Can I Buy Medicine in Mexico to Bring to the US?

If you’ve ever considered purchasing medicine from a Mexican pharmacy online or during a trip to Mexico, you’re not alone. Many Americans contemplate this option in search of affordable medications. However, there are essential legal and safety considerations to be aware of.

Legal Implications:

  1. Prescriptions: It’s legal for US citizens to bring back up to a 50-day supply of a medication for personal use. Still, a US prescription will be needed to present to customs officials upon return.
  2. Controlled Substances: The importation of controlled substances like narcotic painkillers, tranquilizers, and steroids is illegal, irrespective of the amount or reason.
  3. FDA Approval: Any medication you import must have FDA approval. It’s unlawful to bring non-FDA-approved medication into the US.
  4. Declaration: Upon re-entry to the US, you must declare any medications you’ve acquired abroad.

Safety Concerns:

  1. Counterfeits: Like many countries, Mexico can have issues with counterfeit medications. It’s crucial to purchase from a reputable source to ensure you’re getting the genuine product.
  2. Regulation & Quality Control: Not all Mexican pharmacies follow the same standards as those in the US. This can result in discrepancies in the drug’s quality, strength, or even its identity.
  3. Labels and Instructions: Medication labels and instructions might be in Spanish, leading to misinterpretation of dosage or indications.

Online Mexican Pharmacies:

  1. Legitimacy: Just as in the US, there are legitimate and rogue online pharmacies. It’s crucial to verify the credibility of an online Mexican pharmacy before making a purchase.
  2. Shipping Restrictions: Even if you buy from a legitimate Mexican online pharmacy, you might face challenges getting the medicine shipped to the US due to FDA and customs regulations.


  1. Consult with a US Physician: Before purchasing medications abroad, consult with your US-based doctor. They can advise on the medication’s safety, appropriateness, and potential interactions.
  2. Research the Pharmacy: If you’re considering buying from a Mexican pharmacy online, research its reputation, ask for recommendations, and ensure it requires prescriptions for purchase.
  3. Pharmaceutical Tourism: If you’re physically going to Mexico, consider seeking guidance on reputable pharmacies in tourist areas, as they are more likely to cater to international standards.
  4. Know the Laws: Be aware of both Mexican and US laws concerning drug purchase and importation. For instance, what may be over-the-counter in Mexico might require a prescription in the US.
  5. Have Documentation: Always carry copies of your US prescription and ensure that the medication’s name, dosage, and quantity match what’s on the prescription.


While it can be tempting to buy medications from Mexico due to cost savings or convenience, it’s crucial to prioritize safety and legality. Always research thoroughly, consult with healthcare professionals, and ensure you are compliant with both Mexican and US regulations.

By admin