Taking Meds to Russia

by Mark
(Winston Salem)

I take a number of medications. Lets just say it's strong medication. I plan to have a written letter from my Doctor. The letter is standard for many Countries anyway but;

Will I need to have a translation of this letter made in Russian and attached to the original? Or the Doc sign both; English and Russian versions of this letter? I plan to pack super light, and green line in. But I can not afford to have trouble with this issue.

Pain, and Anxiety disorder meds. Type 1 + 2 narcotics in the U.S.

Any advice would be fantastic. Each day my mind grows into the good, bad, wonderful, and the ugly about really flying this far. And what could be an issue. 3x P. Proper Prior Planning; I believe in it.

Even a source I haven't found to call would be really helpful. Thanks so very much.

Bob's Answer:

At https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/russia.html there is a subsection labeled "Prescription Medication". Maybe that's where you got the info you already know?

Anyway, it says you should carry prescriptions in original packaging along with a copy of the prescription "including a notarized translation into Russian". I can't confidently answer your questions about whether the doc signs both copies or whatever.

I learned when doing fiancee visa paperwork that there was a such thing as a "certified translation" where someone with some kind of official licensing translates something and certifies the translation with a special notary-like stamp. I would imagine that this is what they're talking about, not your doctor signing it.

IF that is what you need, you would just send the printed part of the prescription to the certified translator, he/she will translate it and stamp it, and send it back (unless you can find a certified Russian translator locally).

That web page also says "Russia prohibits some prescription and over the counter drugs that are legal and commonly used in the United States", but naturally it omits any list of such meds!

I think if I were in your shoes (with narcotic-type prescriptions) I would probably start by trying to call that number on that travel.state.gov site. It lists the number for the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

All that is the "official" answer... I take blood pressure medication, and when I travel I usually bring prescription sleep medication, and neither time to Russia nor in any of my many more visits to Ukraine has anyone so much as inquired. If you were only carrying meds like blood pressure or cholesterol pills I'd say just take them in the original labeled containers and don't worry about it. But with what you described I think I would want a little more assurance.

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