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Bringing Medications into Japan

I. How to Apply for a "Yakkan Shomei"
Students may bring up to one month's supply of prescription drugs into Japan, and up to two months' supply of non-prescription drugs without completing any paperwork. This same rule applies to mailing prescription and/or non-prescription drugs.
However, if you wish to take more than a months' supply of prescription drugs or more than two months' supply of non-prescription drugs to Japan, you must obtain a "Yakkan Shoumei," an importation certificate.

1. What to submit when applying for the certificate
  1. Import Report of Medication
    Fill in and sign two Import Report of Medication forms as per the sample application document. (See the "Application Forms" below )
  2. Explanation of Product
    Fill in the blank application form according to the sample application document (See the "Application Forms" below.) You have to submit a separate document for each product. (Alternative documents such as pamphlets by manufacturers can be accepted, if they show the descriptions required in Explanation of Product.)
  3. Copy of Prescription or Directions for medicines with doctor’s signature
    This is so the Pharmaceutical Inspector can easily confirm the name and the quantity of each medicine and that it is only for your own use.
  4. Document indicating Arrival Date and Place
    ( eg. Copy of Airline Ticket or Flight Itinerary. )
  5. Self-addressed Return Envelope ( if you need an original "Yakkan Shoumei" paper document)
    Japanese Postal Stamps are required. Include the address where you want to receive the "Yakkan Shoumei". ( "Coupon--Re'ponse International" can be accepted instead of Japanese Postal Stamps. The Return Envelope needs to be 14~23.5 cm long and 9~12 cm wide. ) If you want to receive your "Yakkan Shoumei" by e-mail ( or fax ) , you do not need to send a stamped, self-addressed return envelope. Instead, please write your e-mail address ( or fax number ) clearly on the Import Report of Medication forms. However, please note the Kanto-Shin’etsu Regional Bureau of Health and Welfare does NOT send "Yakkan Shoumei" documents by fax.

2. FAQ regarding Application Forms, Samples and Detailed Procedures (Published by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare
Application Forms and Samples can be found on Page. 6 of the PDF/Word file, "Q&A for those who are bringing medications into Japan"
  • "Q&A for those who are bringing medications into Japan" ( PDF / Word )

  • 3. References
  • Information for those who are bringing medicines for personal use into Japan
    ( Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare )
  • Consulate General of Japan at Chicago

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    II. List of Prescribed Medications   
    Below is a list of prescribed medications (mostly based on past UCEAP Japan students' Health Form) and shows their availability and legality in Japan.

    However, this list of medications is for your information only, and may not be relied upon as individual, medical or legal advice. UCEAP expressly disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all the contents of this information. Because of the continually changing nature of drug information, students are strongly advised to seek updated information for their period of travel to study in Japan.

    *If you are planning to bring more than one month refill, an import certificate called Yakkan Shoumei will be needed. For the details, refer to the instruction indicated on the top half of this page.

    Type Medicine Name Active Ingredients Can be brought into Japan? Available at clinics in Japan? Illegal to be in possession? Notes
    Psychostimulant Adderall Amphetamine No No Yes Amphetamine and Methamphetamine are defined as "Prohibited Stimulants" and strictly restricted in Japan. If you are found with any medicine containing Amphetamine or Methamphetamine, you can be arrested without a warrant.
    Central Nervous System Stimulant Concerta Methylphenidate hydrochloride Yes* Yes, but limited No Applicable to 7-15 aged ADHD patients. Only the specially approved doctors can prescribe.
    Ritalin Yes* Yes, but limited No Applicable in Japan only to Narcolepsy patients.
    Anti-Anxiety Paxil (30mg) Paroxetine hydrochloride hydrate Yes* Available, but only 5/10/20 mg tablet No  
    Prozac Fluoxetine Yes* No No  
    Anti-Epileptic Gabitril Tiagabine anhydrous Yes* No No  
    Klonopin Clonazepam Yes* Available as Rivotril or Landsen No  
    Anaphylactic Shock Treatment Epipen Adrenaline (Epinephrine) Yes* Yes No  
    Anti-Allergy Patanaze (Nasal Spray) Benzalkonium chloride Yes* No No  
    Asthma/Allergic Rhinitis Medications Singulair Montelukast sodium Yes* Yes No  
    Bronchodilator Advair Salmeterol xinafoate Yes* Yes No  
    Diskus Fluticasone propionate Yes* Yes No  
    Proventil HFA Albuterol Yes* Available as Iromir Aeroseol No  
    Maxair Pirbuterol Yes* No No  
    Birth Control Pills (Available in Japan) <Covered by National Health Insurance (NHI)>
    - YAZ
    - Lunabell

    <Not Covered by NHI>
    - Synphase T28
    (1st gen.)
    - Ortho M21
    (1st gen.)
    - Triquilar 21
    (2nd gen.)
    - Triquilar 28
    (2nd gen.)
    - Marvelon 21
    (3rd gen.)
    - Marvelon 28
    (3rd gen.)
    - Anju** 28
    (2nd gen.)
    **Specific in Japan, but the ratio of active ingredients are the same as Triquilar.
    Yes* Yes No <Cases covered by NHI>
    If you are diagnosed with dysmenorrhea (such as excessive menstrual pain, nausea and vomiting, etc. that interferes with daily lives), you are very likely to be prescribed either YAZ or Lunabell, those of which are covered by NHI and the total cost including the prescribed one-month pill will be 2500-3000 yen per visit.

    <Cases not covered by NHI>
    Unless you have dysmenorrhea, you will be prescribed pills that are not covered by NHI. Available pills may vary from clinic to clinic, but usually cost about 2100-3000 yen for one month. In addition, you will be charged first-visit fee which is 1000-3000 yen for consultation and blood tests, but will be charged less from the second visit.
    Birth Control Pills (Unavailable in Japan) Levora
    Yes* No No  

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