug under the brand name of Cipralex. Since this brand name is widely known, it would be safer to take it just to reduce any hassle at the international airport. You will be asked specifically if you are carrying any drugs. Generally when one carries branded drugs not known in US, two types of questions arise (a) what is the ingredient and if the same is banned in US (in this case it is not) and (b) If it is a fake or counterfeit medicine. The US definition of counterfeit includes patented drugs copied by any foreign companies without permission from the innovator (in this case Lundbeck). Such drugs can be confiscated. You should carry a recent, not one year old prescription from the doctor giving your name, age, diagnosis and the brand name (Cipralex) of prescribed drug along with duration (i.e. 90 days). Since you are carrying the same for personal use, there will be no problem.