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Thread: Bringing prescriptions to Japan

  1. #1

    Default Bringing prescriptions to Japan

    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?
    Last edited by weepinbell; February 14th, 2015 at 01:27.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    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.
    Last edited by naginataonthebrain; February 14th, 2015 at 00:43.

  3. #3
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    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).
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by word View Post
    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.

  5. #5
    Member ichigo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    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.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    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.

  7. #7
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunjumero View Post
    Maybe there's a valid reason that I'm unaware of.
    Japan :
    Drugs = bad?

    They have a strict drug control?
    Last edited by Zolrak 22; February 14th, 2015 at 02:10.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunjumero View Post
    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!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    Oh, so it's more complex than just picking a condom size and whether you're allergic to latex or not, got it.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    Yeaa birth control isn't always used explicitly for sex believe it or not.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by weepinbell View Post
    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.



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    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    Not sure if this is an option for you but have you thought about getting an IUD?

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    Billy Big Bollocks Ini's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    Great men of action never mind on occasion being ridiculous; in a sense it is part of their job.

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    Senior Member PuddingHead's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    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?
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    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Ini View Post
    .


    You are such a doll, darling.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by naginataonthebrain View Post
    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?

  17. #17
    Senior Member Penguee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    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.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Penguee View Post
    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.)

  19. #19
    The Sun's Bird God..what? Zolrak 22's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    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.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Bringing perscriptions to Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by Zolrak 22 View Post
    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.
    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.

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