5 Responses to “Can I Get Narcotic Pain Meds in Mexico?”

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  1. Thematrixx says:

    I suffer from Miigraines. Is it really that difficult to get Fiorcet with Codenine in Mexico and if so why?


  2. James L. says:

    Your question is a wise one. However, let’s make sure to use the proper terminology in the discussion. The operative terms are “medications” and “drugs.” There is a very distinct difference between the two.

    It is IMPOSSIBLE-I repeat IMPOSSIBLE-to get opiate medications in Mexico! They are considered to be “hypnotics” and no Mexican MD has the authority to prescribe them. Mexican pharmacies do not stock them. There is the possibility to purchase illicit opiate drugs in Mexico, but I won’t even discuss that subject other than to say they are dangerous to the individual as well as damaging to societies of both nations. I am so opposed to the illicit drug trade on so many levels that I have reported, and will continue to report, even the attempt to purchase or sell them to the authorities on both sides of the border.

    The best way to assure that you have access to the medications you require is to have prescriptions for them written and filled in the US before coming South. Carry the unused medications in the same packages (bottles, boxes, tubes, inhalers, etc.) in which they were received. Carry a copy of the corresponding prescription with your other traveling papers. Usually veterans don’t get a paper prescription from the VA, but you can print them out using MyHealthyVet of eBenefits. Also, you can go to the Release of Information office at your VAMC and they will print them for you (and all of your other medical records for that matter which you should have anyway).

    It is my understanding that “blue water” sailors can purchase sort of a super emergency first aid kit that contains some types of narcotics with a prescription and other regulatory paperwork.

    You are legally allowed to cross the border in both directions with no more than a 90-day supply of any legally prescribed and acquired medication.

    Like a number of US States, Mexico has lightened up on enforcement on marijuana. However, that guy or gal at the border is federal, so you will still get busted even with a prescription or card.

    Thankfully, Mexico has finally tightened over the counter access to antibiotics.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Rick says:

    I fell and hurt my back at a resort hotel in Ixtapa a couple of years ago. The hotel staff was amazing, and the doctor came to examine me well “after hours.” The doctor dispatched my daughter, along with a hotel employee, to a local farmacia, where they purchased, with the doctor’s written prescription, Suboxone, a very potent narcotic medication. This was all above-board and legal. I only got 10 doses (and used 3), and I had no sense that any law was broken.

    • Rick says:

      I need to update my comment above: upon further research, I actually found a picture online of the medication legally prescribed to me by the Dr. in Ixtapa: Temgesic. It is a milder form of the narcotic medication Suboxone that is available in the United States, and also does not contain Naltrexone, which is added to Suboxone in order to discourage over-use of the medication. Narcotic medications are available in Mexico, per my own personal experience. Now, should one want to go buy the stuff for recreational purposes, that may be a whole other experience, and one I am not qualified, nor willing to address. However, I don’t want people to be afraid to seek medical care should they require it for acute pain while in Mexico. I assure you that treatment via narcotic medication is available.

  4. James L. says:

    Rick, thank you for bringing me up to date! I had heard of Suboxone being used to reduce the withdrawal symptoms from opiate addiction, but I had never heard of it being used to treat pain. I didn’t realize it was, in fact, narcotic. I am very active in the veterans’ community on both sides of the border-Semper Fi! After years of handing them out like vitamins, the VA is really making it difficult to receive opiate medications for chronic non-cancer pain. Since I live so close to the border (Guaymas, Sonora), I get all of my medical care including opiate medications from the VA in Tucson. The VA cannot legally ship any medications to foreign addresses, so most of the local veterans use commercial addresses in Tucson. When ever someone is going North, that person picks up everyone’s mail. We have never had a problem with that, so far. We have 4 Mexican MD’s of various disciplines in my wife’s extended family here, and not one of them has ever written a opiate prescription. Each of them have told me point blank that Percodan, Percocet, oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, Demerol, and the rest of the list cannot be prescribed or purchased here (lived here for 20 years). Even prescription sleeping pills require 2 signatures.

    Other than the Suboxone, I will stand by earlier post recommending BYO medications. I don’t have many major complaints about the quality of medical care in Mexico (better than the VA clowns), but you have to be a wise consumer.