Carrying essential medicine to Saudi Arabia during Hajj
If you are blessed enough to perform Hajj, it is advised that you carry certain medications with you. These can be medications that you consume regularly due to an illness or bodily discomfort, or medicines that you plan to take as contingency.
In order to carry prescribed drugs to Saudi Arabia, you have to abide by some rules.
General know-hows of carrying medicines to KSA
Carrying medications for personal usage without a proper prescription is not allowed and are subject to possible confiscation. In order to carry medications for regular consumption, carry either of the two documentations:
- Recent medical report that is less than six months old, issued by your medical care provider, which mentions your personal information, medical diagnosis, treatment plan, medical recommendations, along with generic name of the prescription drugs, their dosage, and dosage form.
- A doctor's prescription that is less than six months old in your name mentioning your medical diagnosis, generic name of the prescription drug, dosage and dosage form, drug usage instructions and prescribed duration of use along with the official seal of the health care provider.
Also note that you will be personally responsible for carrying your medications, in which regard others will not be able to carry it for you. Thus, it is safe to keep a patient identification document with you.
In any case if your medications are being carried by someone else, then you should submit a copy of that person's identification with the clearance application. You should apply for clearance at your local embassy at least a month before arrival.
Points to keep in mind about refilling prescriptions
It is important to note that you will be allowed to carry enough medicines for only one month, or for the tenure of your stay – whichever is shorter. After that duration, you will be required to refill your prescriptions locally from a licensed medical facility.
Once a physician confirms the need, a medical file will be opened for you at the medical facility in order to issue a prescription. You can then avail your medicines once it is dispensed by the local pharmacy. You have to follow this same procedure every time you require replenishing your stock.
Essential list of medicines to carry
Now that we are aware of the rules to abide by while carrying medications to KSA, here is a list of essential medications you ought to carry during your trip, for obvious reasons —
Antacid, constipation and diarrhoea medication: sudden changes to your diet can take a toll on your body and can lead to stomach problems such as acidity, constipation or diarrhoea. Thus, it is always a good idea to carry medications for these unprecedented ailments.
Respiratory medications: respiratory infections are common among pilgrims that occur due to the convergence of people and tight crowds of thousands of people. Apart from trying to maintain optimum hygiene, you can also carry respiratory medications.
Painkillers: the journey of pilgrimage tends to be exhausting and tiring as there is a lot of walking involved. This often leads to leg cramps and bodily aches. Keep painkillers such as paracetamol with you to mitigate the pain.
Band Aids: not a prescription drug per se but it is an essential item to carry in your medicine kit. Walking long distances on rough paths exposes you to the risk of cuts and scratches. Thus, it is wise to carry band aids with you at all times.
Special medicines: if you suffer from any major illness such as a chronic disease, diabetes, arthritis, or asthma, then make sure you carry sufficient medications to consume throughout the journey. Also, be sure to take sufficient measures for ones that require temperature control.