View Full Version : American Prescriptions in Japan
2004-03-29, 02:16 AM
Does anyone know how I can check to see if medications I take in the USA are available in Japan? I take Acebutolol (a beta-blocker) and Trazodone (not a narcotic) to help me sleep. Neither of these medications are new or hard to find in the US, but I don't know about in Japan.
Question 2, if they are available, what's the best way to get them? I have a prescription from an American doctor (two doctors actually.) If they aren't available in Japan, can I order them from an online pharmacy and have them shipped in to Japan, or will customs not allow drugs to be imported?
2004-03-29, 09:22 AM
Well, consider this, You are a Japanese living in Chicago and you have a prescription from a Japanese doctor in Japan, written in Japanese.
You take this down to Walgreens to be filled. How far would you get?
Trying to order online is very risky, chances are very high customs will sieze them and pay you a visit where you have to explain your \"attempt to smuggle drugs\" into Japan. Not pretty.
You should be allowed to bring a 30 day supply when you arrive. No more than that.
Post Edited (03-29-04 09:24)
2004-03-29, 01:03 PM
So what do you suggest I do? How can I find out if those medications are available in Japan? I will be staying there for at least a year. I can go see a Japanese doctor, but is there any way to know ahead of time if my medication is available?
2004-03-29, 01:03 PM
Post Edited (03-29-04 23:21)
2004-03-30, 10:56 AM
Trazodone is called Reslin in Japan.
Acebutolol is also available (along with almost other beta-blockers).
You will need a prescription from a Japanese physician to be able to get them.
2004-03-30, 11:12 AM
Wow, Reslin eh? I am impressed, how do you know this stuff? Is there a web site someplace where you can enter the name of a drug in the US and it gives you the name of that drug in Japan?
Thanks for the response.
2004-03-30, 12:20 PM
Andy, Just make sure that you bring your original prescription when you come -- it should make things easier. And make sure to find out the generic name of each medication. Trip Hop does some work related to the pharmaceutical industry, and probably knows more about medications and medicine in Japan than anyone else on these forums.
The National Institutes of Health in the US have a lot of good information online regarding mediciations. You can find them here:
And if you have a generic name and/or a US brand name it's relatively easy to search Japanese language pages that include the name(s) in "romaji", along with Japanese language descriptions/names/dosages/side effects and the like.