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Dubai and medication

19 replies

ImHavingAnOldFriendForDinner · 15/03/2022 09:48

Hi all. We have booked a family holiday to Dubai for a week in April and I'm slightly freaking out. I take Citalopram for anxiety and have been since September.. Does anyone know if I'm ok to take this into Dubai? Do I need some kind of doctors letter? Do I need to declare it?

My husband doesn't know that I take this medication and I'd like to keep it that way so if I need to declare it then there is going to be a problem. I've tried to stop taking it so I don't have to worry but I feel awful after 4 days off so I need to start again.

Any advice greatly appreciated!

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leavingAqaba · 15/03/2022 09:53

There is no reason why anyone is going to be checking your personal items for medicines.

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ITSupport · 15/03/2022 09:55

I'd be more concerned why you feel the need to keep it from your husband

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FiveShelties · 15/03/2022 10:03

I think you could take in certain prescription drugs with a prescription/letter from GP. They have an extensive list of banned drugs so perhaps you could check if they are on that list.

I regularly travel between UK/NZ via Doha or Dubai and always have a current prescription, the items in their original pack and in my hand luggage.

Not sure how you will keep that from your husband though if you are one of the lucky ones taken on one side for search.

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FiveShelties · 15/03/2022 10:04

I should have said pre Covid I regularly travelled.

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leavingAqaba · 15/03/2022 10:11

I stand corrected (PP and quick Google), get a doctor’s note/prescription to feel secure.

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RampantIvy · 15/03/2022 10:46

@ITSupport

I'd be more concerned why you feel the need to keep it from your husband

Yes. This is concerning.
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FinallyFluid · 15/03/2022 10:49

@ITSupport

I'd be more concerned why you feel the need to keep it from your husband

Very concerning. If you had a broken leg you would put a pot on it.
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MaizeAmaze · 15/03/2022 11:11

Take the amount you need for your trip, in the original packaging, with the chemists sticker on it, and a prescription.

I'm pretty sure citalopram isn't prohibited.


Please talk to your husband.

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ImHavingAnOldFriendForDinner · 15/03/2022 11:31

Thanks everyone that's really helpful, I'm nervous about going to Dubai as it is especially as our first holiday since the pandemic began so this isn't helping. I'll just take the amount I need (only a week), in the original box and also the prescription.

Im guessing Calpol/paracetamol etc are all ok? Kids are 13 and 8 so not too worried but like to have stuff with me.

Everyone asking about my husband I only mentioned it because it was relevant to the question but as you asked. My husband isn't supportive of any illness, mental or physical, he doesn't "do" illness and wouldn't be happy to know I was on medication even though he knows how anxious I get, he just thinks I should control it because I don't actually have anything to worry about. If me or the kids get ill then he wants nothing to do with it until we are better! 17 years in I'm used to it now and don't need his help. ❤️

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RampantIvy · 15/03/2022 11:35

I hope you show him the same level of support when he gets ill then.

Is he lacking in empathy in other areas as well?

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ImHavingAnOldFriendForDinner · 15/03/2022 13:48

@RampantIvy he gets the same treatment from me, absolutely no sympathy which is quiet difficult for me as I'm naturally caring and empathetic. My kids know who to come to when they're unwell because Dad "doesn't do illness". It's sad really and completely contributes to my anxiety which is mainly health related. He is completely lacking in empathy, if someone is unhappy or miserable they need to just sort it out and stop moaning 🙄 I worry about getting ill because I know he wouldn't be able to look after me and when I try to talk to him about my worries he tells me not to worry because I'll get sick and then will either get better or I won't and if I don't I won't know anything about it!!

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Villanelle17 · 15/03/2022 14:10

[quote ImHavingAnOldFriendForDinner]@RampantIvy he gets the same treatment from me, absolutely no sympathy which is quiet difficult for me as I'm naturally caring and empathetic. My kids know who to come to when they're unwell because Dad "doesn't do illness". It's sad really and completely contributes to my anxiety which is mainly health related. He is completely lacking in empathy, if someone is unhappy or miserable they need to just sort it out and stop moaning 🙄 I worry about getting ill because I know he wouldn't be able to look after me and when I try to talk to him about my worries he tells me not to worry because I'll get sick and then will either get better or I won't and if I don't I won't know anything about it!! [/quote]
This is awful and definitely not true. I've never been ill for nearly 10 years now, getting worse with every year, but still very much here and aware of it. You deserve someone who is supportive and caring. Where does his attitude towards illness come from? He just sounds so cold.

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BritishDesiGirl · 15/03/2022 14:16

My mum travelled between Doha and Pakistan. You should have a doctors note ideally as they have a long list of prohibited medicines. My mum pays for a letter as many of her prescriptions are controlled drugs.

Double check the list of items allowed on your airline website

And yes they can check through your personal items if they feel they need to

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Villanelle17 · 15/03/2022 14:16

*I've been ill is what I meant to put

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PleaseBeSeated · 15/03/2022 14:17

@ImHavingAnOldFriendForDinner

Thanks everyone that's really helpful, I'm nervous about going to Dubai as it is especially as our first holiday since the pandemic began so this isn't helping. I'll just take the amount I need (only a week), in the original box and also the prescription.

Im guessing Calpol/paracetamol etc are all ok? Kids are 13 and 8 so not too worried but like to have stuff with me.

Everyone asking about my husband I only mentioned it because it was relevant to the question but as you asked. My husband isn't supportive of any illness, mental or physical, he doesn't "do" illness and wouldn't be happy to know I was on medication even though he knows how anxious I get, he just thinks I should control it because I don't actually have anything to worry about. If me or the kids get ill then he wants nothing to do with it until we are better! 17 years in I'm used to it now and don't need his help. ❤️

Don't assume anything about calpol/paracetamol -- check here, as the UAE embassy pages all have broken links to the lists, unhelpfully:

dubaiofw.com/banned-medicines-in-uae/

The man given a four--year jail sentence for three poppy seeds from a bagel consumed at LHR found on his clothes may be apocryphal, but there are certainly some odd prohibitions in Dubai, and I was always careful to bring any drugs, even over-the-counter ones, in their packaging, in hand-luggage, and any prescription ones with the prescription.
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ImHavingAnOldFriendForDinner · 15/03/2022 14:44

@Villanelle17 very cold. I think he gets it from his Dad as he is exactly the same, he has been known to say to his Mum "either go to the doctor or stop moaning" for something she has been to the doctor with and is being sorted. Very weird. I have a neck issue which flares up and he doesn't want to know. However when everyone is well and healthy he's like a different man. 🤷‍♀️

@BritishDesiGirl thank you for that, wry helpful and I'll be contacting my GP if I need to.

The Poppy seed story has scared the life out of me, it's stuff like that that makes me not want to go. I take Codeine for a neck problem so now can't take that with me. I'd rather stay home, Dubai wasn't even my choice of country. I'm so stressed now. I'm going to try and stay off of the medication, it's only 3 weeks and I'll get back on it when we return.

Thanks for all of the advice.

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PleaseBeSeated · 15/03/2022 14:55

[quote ImHavingAnOldFriendForDinner]@Villanelle17 very cold. I think he gets it from his Dad as he is exactly the same, he has been known to say to his Mum "either go to the doctor or stop moaning" for something she has been to the doctor with and is being sorted. Very weird. I have a neck issue which flares up and he doesn't want to know. However when everyone is well and healthy he's like a different man. 🤷‍♀️

@BritishDesiGirl thank you for that, wry helpful and I'll be contacting my GP if I need to.

The Poppy seed story has scared the life out of me, it's stuff like that that makes me not want to go. I take Codeine for a neck problem so now can't take that with me. I'd rather stay home, Dubai wasn't even my choice of country. I'm so stressed now. I'm going to try and stay off of the medication, it's only 3 weeks and I'll get back on it when we return.

Thanks for all of the advice.
[/quote]
I wouldn't take the poppyseed story too seriously -- I think it all derives from a report on a single website (by the charity Fair Trials, which nis real, but does not name the person involved) and was repeated on from there.

However, I would question why you're going to a country you don't want to visit on holiday. Is it really worth this much stress to go somewhere you don't even want to travel to?

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ImHavingAnOldFriendForDinner · 15/03/2022 16:35

@PleaseBeSeated It's not worth this stress no but my husband and son have always wanted to visit so I said I would go but just massively regretting it now.

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MaizeAmaze · 15/03/2022 17:40

The codeine is definitely on the controlled list. You will need to fill in forms for that.

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