Taking Medications into Japan

sippican

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Hearing that there may be some red tape involved in taking medications into the country - involves something called Yakkan Shomei. Some say you must get preapproval, others say no problem. Thoughts, experience?
 

MKTokyo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 24, 2018
You do not need a Yakkan Shoumei as long as you're not bringing more than a month's supply of medication with you. Officially, you need to bring it in the original bottle with a copy of your prescription. Unofficially, I have never heard of anyone being stopped & asked for prescriptions/packaging.

That said, even if you have a prescription for a particular medication, you may not be able to bring it into the country. No amphetamines, pseudoephedrine, codeine. I don't want to ask your personal health history but verify here if there's something you have a question about: http://www.ncd.mhlw.go.jp/en/application.html
 

Agent 86

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
I've never had any issues.

And I often take cold and flu tablets, which contain pseudoephedrine, as I have bad luck when it comes to catching foreign colds and flus on holiday!
 
  • MKTokyo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2018
    I've never had any issues.

    And I often take cold and flu tablets, which contain pseudoephedrine, as I have bad luck when it comes to catching foreign colds and flus on holiday!
    You do you, but I personally would never risk bringing what is considered an illegal substance into a foreign country. If the authorities ever find it, you're going to be in serious trouble.
     

    Agent 86

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2013
    You do you, but I personally would never risk bringing what is considered an illegal substance into a foreign country. If the authorities ever find it, you're going to be in serious trouble.
    I never realised that it was an illegal substance when travelling to Japan until I read your post. Until recently, cold and flu medication containing pseudoephedrine was sold over the counter in Australia.
     

    MKTokyo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2018
    I never realised that it was an illegal substance when travelling to Japan until I read your post. Until recently, cold and flu medication containing pseudoephedrine was sold over the counter in Australia.
    You can actually still buy it OTC in Japan, too. You just can't bring it in or out.

    Hope you will never need to do so, but if you do, avoid the product called "BRON" unless you really like to suffer. It's a hellish all-in-one concoction of caffeine, codeine & ephedrine. A running joke is "I took BRON and it destroyed my life in the following ways..."

    It's perfectly legal because it is manufactured & distributed in Japan, and is therefore free of that nasty foreign influence that causes Sudafed to be very dangerous :lmao:
     

    Haley R

    With all the strength of a raging fire
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2017
    You can actually still buy it OTC in Japan, too. You just can't bring it in or out.

    Hope you will never need to do so, but if you do, avoid the product called "BRON" unless you really like to suffer. It's a hellish all-in-one concoction of caffeine, codeine & ephedrine. A running joke is "I took BRON and it destroyed my life in the following ways..."

    It's perfectly legal because it is manufactured & distributed in Japan, and is therefore free of that nasty foreign influence that causes Sudafed to be very dangerous :lmao:
    So you can't bring cold and flu medicine into Japan? What about Nyquil?
     
  • Agent 86

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2013
    So you can't bring cold and flu medicine into Japan? What about Nyquil?
    Per MKTokyo's above post, not if it contains "amphetamines, pseudoephedrine, codeine".

    As noted, I've never had any issue. But, if you want to respect the rules, you may just wish to buy some cold and flu medicine over the counter in Japan if needed. MKTokyo indicates that they still sell ... effective (i.e. with pseudoephedrine) medicine over the counter in Japan without needing a prescription.
     

    Shanti

    Momketeer
    Joined
    Nov 29, 2015
    So you can't bring cold and flu medicine into Japan? What about Nyquil?
    You can legally being cold medicines in, just not ones that contain pseudophedrine or codeine. No OTC medications have codeine in them, as you need a prescription for codeine. Most OTC cold meds don't have pseudophedrine in them. You can only get meds with pseudophedrine behind the counter at your local pharmacy (no prescription needed), and they'll make you sign for it, to keep tabs & make sure you aren't buying it in large volumes. It's an effective cold medication, but unfortunately it can also be used to make amphetamines.

    That's why Japan doesn't want codeine and pseudophedrine crossing their borders, although they haven't outlawed them internally. They're trying to discourage drug smuggling. A tourist carring one pack of cold relief medication that contains pseudophedrine probably isn't going to alarm them, though.
     
    Last edited:

    MKTokyo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 24, 2018
    You can legally being cold medicines in, just not ones that contain pseudophedrine or codeine. No OTC medications have codeine in them, as you need a prescription for codeine. Most OTC cold meds don't have pseudophedrine in them. You can only get meds with pseudophedrine behind the counter at your local pharmacy (no prescription needed), and they'll make you sign for it, to keep tabs & make sure you aren't buying it in large volumes. It's an effective cold medication, but unfortunately it can also be used to make amphetamines.

    That's why Japan doesn't want codeine and pseudophedrine crossing their borders, although they haven't outlawed them internally. They're trying to discourage drug smuggling. A tourist carring one pack of cold relief medication that contains pseudophedrine probably isn't going to alarm them, though.
    Not true - BRON is OTC, and BRON has codeine.
     
  • AngelDisney

    Dream a Disney Dream 0[;)
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2011
    Thanks for all the info! I am glad that I checked out this thread. DD is on medication regularly. I should forward her this info.

    :thanks:
     

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