Rules for bringing Prescription (Rx) Meds from Mexico

The spiraling costs of prescription medication in the U.S. lures many a U.S. citizen into Mexico for “cheap prescriptions”. U.S. Customs does not have specific statistics, but it is safe to say that millions of prescriptions are filled for U.S. citizens, and then illegally brought into the U.S.

Many people think that Mexico is lax in their control and laws regarding medications, including controlled substances. Many think all they have to do is visit a border pharmacy and request what ever medication it is they want. To use an old saying, “Nothing could be further from the truth”.

Mexico’s laws governing prescription drugs or medications is similar to that of the U.S. A prescription from a licensed (federally registered doctor) is required for controlled medications. If you do not do so , it is a serious crime for you and the seller, including pharmacists. AND, by law, Mexican pharmacies do not honor foreign written prescriptions.

Popular controlled medications in the U.S. such as Demerol, Ambian, Vicodin, and their generic equivalents, are not sold over the counter, and must be prescribed by a Mexican physician. If you are able to procure one of these controlled substances without the required prescription by a Federally registered M.D., the Mexican authorities can arrest you and the seller for sale and possession of a controlled substance. WARNING, you could land in a Mexican prison from 10 months to 15 years. Don’t think your American Embassy is going to bend over backwards to assist you either, contrary to thoughts of many. They will contact your kin, give you a few blankets and some vitamins, and then say “adios”. You are now at the mercy of the Mexican judicial system. Mordida, or the “bite” (bribery) does NOT ensure your release in Mexico, as many U.S. citizens have come to find out.

If you are wondering which medications are considered controlled in Mexico, you can find out by visiting the Mexican web site,, for a list of both generic and brand named medications.

If you are wondering what you must provide the Customs Inspectors at the Port of Entry, you will need to provide a U.S. prescription used to purchase your medication in Mexico. There is a very helpful web site for U.S. Customs and Border Protection that you can use for bringing in medications from Mexico at:

We hope this information and web links help. If you have any questions concerning this or anything else regarding travel into Mexico. Please let us know, we will do our best to assist you.

For all of your Mexico Tourist Auto, Homeowners, Motorcycles, Boats and International Health Insurance needs, please call us at 1-800-434-3966 OR Email us at or visit us at to issue your own policy. We appreciate your business

6 thoughts on “Rules for bringing Prescription (Rx) Meds from Mexico

  1. martin

    this article is bullshit
    yes it is laxed, i go visit my girlfriend every other day
    walk into any pharmacy and can get whatever i want
    mabe not every pharmacy, just walk around youll get it
    nothings changed, money talks
    i know, im down there all the time

  2. admin Post author

    Martin, if you feel comfortable, with possibly getting stopped, Visa rescinded or Passport questioned, possibly fined, maybe having your name entered into the Homeland Security database, or US Customs, go ahead. I am just the messenger, not the enforcer of Federal laws. Thanks for responding.

  3. Misty

    I have back issues and am able to buy muscle relaxer here in mexico for it ” carisoprodol ” am I able to take it back to the u.s with me ?

    1. admin Post author

      As long as it is a prescribed medication, in your name, from a legally licensed MD. You can, or should be able to ask your doctor for this information, if he or she is in Mexico. If not, ask the pharmacist what if anything else is required of you by the US Customs. If you really want clarification, then contact US Customs prior to your trip to the Mexican pharmacy. Hope this helps.


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