Here’s a Complete list of banned medicines in the UAE

Table of Contents

 Banned medicines in UAE

Key Takeaways

Schedule IV Drugs Restriction: Drugs listed in Schedule IV of UAE’s Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 are prohibited for international travelers to carry into the UAE, regardless of their legality in the country of departure.
INCB Schedule IV Drugs Restriction: Narcotic drugs under Schedule IV of the 1961 INCB Convention are also banned for international travelers entering the UAE, even if they are allowed in the country of departure.
Psychotropic Substances Restriction: Psychotropic substances listed in Schedule I of the 1971 Psychotropic Convention cannot be brought into the UAE by international travelers, regardless of their legality in the country of departure.
Permissible Medicines: Medicines not included in the aforementioned restricted categories (1, 2, and 3), as well as those listed in Schedules I, II, III, V, VI, VII, and VIII of UAE’s Narcotic Law 14 of 1995, and medicines listed in the CDC and CDR lists by the UAE Ministry of Health, can be carried by international travelers if they follow specified procedures.

Banned Medicines in UAE can invite legal trouble if confiscated at the airport. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is known for its stringent laws and regulations, and this extends to the import, possession, and use of certain medications. With a diverse population comprising both locals and expatriates, the country has implemented strict policies regarding banned medicines to safeguard public health and maintain societal norms. Understanding these regulations is crucial for individuals residing in or traveling to the UAE to avoid potential legal consequences.

While rules vary from country to country, there can be serious consequences if you violate the laws of the country you’re visiting. These consequences can range from confiscation (removal) of your medicine, which could harm your medical treatment, to stiff penalties, including imprisonment on charges for drug trafficking.

1. The Pharmacy Federal Law No 4 of 1983 and Narcotic Law 14, of 1995, regulate the import of medicines (Narcotics / Psychotropic / General / and any controlled medicines) in to the UAE.

2. Majority of medicines which are used worldwide are available in community pharmacies and hospitals in the UAE.

3. Travelers carrying personal medicines are advised to seek permission from Registration and Drug Control Department, MOH, prior to traveling in to the UAE.

4. Any personal medicines carrying of by travelers will be subjected to inspection by the Ministry of Health Inspectors and Customs department at the port of entry in to the UAE.

Here’s the complete list of banned medicines in the UAE

Rules and Regulations for Personal carrying of Medicines (Narcotic, Psychotropic, CDA&CDB)

Registration and Drug Control Department, MOH have strict regulations for import of personal medications by travelers in to the UAE as follows:

1. Drugs listed in Schedule IV of Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 of UAE cannot be carried by international travelers in to the UAE, even if their use is permitted in the country of departure.

2. Narcotic drugs included in Schedule IV of the 1961 Convention of International Narcotic Control Board (INCB) cannot be carried by international travelers in to the UAE, even if their use is permitted in the country of departure.

3. Psychotropic substances included in Schedule I of the 1971 Psychotropic Convention cannot be carried by international travelers in to the UAE, even if their use is permitted in the country of departure.

4. All medicines, other than listed in the above paragraph 1, 2 and 3, of the 1961 Narcotic Convention and of 1971 Psychotropic Convention of International Narcotic Control Board (INCB), and medicines listed in Schedule I, II, Ill, V, VI, VII and VIII of the annex to Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 and the medicines listed in CDC, and CDR list by the Ministry of Health, UAE, can be included in the personal medicine according to the following procedures.

Procedures to be followed the by travelers entering in to or transiting through the UAE.

1. Controlled Medicines (Narcotic, Psychotropic, CDA and CDB

1. For carrying narcotic drugs with travelers who are coming in to or transit through UAE, requires a prior approval from the Registration and Drug Control Department, Ministry of Health. All tourists and residents of UAE will now be required to fill in an electronic form to get approval to carry any kind of drugs specified as above. Approvals for the medication are provided after submitting documents such as doctor’s prescription, confirmation of a passenger’s duration of stay and passport details among other documents.

Here,s the direct link

2.  The traveler should have the documents (in Arabic or English) mentioned below.

i. A valid medical prescription is mandatory. If the original of the prescription is retained in the pharmacy that dispensed the preparation, the traveler should keep an attested copy of the prescription.

ii. Authenticated certificate and/or permit, from the health authority of the country of departure, confirming his/her legal authority to possess, for personal use, medical preparations mentioned therein.

iii. Amount of medicines carrying of by any travelers should not be exceeded for a period of 30 days of treatment.

3. The above documents should be in the traveler’s possession during the stay in the UAE, and should be available on request for presentation to the authorities.

4. The traveler shall be required to present the above documents to the customs authorities in the port of entry and get signed and stamped by the customs officer.

5. Transit travelers have to comply with the required procedures when entering and leaving the UAE.

2.  Regular Medicines 

Prescription only medicines  are medical preparations: not listed in Schedule IV of Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 of UAE , even if their use is permitted in the country of departure not included or containing any of the substances mentioned in the INCB conventions Controlled registered medicines mentioned in the MOH CDA and CDB list;

A traveler to the UAE can carry along with him/her the POM medicines for his/her personal use, for period of not more than three months consumption provided that he/she has to carry a valid medical prescription.

3. Carrying of non-registered medicines 

It is prohibited by the UAE Federal Law no 4 for 1983 to bring non-registered medicines into UAE, therefore the travelers are not allowed to carry non-registered 1 banned medicines.

4. Carrying of Cancelled Medicines 

Travelers are not allowed to carry cancelled medicines as these are considered to be banned for use in UAE. Cancelled Medicines are either; have been registered previously with the Ministry of Health but cancelled afterwards because of safety or quality defects have not been authorized to register or distribute.

5. Carrying of Herbal Medicines 

The drugs listed in Schedule IV of Narcotic Law 14 of 1995 of UAE, are prohibited in the UAE, even if their use is permitted in the country of departure. For all other herbal medicines follow the same procedure for regular (POM) medicines as described in the section (b) above.

6. Medical Devices
Carrying of Medical devices containing any medicinal active ingredients mentioned in the above categories a, b, c, d and e should follow the respective procedure.

Why are certain medicines banned in UAE?

The UAE’s stance on banned medicines stems from a multifaceted approach to protect its citizens and residents. Several factors contribute to the decision to prohibit certain medications, including:

  1. Public Health and Safety Concerns: The UAE prioritizes the well-being of its population by restricting substances that may pose potential health risks or have a high potential for abuse or misuse.
  2. Religious and Cultural Considerations: As an Islamic nation, the UAE upholds traditional values and beliefs. Certain substances, such as those derived from pork or alcohol, may be prohibited due to religious and cultural sensitivities.
  3. Controlled Substance Regulations: The UAE has stringent laws governing the import, possession, and distribution of controlled substances, including certain prescription medications and narcotics, to combat drug trafficking and illicit drug use.
  4. International Conventions and Agreements: The UAE adheres to various international conventions and agreements related to the regulation of pharmaceuticals, which may influence the classification of certain medicines as banned or controlled substances.

By understanding the underlying reasons for these restrictions, individuals can better appreciate the UAE’s commitment to maintaining a safe and harmonious society while respecting cultural and religious values.

Banned medicines in UAE from India

India is a major producer and exporter of pharmaceutical products, and many Indian medicines are widely available in the UAE. However, certain Indian medicines may be banned or restricted in the UAE due to their composition or the presence of controlled substances. Some examples of banned Indian medicines in the UAE include:

  1. Cough Syrups Containing Codeine or Pseudoephedrine:
    • Corex
    • Benadryl
    • Phensedyl
  2. Prescription Pain Medications:
    • Certain opioid-based pain relievers (e.g., Tramadol, Fortwin)
  3. Psychiatric Medications:
    • Certain benzodiazepines (e.g., Alprazolam, Diazepam)
    • Certain antidepressants containing controlled substances
  4. Hormonal Medications:
    • Certain anabolic steroids and hormone replacement therapies

It is crucial for individuals traveling from India or carrying Indian medicines to thoroughly research and ensure compliance with the UAE’s regulations to avoid potential legal consequences.

Banned medicines in UAE airports

The UAE authorities maintain strict vigilance at airports to prevent the entry of banned substances, including prohibited medicines. Travelers arriving in the UAE should exercise caution and follow these guidelines:

  1. Declaration: Declare all medications, including prescription drugs, to customs officials upon arrival. Failure to declare prohibited substances can result in severe penalties.
  2. Prescription and Documentation: Carry valid prescriptions and supporting medical documentation for any medications you are carrying. This documentation should include the name of the medication, dosage, and duration of treatment.
  3. Quantity Limits: Ensure that the quantity of medication you are carrying is reasonable for personal use and does not exceed the prescribed dosage for the duration of your stay.
  4. Prohibited Items: Be aware of the UAE’s list of banned medicines and avoid carrying any prohibited substances, even if they are legally prescribed in your home country.
  5. Seek Advice: If you have any doubts or concerns about the legality of a medication, consult with the relevant authorities or seek professional advice before attempting to import it into the UAE.

Consequences of carrying banned medicines in UAE

The UAE takes a strict stance on the possession and importation of banned medicines, and the consequences of non-compliance can be severe. Individuals found carrying prohibited substances may face legal repercussions, including:

  1. Fines: Depending on the nature and quantity of the banned substance, individuals may be subject to hefty fines imposed by UAE authorities.
  2. Confiscation: Prohibited medicines and substances will be confiscated by authorities, and individuals may not be able to retrieve them.
  3. Imprisonment: In more severe cases, individuals may face imprisonment, particularly if the banned substance is considered a controlled substance or narcotic.
  4. Deportation: For expatriates and visitors, carrying banned medicines can result in deportation from the UAE, potentially leading to long-term consequences for their residency or future travel plans.
  5. Travel Restrictions: Individuals convicted of drug-related offenses, including possession of banned medicines, may face restrictions on future travel to the UAE or other countries with strict drug laws.

It is crucial to understand that the UAE takes these offenses seriously and that ignorance of the law is not an acceptable defense. By being informed and compliant with the regulations, individuals can avoid these severe consequences and ensure a safe and legal experience in the UAE.

Alternatives to banned medicines in UAE

If a particular medication is banned or restricted in the UAE, individuals may need to explore alternative treatment options to manage their health conditions. Here are some potential alternatives to consider:

  1. Substitution with Approved Medications: Consult with healthcare professionals to identify approved medications that can effectively treat the same condition or provide similar therapeutic effects as the banned medicine.
  2. Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications: For certain conditions, OTC medications available in the UAE may provide suitable relief or management options, under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
  3. Herbal and Natural Remedies: The UAE has a thriving market for herbal and natural remedies, which may offer alternative treatment options for some conditions. However, it is essential to consult with qualified practitioners and ensure the safety and efficacy of these remedies.
  4. Lifestyle Modifications: In some cases, making lifestyle changes, such as dietary adjustments, exercise routines, or stress management techniques, can help manage certain health conditions without relying solely on medication.
  5. Seek Medical Treatment in the UAE: For individuals residing in the UAE, exploring medical treatment options within the country’s healthcare system may provide access to approved medications and therapies tailored to their specific needs.

It is crucial to consult with licensed healthcare professionals in the UAE to ensure that any alternative treatment options are safe, effective, and comply with local regulations.

Banned medicines in Dubai

When planning a trip to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), particularly Dubai, it’s crucial to be aware of the country’s regulations regarding medications. The UAE has stringent laws governing the import, possession, and consumption of certain substances, including prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications. Failing to comply with these regulations can result in severe consequences, including hefty fines, imprisonment, or even deportation.

List of commonly banned medicines in Dubai

The list of banned medicines in Dubai is extensive and covers a wide range of substances. Here are some commonly prohibited medications. Scroll up to find the complete list of banned medicines in Dubai.

  1. Narcotics and psychotropic substances:
    • Codeine
    • Morphine
    • Opium
    • Pethidine
    • Methadone
    • Amphetamines
    • Barbiturates
  2. Over-the-counter medications containing certain ingredients:
    • Medications containing codeine
    • Certain cough and cold remedies
    • Certain pain relievers
    • Certain antihistamines
  3. Hormone-based medications:
    • Certain anabolic steroids
    • Certain hormone replacement therapies
  4. Certain prescription medications:
    • Certain antidepressants
    • Certain anti-anxiety medications
    • Certain sleeping pills

Tips for traveling to Dubai with medication

If you need to carry medication while traveling to Dubai, here are some tips to help ensure a smooth and compliant experience:

  1. Obtain a medical certificate or prescription: As mentioned earlier, it’s advisable to have a medical certificate or a valid prescription from your healthcare provider, detailing the medications you’re carrying and their purpose.
  2. Keep medications in their original packaging: Carry your medications in their original, labeled containers to avoid any confusion or suspicion.
  3. Carry only the necessary amount: Pack only the amount of medication required for the duration of your stay, plus a reasonable additional quantity in case of unforeseen circumstances.
  4. Declare your medications: Upon arrival in Dubai, declare any medications you’re carrying to the customs authorities, and present your medical documentation if requested.
  5. Seek assistance from your embassy or consulate: If you encounter any issues or have concerns regarding your medication, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from your embassy or consulate in Dubai.

Legal implications of possessing banned medicines in Dubai

Possessing or consuming banned medicines in Dubai can have serious legal implications. Under UAE law, these offenses are considered criminal acts and can result in severe penalties, including:

  1. Fines: Depending on the severity of the offense, individuals may face substantial fines ranging from thousands to tens of thousands of UAE dirhams.
  2. Imprisonment: In some cases, individuals found in possession of banned substances may face imprisonment, with sentences varying based on the nature and quantity of the substance involved.
  3. Deportation: Foreign nationals who violate the UAE’s laws regarding banned substances may be subject to deportation and potentially banned from re-entering the country.

It’s crucial to understand that the UAE’s legal system takes a strict stance on drug-related offenses, and ignorance of the law is not considered a valid defense.

The legal process for importing medicines in UAE

While the UAE has strict regulations regarding banned medicines, there are legal processes in place for individuals to import permitted medications for personal use. Here are the general steps to follow:

  1. Obtain a Valid Prescription: Ensure that you have a valid prescription from a licensed healthcare professional, clearly stating the medication, dosage, and duration of treatment.
  2. Secure Medical Documentation: Gather supporting medical documentation, such as a doctor’s letter explaining the medical condition and the necessity of the medication, test results, or medical reports.
  3. Apply for a No-Objection Certificate (NOC): For certain controlled substances or medications with strict regulations, individuals may need to obtain a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) from the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) or the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). This process involves submitting the required documentation and following specific procedures.
  4. Declare at Customs: Upon arrival in the UAE, declare the medication and present all relevant documentation, including the prescription, medical reports, and NOC (if applicable), to customs officials.
  5. Adhere to Quantity Limits: Ensure that the quantity of medication you are importing is reasonable for personal use and does not exceed the prescribed dosage for the duration of your stay or treatment.
  6. Seek Professional Assistance: If the process seems complex or you are unsure about the legality of a particular medication, consider seeking assistance from licensed healthcare professionals, legal experts, or authorized representatives who can guide you through the process.

It is important to note that the import process may vary depending on the specific medication and the emirate in which you plan to reside or visit. Consulting with the relevant authorities and following their guidelines is crucial to ensure compliance and avoid potential legal issues.

Staying informed and safe when it comes to banned medicines in UAE

The UAE’s regulations regarding banned medicines are designed to safeguard public health, uphold cultural values, and maintain societal norms. While these restrictions may pose challenges for individuals requiring certain medications, understanding and adhering to the laws is essential to ensure a safe and compliant experience.

By staying informed about the latest lists of banned medicines, consulting official sources, and exploring alternative treatment options when necessary, individuals can navigate the UAE’s healthcare landscape responsibly. Additionally, following the legal processes for importing permitted medications and seeking professional guidance can help mitigate potential risks and ensure a smooth transition for those relocating to or visiting the UAE.

Ultimately, respecting and adhering to the UAE’s regulations regarding banned medicines not only protects individuals from legal consequences but also contributes to the overall well-being and harmony of the diverse community within the country.If you are planning to travel to or reside in the UAE and have concerns about the legality of your medications, we highly recommend consulting with licensed healthcare professionals or legal experts. Our team of experienced consultants can guide you through the process of obtaining the necessary approvals and ensuring compliance with the UAE’s regulations. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and ensure a safe and hassle-free experience in the UAE.

Frequently Asked Questions

Our lawyers can consult DHA and MOH to identify any medication bans.

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