Carrying Medicines to Qatar: Important Things To Know (2023)

Having medicines in your travel bag is second nature to most people, but if you’re not careful, those medicines can land you in jail.

Many prescribed medicines contain substances that are internationally controlled. Travellers need to be aware of potential regulations before carrying medicines to Qatar.

This article explains the procedure you have to follow for carrying medicines to Qatar. Also, we have added a link to the list of medicines banned in Qatar.

Carrying Medicines To Qatar: General Rule of Thumb

The general rule of thumb is that if you are under medication and if you are carrying certain prescribed medicines, you must have a doctor’s prescription in original, and the medicines should be carried along with their original packing and literature so that customs authorities can easily identify them.

Some medicines, which are over-the-counter in other countries, are also considered controlled items in Qatar as they produce effects that contravene local laws.

  • Many common cold and cough remedies, which you might assume to be harmless, must be accompanied by a prescription.
  • Some sleeping tablets, painkillers, anti-depressants and hormone replacement therapy drugs are banned here.
  • Some controlled drugs include alfentanil, amphetamine, codeine, fentanyl, ketamine, methadone, methylphenidate and morphine.

Medicines Containing Drugs or Psychotropic Substances

It is prohibited to carry medicines that contain narcotics or psychotropic substances while arriving in the country. These include medicines like Lyrica, Tramadol, Alprazolam (Xanax), Diazepam (Valium), Zolam, Clonazepam, Zolpidem, Codeine, Methadone, Pregabalin. 

A circular from Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health addressed to all embassies contains the procedures and regulations to be followed while carrying medicines containing either drugs or psychotropic substances by patients coming to Qatar or departing from here for their personal use.

Here are the main extracts from the circular:

1. It is prohibited to carry medicines and substances which are banned internationally and locally.

2. It s prohibited to carry medicines mentioned in the list (a) and list (b) of Law (9) issued in the year 1987 regarding anti-drugs and dangerous psychotropic substances. Likewise, the items registered at schedule No. (3) of the same law.

3. To carry such medicines, an application is to be given to the Department of Pharmacology and Drugs Control in the Supreme Council of Health.

Procedure for Special Permission

4. Permission would be granted to carry the medicines by the patients coming to the State of Qatar for their personal use as per the following guidelines :

a) To attach a detailed medical report attested by the hospital treating the patient. The medical report should not be older than six months. The report must contain the following:

  • Personal Details of the patient
  • Medical diagnosis
  • Treatment and duration
  • Medical Prescriptions
  • The scientific name of the medicines, Form and scheduled doses.

b) Or attach the medical prescription in the patient’s name, attested by the same hospital, and the prescription should not be older than six months.

The prescription must have the following:

  • Diagnosis of the disease
  • The scientific name of the medicines, Form and scheduled doses.
  • How to use and duration of treatment
  • Seal of the hospital

c) To pledge that only the patient will use the medicine and will use it on his responsibility.

d) To attach a copy of the ID card of the patient

5. Approval can be granted to carry medicines for a 30-day maximum period or the duration of the stay if the patient is in Qatar, whatever is less, subject to the validity of the medicines.

The patient has to keep in mind the following:

  • If the medicine exhausts, the patient has to contact the specialist physician licensed to practice in a hospital (in Qatar) to check whether he needs to continue the same medicine.
  • If the physician confirms that the patient needs to continue the same treatment, a specific medical file has to be opened in that hospital, and the appropriate medicine would be prescribed through a medical prescription attested by the same hospital. The medicine would be provided by the local pharmacy for the required period. The patient will continue to follow up with the same hospital for continuous treatment if his medical condition warrants so.
  • If the medicine or its alternative is unavailable in the local market, the hospital treating the patient can secure this medicine through one of the drug distributors after obtaining approval from the Department of Pharmacology and Drugs Control in the Supreme Council of Health.

Injection Medicines

6. If the medicine is in the form of an injection, the approval can be obtained under the supervision of any local hospital in the patient’s name. The medicine would be registered in the hospital file meant for personal use as per the procedure followed for such medicines.

7. Excess medicine can be destroyed through the Department of Pharmacology and Drugs Control in the Supreme Council of Health.

While Departing from Qatar

8. Departing patients from Qatar would be treated as par with one coming to Qatar according to the above-mentioned paragraphs No (1), No (2), No (3) and no (4). Quantity of the medicine would be allowed for 30 days only.

9. If the medicine is not carried by the patient but was carried by one of his relatives (like parents, children, brothers or spouse), a copy of his ID would be taken. In case the medicine was carried by the patient’s representative, the patient’s written consent for carrying medicines has to be attached. A copy of his ID would be taken.

Special Procedure for Diplomats

10. If the medicines contain drugs or psychotropic substances are to be carried by the diplomats or government officials (only) coming to the State of Qatar for the patients working with the diplomatic mission. The procedures would be as follows:

a) The Missions has to send an application to the Department of Pharmacology and Drugs Control in the Supreme Council of Health, mentioning the name of the head of the Mission or the name of the custodian of the drugs. If not so, the accompanying physician would be the custodian of the medicine.

The application should be attached to the following:

  1. Details of the desired medicines are certified by the concerned authority in the country of Mission, including the scientific name of the drug and psychotropic substance, form, concentration, size and quantity. Medicines containing drugs and psychotropic substances must be borough through aerial transportation only.
  2. To pledge that the medicine would be used by the members of the Mission/delegation only on their responsibility and it would not be sold or it would not be utilised for any other purpose. To pledge that the excess medicines would be carried back. To pledge to provide details of medicine utilization, reasons for utilization, excess medicine and destroyed ones before departure of the delegation to the Department of Drugs and Pharmacology Control in the Supreme Council of Health,

11. Once the application is approved, permission will be granted to carry the medicine.

Other Notes

The detailed application process as above is only required for medicines containing either drugs or psychotropic substances.

However, only health care professionals can advise you about the contents of a medicine. So please check with your doctor about the contents of your medicine.

Also, make sure not to carry them in large quantities.

Medicines for common conditions such as diabetes, hypertension (High Blood Pressure) etc. are usually allowed for 1-3 months for residents. However, make sure to carry the medical reports, prescriptions and original packing.

List of Banned Medicines in Qatar

Here is an available list of banned medicines in Qatar. Indian Embassy in Qatar has also published another list of medicines prohibited in Qatar. These lists may not be complete, but you can have a rough idea of what kinds of pharmaceutical substances are banned.

For travellers to other GCC countries, the guidelines are almost similar. However, the list of banned medicines may not be the same. Here is the list of banned medicines in the UAE.


FAQ on Banned Medicines in Qatar


Can I carry prescription medicines to Qatar?

If you are carrying any prescribed medicine, you must have a doctor’s prescription in original, and the medicines should be carried along with their original packing and literature.

Can I buy general medicines from Qatar?

General medicines that do not require a doctor’s prescription are freely available at pharmacies and supermarkets in Qatar.

How much general medicine can I carry to Qatar?

Medicines for common conditions such as diabetes, hypertension etc., are usually allowed for 1-3 months for residents. However, make sure to carry the medical reports, prescriptions and original packing.

What all medicines are banned in Qatar?

While travelling to Qatar, it is prohibited to carry medicines containing drugs or psychotropic substances. Please get an official prescription from your doctor.


Related Articles:

  1. Qatar Customs Prohibited Items List
  2. How To Do PCR Tests in Qatar for Travel Purposes
  3. Visiting Qatar: The Complete Guide
  4. Qatar Visa On Arrival for GCC Residents: Professions List
  5. Drinking Alcohol in Qatar: Important Rules To Know
  6. How To Apply for Qatar Tourist Visa Online
  7. How To Get Qatar Transit Visa For Free

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  1. I am travelling to Nepal but will be in transit at Doha for around 3 hours

    I need to take the following prescribed medicines with me:

    Rasagaline
    Sastravi (levodopa/carbidopa/entacapone)
    Rotigotine transdermal patches

    There will be 3 weeks supply as that is how long I am in Nepal. Most of this can go in my hold luggage but I will need the Sastravi before I arrive in Kathmandu.

    Please can you advise what I need to do.

    1. Hi Mark, Since you are only transiting, you don’t have to worry too much. The customs department is usually concerned only about the medicines you bring into the country. Generally, checked-in baggage of transit passengers is not opened for checking medicines. To minimize the risk and for your peace of mind, we recommend the following:
      (1) If you have more than one bag, you can distribute your medicines among them so that it doesn’t appear excessive during the scan.
      (2) Keep a copy of your doctor’s prescription certificate in case they ask.
      Just carry the most essential medicines in your hand baggage.

  2. Hi I am traveling to Japan with my daughter, and we will be stopping in Doha airport for 5 hrs. She brings pills with sertraline.

    Do We need something to bring it?

    1. Hi Kirsten, Keep only the essential quantity (only what is needed during the transit) in your hand baggage. Remaining can be kept in your checked-in baggage.

    2. Hello.
      I’ll be traveling to Japan and will be stopping in Doha Airport for 9 hours. I need to take bring with me Clonazepam 2 months supply. Do you recommend to either keep it in my hand baggage or checked-in baggage?
      Won’t my check-in baggage be sightsaw through scanners as well?
      I’m worried whether they find my medicine in the checked-in baggage and require me to answer questions.
      Also, should my doctor’s prescription certificate be written in english?
      (asking this because I’m not from an English speaking country hence the prescription won’t be in english)
      thank you in advance.

      1. also, Do I need to be given a permission by the Department of Pharmacology and Drugs Control if I am in transit through Qatar or my doctor’s prescription certificate is enough?
        thank you so much.

        1. Hi Edu, Since you are only transiting, you don’t have to worry too much. The customs department is usually concerned only about the medicines you bring into the country. Generally, checked-in baggage of transit passengers is not opened for checking medicines. To minimize the risk and for your peace of mind, we recommend the following:
          (1) If you have more than one bag, you can distribute your medicines among them so that it doesn’t appear excessive during the scan.
          (2) Keep a copy of your doctor’s prescription certificate in case they ask.

  3. hi I am travelling to paris and and will stopping in doha airport transit lounge for 8hrs layover (not leaving the airport) , I have medication for blood pressure (telsmartin 80mg+ amlodipine5mg) along with diabetes medication xigduo X R 5/1000 and cholesterol tablet Rosuvastatin 10mg , I have a doctors prescription and letter stating there use, would this be OK , the complete trip return is 20 days

    1. Hi Dominic, BP, Diabetes and Cholestrol medications are OK. However we suggest you keep only essential quantity in the hand baggage and keep the remaining in checked-in baggage. Hand baggage will be screened during security check and if they find too many medicines you may be required to answer questions.

  4. Hi,

    We are travelling to Australia with transit in Doha. We have 9h transit and we wanted to go out for some sightseeing during the transit. We need to have a prescribed psychotropic medicines(those banned in Qatar) with us in Australia, therefore, the question is, can we have a psychotropic medicines in our registered baggage, so we don’t have them with us during the sightseeing in Qatar and will it be legal to transit the psychotropic medicines through transit only?

    1. Hi Hanna, If you are leaving the airport for sight seeing we suggest you do not carry them in your hand baggage as it may be screened. If you will not collect the checked-in baggage (which is usually not needed if both flights are under same PNR), you can leave them in the checked-in baggage. Usually transit baggage won’t be checked in detail.

  5. hi, can i bring medicine for hypertension such as amlodipine, lozartan, carvedilol, clopedogrel and trimetazidine.
    what is the maximum quantity?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Arjay, Hypertension medicine can be carried for personal use. Note that you can buy these from Qatar also. We suggest not to carry more than 1-2 months’ requirement. The more quantity you carry there are greater chances of opening the bag for inspection.

  6. Shella Mae Matanoy

    Hi, If I where to bring emergency meds such as Paracetamol, Antihistamine, Ibuprofen up to what quantity per meds is allowed? Thank you and God bless

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Shella Mae, All these medicines are available over the counter in Qatar. So it is better to carry only for few days. 10-15 each should be OK. If you are carrying too many medicines there is a chance they may open you bag to check.

  7. Jude Benedict Lee-Allan

    can I bring paracetomol [painkiller and ibuprofen on qatar airlines. I am travellin to nepal thorugh doha

  8. Good afternoon,

    We are traveling with Qatar Airways to Australia with a stopover in Doha, where we have an overnight stay and only 3 hours of time for sightseeing in the city, and on the way back we will only stay at the airport for a couple of hours. I would like to know if in that case I also have to take care of all the medicines that we carry, even those that are in the luggage that we do not take with us in Doha, considering that these are connecting flights. We are traveling with a small child, and I suffer from several diseases, so I want to have with me in my hand luggage medicine to reduce the child’s temperature (contains ibuprofen or paracetamol), my asthma medicine containing sabutamolaulfate, migraine medicine (contains paracetamol and ibuprofen) and medicines for allergy (dimetinden maleate) and circulation medicine (acetylsalicylic acid), eye drops (artificial tears), menthol spray for moistening the throat, anti-nausea tablets (dimenhydrinate).
    I would like to know if some of these medicines are strictly prohibited, many of them are sold without a prescription in our country, should I ask for any kind of doctor’s certificate for the mentioned medicines during the layover between 2 flights? Also, is the problem the medicines that would be in the travel bags that we do not pick up from the airport when transferring, because there would also have to be some other medicines for the child, such as cough syrup, creams for dermatitis, antibiotics for the child’s kidney disease, activated charcoal for stomach problems and the like. For most of these medicines, the doctor must give us a certificate for Australia as well. Thank you.

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi More, Usually they do not check bags that are under transit (flight to flight). Bags are only screened if you are collecting the bags at Doha airport.
      The medicines you have mentioned (paracetamol, ibuprofen etc.) are all generic use medicines and are allowed for personal use.
      You can keep one bottle each if they are required. As airlines have liquid policy of maximum 100 ml per bottle, try to keep small bottles only.
      It is better to spread these out in different bags so that during the security screening they don’t look like too many bottles.
      If you are not sure about content of any medicine, you can check with your doctor and they can advise if they have any banned substances. You can also keep doctor’s prescription for special medicines.

  9. My husband is a kidney transplant recipient and is moving to Qatar next month on a work visa. He has to take immunosuppressive tablets that cannot be changed at any cost. He wishes to carry medications for 12 months so that he can live there hassle-free. He has all the required documents from his doctor and hospital. What should we do? Will we be allowed to carry the medicines to Qatar?

    1. Doha Guides Team

      Hi Sahram, First you need to find out if the medicine is banned in Qatar. May be your doctor can advise if these contain any banned substance. You can also contact the Qatar Government Helpline at +974-44069999 or [email protected]

  10. I am flying to DOHA in transit and may leave the airport to do on a tour before my next flight. I will have 20 tablets of Gabapentin 300mg on me for neuropathy. Does this have to be in the original prescribed bottle or can I put this in a plastic bag and take a picture of the prescription label that is on the bottle? What do I actually have to take?

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