What Are the Rules on Buying Prescription Meds from Mexico?
Buying prescription medicine in Mexico is easy and convenient, but there are a few things you need to know before you make your purchase. Learn the rules before you go to avoid hassles when you cross back the border to the US.
Many Americans and Canadians travel to border cities such as Los Algodones, Mexico for dental care. When you visit a dentist in Mexico, he will write you a prescription for pain or antibiotics after procedures such as extraction or dental surgery. You’ll be able to buy prescription meds from any of the number of discount Mexican pharmacies located across the border and bring it back to the US.
Actually, thousands of Americans and Canadians cross the US-Mexico border for cheap prescription meds. During the winter time, it’s common to find long lines of people in Algodones, most of which travelled to Mexico to buy discount prescription medications.
So, we decided to answer the top 8 questions regarding buying prescription meds from Mexico:
1. Can I buy meds from Mexico without a prescription?
For the most part, you can purchase prescription medications in Mexico without a prescription. You can also cross those meds back to the US. That’s why thousands of people cross the border to Mexico – to purchase discount pharmacy drugs. Sometimes, the savings are up to 80% on certain meds from Mexico. This is especially helpful if you don’t have good prescription medication insurance.
The only exception is you can’t bring back meds that are in the controlled substance list. Also, many of these medications in the controlled substance list are not sold in a regular Mexican pharmacy. Furthermore, the meds from Mexico have to be in their original containers. Border agents could check for the packaging to verify contents.
However, it’s best to follow a doctor’s advice when buying Mexico meds. Get a prescription from a Mexican doctor (or bring your US prescription) to get the correct dosage and the exact type of medication you need.
2. How many pills from Mexico can I bring back to the US?
You are allowed to bring up to 3 months personal supply back to the US.
3. What should I say to the US border agents when I cross back with my medication?
The border agents usually ask you, “What are you bringing from Mexico?” You have to declare all the prescription meds you bring from Mexico. You also have to declare anything else you bring from Mexico.
4. Can I bring pharmacy meds for a friend or family back to the US?
The rule states that you can only bring personal supply. That means you can’t buy medications for another person to use. For example, if you are a guy, you’ll get questioned if you bring back birth control pills for your girlfriend who is not with you.
5. Are the drug names the same in Mexico (compared to American and Canadian drug names)?
Sometimes, pharmaceutical drugs have different brand / trade names in Mexico. Pharmaceutical companies distribute and market their drugs differently. Know and check for the correct generic name or scientific name of the prescription pills you are purchasing.
If you are visiting Algodones for dentistry, the best way is to have a prescription from your dentist in Algodones when you go to the pharmacy to avoid buying the wrong pills or incorrect dosage.
6. Can I buy and bring back antibiotics from Mexico?
Yes, you can buy and take back antibiotics to the US, such as Penicillin or Amoxicillin. However, you can’t buy nor bring back stronger antibiotics such as Cipro. These are part of pharmacy meds under the controlled substance list.
Even if you have a prescription from a US or Mexico doctor, the border agents won’t let you cross back those meds across the border.
7. What type of medications can’t I bring back from Mexico?
You can’t legally cross pharmacy drugs that are in the controlled substance list, even with a valid prescription from a US, Canadian, or Mexican doctor (although exceptions apply). Controlled substance drugs are those medications that have a high potential for abuse. Examples of common medications in the controlled substance list are Oxycontin, Tylenol with Codeine, and Cipro. For a complete list of controlled substance medication, check out this DEA Controlled Substance List site.
Ask your local dentist in Mexico or a reputable pharmacist to verify if the meds you are buying are in the controlled substance list. Also, many of these medications in the controlled list are not sold by Mexican pharmacies in border cities such as Los Algodones. They are also highly regulated in Mexico. A Mexico pharmacist can lose his license if he violates legal Mexican rules regarding the sale of these types of controlled meds.
Likewise, reputable doctors in Mexico won’t write you prescriptions for these substances if you plan to bring it back to the US.
8. What happens if the border agent denies entry of my meds?
If you miss some of the policies above regarding crossing medications to the US, the CBP agent can confiscate or make you throw away the pills before you can cross back to the US side.
Many Dayo Dental clients stop by a discount Mexico pharmacy to buy meds while in Mexico. It’s one of the best bargains you can get crossing the border, along with your affordable dental work. Why not…Join the thousands who take advantage of these low-cost medical resources.
Have you bought prescription meds from Mexico? We’d love to hear your experience.