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weepinbell
February 14th, 2015, 00:32
I'm so curious about this. Specifically, I'd like to know about birth control, but I think this could probably apply to other prescriptions. But I've heard birth control is a lot different in Japan and from my understanding they have a lot less options/they require you to go in to see a doctor to refill your prescription every month...? Correct me if I'm wrong. Obviously, I'd like to stick to my American brand, but there's the whole 1 month refill/3 month refill thing. I'll ask at my annual, but was anyone able to get samples or find a loophole to get a big supply to take over to Japan?

naginataonthebrain
February 14th, 2015, 00:42
You'll have to apply for a yakkan shoumei if you want to bring your meds/birth control over. And even then, you can only bring a limited supply (I forgot the exact details). I would try to see if they offer the same type of birth control in Japan and just get it over there, rather than hassle with the yakkan shoumei paperwork.

word
February 14th, 2015, 00:48
I've known plenty of chicks who brought over a full year's supply (sometimes more) without issue... including MG.

Birth control in Japan is different, it's a pain in the arse, and while I would never encourage you to do anything illegal, the reality of the situation is that birth control is not a high-priority concern for customs and if you do happen to bring over more than 3 months' worth, it's almost certainly not going to be an issue, even if you manage to get your bags thoroughly searched by customs agents (if you're in the incoming JET crowd, this is extremely unlikely).

weepinbell
February 14th, 2015, 01:27
I've known plenty of chicks who brought over a full year's supply (sometimes more) without issue... including MG.

Birth control in Japan is different, it's a pain in the arse, and while I would never encourage you to do anything illegal, the reality of the situation is that birth control is not a high-priority concern for customs and if you do happen to bring over more than 3 months' worth, it's almost certainly not going to be an issue, even if you manage to get your bags thoroughly searched by customs agents (if you're in the incoming JET crowd, this is extremely unlikely).

Figured as much. I definitely don't wanna mess with the bc situation over there. Maybe my gyne will feel generous and prescribe me a shitton lol. I guess we'll see. Thanks

Also wow please ignore that I apparently don't know how to spell prescription haha whooooops.

ichigo
February 14th, 2015, 01:33
I recently talked to my doctor about this same thing. I use birth control where each cycle lasts 3 months (seasonique), and I'm pretty sure they don't have it in Japan. My doc said she has given 1-year prescriptions for people that have traveled all over the world, including Japan, and she says it's no big deal. I'm sure your gyno would be perfectly happy stuffing you to the brim with BC.

Gunjumero
February 14th, 2015, 01:45
Can you buy birth control over the counter in Japan ?

I feel like it might be waste of time to require a prescription for that. Do a majority of women need to be told
how to take it otherwise they'll just mess it up and have unpleasant effects ?

Maybe there's a valid reason that I'm unaware of.

Zolrak 22
February 14th, 2015, 01:52
Maybe there's a valid reason that I'm unaware of.

Japan :
Drugs = bad?

They have a strict drug control?

weepinbell
February 14th, 2015, 01:59
Can you buy birth control over the counter in Japan ?

I feel like it might be waste of time to require a prescription for that. Do a majority of women need to be told
how to take it otherwise they'll just mess it up and have unpleasant effects ?

Maybe there's a valid reason that I'm unaware of.

Haha nah you can't get birth control anywhere without a prescription. In America there are so many different types that switching the one your used to, to a Japanese brand could definitely have side effects. For a lot of women it takes awhile to figure out which type your body doesn't hate lol, so I'd rather not play that game in another country. Messing with hormone levels and stuff... can be pretty nasty... Maybe you're thinking of morning after pill, but I know that's also prescription only in Japan. OTC in America, though.

Awesome, ichigo! I'm glad it's possible, will definitely bug my gyne about it!

Gunjumero
February 14th, 2015, 02:37
Oh, so it's more complex than just picking a condom size and whether you're allergic to latex or not, got it.

weepinbell
February 14th, 2015, 02:43
Yeaa birth control isn't always used explicitly for sex believe it or not.

Gunjumero
February 14th, 2015, 02:48
Yeaa birth control isn't always used explicitly for sex believe it or not.

A quick google found me this : '' [...]found that only 42 percent of women who use the pill said they were doing so just to prevent pregnancy. The majority listed other reasons: reducing cramps, regulating their cycle, preventing migraines, and treating endometriosis. ''

So it seems.

naginataonthebrain
February 14th, 2015, 04:18
Not sure if this is an option for you but have you thought about getting an IUD?

Ini
February 14th, 2015, 04:49
http://cdn2.cagepotato.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/lol.gif

PuddingHead
February 14th, 2015, 04:50
IUD's are a completely viable method, but something about them freaks me out. My friend has one and she says it's great, but it doesn't help with cramps and whatnot, does it?

Zolrak 22
February 14th, 2015, 05:01
.
http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view7/2735245/you-going-my-way-doll-o.gif

You are such a doll, darling.

weepinbell
February 14th, 2015, 05:30
Not sure if this is an option for you but have you thought about getting an IUD?

Aaahhh noooo see here's the thing, I actually work reception at an obgyn (you'd think I'd know more about the whole bringing bc abroad, but it totally varies from office to office... if worse comes to worse, my plan is to beg one of our doctors for a ton of samples lolol). But we have patients come in all the time because of IUD issues, so it totally turns me off from them... lots of spotting, adverse reactions no matter how long they might have had it in, and occasionally they get lost and require surgical removal... it's rare, but it's also not something I want to deal with in another country haha.

Puddinghead, I think it depends on the IUD, but most have hormones... so I guess it could help with cramps depending on how your body takes it?

Penguee
February 14th, 2015, 09:22
One thing to note with medications in general in Japan is that the dosage is usually way lower than in America. That in and of itself could mess with your body, so I'd suggest taking as much as you can with you.
I had a nasty cold that wouldn't go away for about three months until finally my doctor realized that I'm an American, and maybe I need higher doses of medicine, and then it finally cleared up.
I'd suggest taking your favorite pain reliever with you. DO NOT bring Sudafed, it's illegal. But anything you can buy without going to the pharmacist is okay. If you get nervous, just pull it out and show it to customs. I've done that several times. They were always confused, and when I told them it wasn't Sudafed, they didn't even look at it.

webstaa
February 16th, 2015, 08:29
One thing to note with medications in general in Japan is that the dosage is usually way lower than in America. That in and of itself could mess with your body, so I'd suggest taking as much as you can with you.
I had a nasty cold that wouldn't go away for about three months until finally my doctor realized that I'm an American, and maybe I need higher doses of medicine, and then it finally cleared up.
I'd suggest taking your favorite pain reliever with you. DO NOT bring Sudafed, it's illegal. But anything you can buy without going to the pharmacist is okay. If you get nervous, just pull it out and show it to customs. I've done that several times. They were always confused, and when I told them it wasn't Sudafed, they didn't even look at it.

If you bring anything in quantity, absolutely get the Yakkan Shoumei. If you're JET, the JET coordinator will probably help you out. The process isn't overly complex or to nerve wracking. And it doubles to let you know that the stuff you're bringing isn't illegal in Japan. Heck, even things like contact lenses require a YS if you want to import or bring over more than 2 months worth (or two boxes for each eye.) Also seconding: if you get sick or have frequent pain, you might want to bring over a bottle of your home country's ibuprofen ect. Just make sure it isn't the PM or the 'Helps you fall asleep' versions - they're illegal. As are some liquid cough syrups like NyQuil, although the reformulated stuff is available on amazon.co.jp now... (Plus side, you don't need a YS for one bottle of them, and you might be able to find them/order them on Amazon.)

Zolrak 22
February 16th, 2015, 08:38
I guess this is the part where I should be thankful for never/rarely using pain Killers?

So I probably haven't built up an immunity to Japan's version. [emoji14]

webstaa
February 16th, 2015, 09:03
I guess this is the part where I should be thankful for never/rarely using pain Killers?

So I probably haven't built up an immunity to Japan's version. [emoji14]

More like if you weigh more than 50 kg, it'll have no effect. Although when Japanese doctors try to scale dosages, sometime they forget that some drugs are toxic in larger quantities. (I went in to get an ear examination after pain in the ear for a few days. Doctor tried to kill my liver with acetaminophen 4x100mg pills every 2 hours for 24 hours. He just triple the dosage rate of what he'd give a normal person.) Never going back to that hospital.

coop52
February 16th, 2015, 10:14
Ibuprofen is available here. It's marketed mostly as a period pain reliever. Eve is the major brand, but there are generic versions that are a little cheaper. The box I bought says to take two pills, which add up to 150mg, up to 3 times a day. That's a bit lower than the dose I'd take in the US. I think one Advil tablet is 200mg. Tylenol is also available, but I think the dose is lower and it's pretty expensive compared to Eve.

Jiggit
February 16th, 2015, 11:32
Is ibuprofen usually marketed as period drugs? The staff at my local must think I'm one ugly bint.

Yeah it's usually 200mg back home, in Japan it's almost always 150 in my experience.75 per pill is really low.

ambrosse
February 16th, 2015, 11:40
If you're familiar with chemistry, I suppose you could build a lab in your apartment and make your own asprin.

Zolrak 22
February 16th, 2015, 11:57
If you're familiar with chemistry, I suppose you could build a lab in your apartment and make your own asprin.
Let's do it, Amber.

http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/1919hxqcfh6pljpg/k-bigpic.jpg

ambrosse
February 16th, 2015, 12:05
Let's do it, Amber.

http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/1919hxqcfh6pljpg/k-bigpic.jpg

I know a few folks with the recipe; I'm not joking. :D

Antonath
February 16th, 2015, 17:53
Is ibuprofen usually marketed as period drugs? The staff at my local must think I'm one ugly bint.

Yeah it's usually 200mg back home, in Japan it's almost always 150 in my experience.75 per pill is really low.
If it's Eve, it's a period drug. If it's Naron Ace, it's headache. Exactly the same ibuprofen dose, but because it's a different packet, it must be for a different thing.

johnny
February 16th, 2015, 18:30
I smuggled in some Tylenol. It's pretty handy if you have a hangover.

Antonath
February 16th, 2015, 19:43
You know they sell Tylenol in Japan, right? And yes, it's the same stuff.

coop52
February 16th, 2015, 19:43
If it's Eve, it's a period drug. If it's Naron Ace, it's headache. Exactly the same ibuprofen dose, but because it's a different packet, it must be for a different thing.

Naron Ace is also a bit more expensive, if I remember correctly. That's why I just stick with Eve.

mothy
February 16th, 2015, 19:47
You know they sell Tylenol in Japan, right? And yes, it's the same stuff.

No! Japan has nothing that other countries have! We must bring everything ever with us!

johnny
February 16th, 2015, 19:53
You know they sell Tylenol in Japan, right? And yes, it's the same stuff.

My bad. I guess my ignorance only cost me a small section of my suitcase.

Antonath
February 16th, 2015, 20:30
My bad. I guess my ignorance only cost me a small section of my suitcase.
Look at it this way: find a place near you that sells it, and you won't have to ration the stuff any more!

Penguee
February 16th, 2015, 23:29
Just make sure it isn't the PM or the 'Helps you fall asleep' versions - they're illegal. As are some liquid cough syrups like NyQuil, although the reformulated stuff is available on amazon.co.jp now... (Plus side, you don't need a YS for one bottle of them, and you might be able to find them/order them on Amazon.)
I don't think you're quite right. As long as it doesn't include stimulants (pseudoephedrine) or codeine, then you're good to go. I nabbed this from the American Department of State Website:
It is illegal to bring into Japan some over-the-counter medicines commonly used in the United States, including inhalers and some allergy and sinus medications. Specifically, products that contain stimulants (medicines that contain Pseudoephedrine, such as Actifed, Sudafed, and Vicks inhalers), or Codeine are prohibited. Up to a two-months' supply of allowable over-the-counter medication and up to a four-months' supply of allowable vitamins can be brought into Japan duty-free.
So I think your Advil PM is probably okay. You have to get the hard stuff from the pharmacist in America, anyway. Things that are out on the shelf are usually good. I just whipped my pill boxes out and asked directly. No problem.

weepinbell
February 16th, 2015, 23:47
Anyone know about bringing large amounts of prescription? Is that a yakkan shoumei thing? I know I'll have like a year's worth of contact lenses (if that applies...?), and as long as things go okay with getting enough birth control, hopefully at least a year supply of that, too...

uthinkimlost?
February 17th, 2015, 00:02
Anyone know about bringing large amounts of prescription? Is that a yakkan shoumei thing? I know I'll have like a year's worth of contact lenses (if that applies...?), and as long as things go okay with getting enough birth control, hopefully at least a year supply of that, too...

I think the limit is three months worth of any drug.

weepinbell
February 17th, 2015, 00:17
I think the limit is three months worth of any drug.

:| uh ohhhh. Anyone have this issue and have to get stuff shipped over or something? I guess I could have my parents send them over as needed and reimberse for shipping, but that seems like a pain in the ass....

Ode to a Grasshopper
February 17th, 2015, 06:44
I think the limit is three months worth of any drug.Nope. I bring over 1 years worth of a certain kind of medication I can't get here every year, and my prescription is for more than 3 months.

You're good for at least up to a year if the paperwork pans out.

uthinkimlost?
February 17th, 2015, 08:40
Nope. I bring over 1 years worth of a certain kind of medication I can't get here every year, and my prescription is for more than 3 months.

You're good for at least up to a year if the paperwork pans out.

I think you were lucky.

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare: Information for those who are bringing medicines for personal use into Japan (http://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/policy/health-medical/pharmaceuticals/01.html)

Jiggit
February 17th, 2015, 08:45
I like that even the Japanese govt apparently can't get a proper translation done.


when you bring your personal medicines into Japan, you have to apply for so called "Yakkan Shoumei"

Also, how much is "up to 1 month supply" of deadly poison?

uthinkimlost?
February 17th, 2015, 08:48
Enough to kill yourself twice a day for thirty days. Duh.

Ode to a Grasshopper
February 17th, 2015, 16:45
I think you were lucky.

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare: Information for those who are bringing medicines for personal use into Japan (http://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/policy/health-medical/pharmaceuticals/01.html)Just to clarify, that's more than three months WITH the Yakkan Shoumei.
Without it, then yeah - one month is the limit AFAIK.

uthinkimlost?
February 17th, 2015, 16:56
Just to clarify, that's more than three months WITH the Yakkan Shoumei.
Without it, then yeah - one month is the limit AFAIK.

I'm trying to remeber who told me three months, since I can't find a reference to absolute limits for the yakkan shoumei on the sites. I think it might have been my coordinator.

coop52
February 17th, 2015, 19:47
I think 3 months is for contact lenses.

johnny
February 19th, 2015, 08:56
Why would there be a limit on contact lenses?

webstaa
February 19th, 2015, 09:16
Why would there be a limit on contact lenses?

Reselling? Collusion with Japanese optometrists?

johnny
February 19th, 2015, 09:19
I guess anything is possible.

weepinbell
February 19th, 2015, 10:30
That's pretty annoying... I wear contacts every day! Any contact lens wearers have advice?

coop52
February 19th, 2015, 10:44
I buy mine online from 001lens. The site's in Japanese, but the boxes are about half the price of the ones at the contact stores here.

johnny
February 19th, 2015, 11:06
90% of the time, I assume you'd be able to find your preferred contacts pretty easily over here. Companies like Acuvue and Alcon probably sell pretty similar lines of products all over the industrialized world.

If you're really attached to a less popular or older type that might be harder to find, you might want to buy a year's worth and bring half or it when you come and have the rest sent later.

webstaa
February 19th, 2015, 11:27
That's pretty annoying... I wear contacts every day! Any contact lens wearers have advice?

Also, you don't need a prescription to order from US discount sites and have them shipped over. I've used lens.com a few times. It's reasonable. (I have the same prescription for both eyes, so I can order 6 boxes of one type and still get the discount, which usually kicks in at 3+ boxes.) It's much cheaper than buying from the shops here. Both times I've gone to an optometrist here they've wanted to lower my prescription (a common theme among optometry complaints.) I ended up stopping at an optometrist in the US when on vacation and getting the power that I wanted (and could still see properly with.)

You can find a few sites that will do personal import for you at a really great price, but you have to give them a Japanese prescription and wait for a yakkan shoumei, or go on a repeating order (3 boxes every 3 months etc ordered automatically.)

weepinbell
February 19th, 2015, 13:19
90% of the time, I assume you'd be able to find your preferred contacts pretty easily over here. Companies like Acuvue and Alcon probably sell pretty similar lines of products all over the industrialized world.

If you're really attached to a less popular or older type that might be harder to find, you might want to buy a year's worth and bring half or it when you come and have the rest sent later.

Yeah, I already have a 1 yr 1/2 prescription from my optometrist so I was just gonna buy the whole thing off 1800contacts or coastal or something since it's cheaper than doing it in increments. But then I'd still have to get someone here to ship them to Japan every 3 months? But I don't know how all that works with yakkan shoumei..? It all just seems sort of inconvenient lol but if that's what I'm gonna have to do, I'll find a way...


Both times I've gone to an optometrist here they've wanted to lower my prescription (a common theme among optometry complaints.) I ended up stopping at an optometrist in the US when on vacation and getting the power that I wanted (and could still see properly with.)


Yeah I was reading about that in a different thread. Definitely will not be seeing an optometrist in Japan unless I stay longer than a year... I'd like to keep my current state of vision lol.

webstaa
February 19th, 2015, 15:08
But then I'd still have to get someone here to ship them to Japan every 3 months? But I don't know how all that works with yakkan shoumei..? It all just seems sort of inconvenient lol but if that's what I'm gonna have to do, I'll find a way...


They'll ship internationally just fine, so long as you only order 2 months at a time (you don't need yakkan shoumei unless you want to do boxes/shipment.) Yakkan shoumei is only necessary for more than 2 months supply at a time. (Essentially, if you bring a year's supply with you in your luggage, you should get a yakkan shoumei for it. If you are sending/receiving them in a parcel, you must have a yakkan shoumei for more than a 2 month supply.)

weepinbell
February 20th, 2015, 00:46
Anyone know offhand or from experience what the yakkan shoumei limitations are for lenses or birth control? Or are there any? Earlier in the thread, people were talking about a 3 month limit for certain meds, but maybe I'm just getting confused. The ministry site doesn't say anything about limits with the certificate, just without.

webstaa
February 20th, 2015, 08:24
Anyone know offhand or from experience what the yakkan shoumei limitations are for lenses or birth control?

1 Year's supply is the Yakkan Shoumei limit.

weepinbell
February 20th, 2015, 23:43
1 Year's supply is the Yakkan Shoumei limit.

Awesome that is not bad at all. Thanks!!