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Your Medications

If you go abroad with pre-existing medical problems, carry a letter from your doctor describing your condition, including information on any prescription medicines you must take. You should also have the generic names of the drugs. Leave medicines in their original, labeled containers. These precautions make customs processing easier. A doctor's certificate, however, may not suffice as authorization to transport all prescription drugs to all foreign countries. Travelers have innocently been arrested for drug violations when carrying items not considered to be narcotics in the United States. To ensure you do not violate the drug laws of the countries you visit, consult the embassy or consulate of those countries for precise information before leaving the United States.

If you have allergies, reactions to certain medicines, or other unique medical problems, consider wearing a medical alert bracelet or carrying a similar warning.

Several private organizations provide listings of physicians to international travelers. Membership in these organizations is gemnerally free, although a donation may be requested. Membership entitles the traveler to a number of traveler's medical aids, including a directory of physicians with their overseas locations, telephone numbers and doctors' fee schedules. The physicians are generally English-speaking and provide medical assistance 24 hours a day. The addresses of these medical organizations are in travel magazines or may be available from your travel agent.

Excerpted from:U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. HHS Publication No. (CDC) 94-8280. June, 1994. pg. 20

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