I got a job in the UAE and even have my visa. But I have been prescribed a psychotropic drug called Rexipra which has been marked as a banned/controlled drug in the UAE.

I searched online and found some websites which say that you need to get approval from MOHAP, but outher websites say that a certified prescription is enough to take the prescribed medicines for 3 months.

I have my flight next week and I am not sure if I should take the medicines with me.


1 Answer 1


Per the Ministry of Health, if you are a resident of the UAE (which you will be since you're working there), you must have a Permit to Import Medicines for Personal Use to import any controlled drugs. The application takes three working days to process (possibly longer right now because it's Eid al-Fitr as I type this), so get cracking:


You really don't want to take any risks here, the punishment for illegal drugs in the UAE are draconian. If you can't get the permit in time, don't take the medicines, and instead book an appointment with a local doctor so you can get a new local prescription.

  • Hi. I am planning to not take any drugs at all as it seems too risky. Do you know how long it takes to meet a local doctor? Also, I wont have any insurance at first, do you know about the costs?
    – Mr.SsS
    May 3, 2022 at 13:35
  • 8
    If you have the necessary permit it'll be fine, so just go ahead and apply? You may still get it in time. May 3, 2022 at 14:52
  • 5
    Also (if feasible) contact your local embassy, especially if you have a work contract there it's their job to help you out
    – Hobbamok
    May 4, 2022 at 9:51
  • 7
    @Mr.SsS If you're on medication for a mental health condition, consult your doctor before considering withdrawal. Many have withdrawal symptoms. Even for those that don't, if you stop taking your medication before your condition is controlled then you are at a substantial risk of relapse. Adding the stress of starting a new job, and the stress of starting a new life in a new and very different country, and the stress of being away from your entire support network of family and friends, will significantly increase the already-high risk of a relapse. Be super cautious here.
    – Graham
    May 4, 2022 at 14:30
  • 1
    @Mr.SsS - Also consider: If you feel better now, while taking the meds, then that doesn't mean you'd actually still feel fine without them. Just because you're dry while standing under an umbrella doesn't mean you won't get wet if you put the umbrella away and it's still raining. As everyone else said, don't change your meds or stop taking them without discussing with your doctor.
    – Bobson
    May 12, 2022 at 18:23

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