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mountain87

Tianeptine availability

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Hey guys,

 

this is my first post here and I am glad that there is such a knowledgable and helpful community here. So, thank you very much for all your help and comments in advance. 

 

I‘ve got some questions about my prescription medication before going to SEA including Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. 

 

I am currently on a medication called Tianeurax here in Germany. I already found out that the medication is called Stablon over in Thailand. I also read that it is sold OTC in pharmacies. Does that mean I do not need to have a prescription to get it? Or do I have to go to a hospital and get a prescription first? 

 

Does anybody know about the availability of my medication in Thailand or maybe even in the other countries I have mentioned above?

 

I found out that i am only allowed to bring my medication into Thailand sufficient for a time of 30 days. As i am going to stay in SEA for about 4 months I am going to have to find a source for my medication wherever I am staying. 

 

I couldn’t find the substance of Tianeptine on any tables of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances in the categories 2, 3 and 4, so i am assuming i don’t need a FDA approval. Is that right? Or are there substances that are not allowed to bring with me that are not on those lists (does anybody have the latest list of these substances, as it is not easy to find the correct lists on the website of the FDA?). 

 

I have got a document filled out by my doctor that i will be carrying, when entering Thailand. Would you suggest to take the red channel at Suvarnabhumi and declare everything?

 

Thank you very much for your help. It is highly appreciated. I am so looking forward to my stay in your wonderful country. 

 

Kind regards,

N.

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Bring your current prescription bottle...or some other form of visual aid that lets pharmacy know you have purchased this item before...

 

If pills are wrapped individually on a pill card...I just bring in the used pill card as evidence...other times I just remove the label from a box of pills that shows the drug name and dosage...

 

Pharmacies are everywhere and very relaxed in dispensing meds...👍

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Stablon is off market in Thailand so you are unlikely to be able to find it.

 

Might be able to find it in Phnom Penh -- very wide range of imported medications are available there in large pharmacies around Olympic market - but no guarantee.

 

Your best recourse is to bring in the amount you need with you. While the rule is 30 day supply, they do not strictly enforce the quantity aspect as long as it looks consistent with personal use. And the worst that would happen, given that this is not a controlled substance, is that the amount in excess of 30 days would be confiscated by airport customs and held there for you to reclaim when leaving the country.

 

An FDA license is not required as this is not a controlled drug.

 

Just be sure everything is clearly labelled with your name on it and have a doctor's note on you as well stating the medication has been prescribed etc.

 

Do not declare it just go through green channel.

 

If you want to look for it in Phnom Penh start with Penn Vong Pharmacy on Sihanouk Blvd west of Monivong a few blocks, south side of the street.

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2 hours ago, Sheryl said:

 

Stablon is off market in Thailand so you are unlikely to be able to find it.

 

Oh no, that was my worst fear... how do you exactly know that it is not available anymore?

 

2 hours ago, Sheryl said:

And the worst that would happen, given that this is not a controlled substance, is that the amount in excess of 30 days would be confiscated by airport customs and held there for you to reclaim when leaving the country

Can somebody confirm this? I don’t want to go to the monkey house directly on arrival...

 

Thanks everybody!

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29 minutes ago, mountain87 said:

Oh no, that was my worst fear... how do you exactly know that it is not available anymore?

 

Can somebody confirm this? I don’t want to go to the monkey house directly on arrival...

 

Thanks everybody!

 

1. It is shown as off-market in MIMS, the directory of pharmaceuticals in Thailand.

 

2. I can confirm that you cannot . In all my years on this board, I have not heard of even a single case where someone was jailed for bringing in more than 30 days worth of a non-controlled drug that has been prescribed to them, or anything close to that. I can't think what  in the criminal code you could be charged with. What you have done is to exceed a customs limit and if they catch you doing this they could refuse to allow it.

 

More than 99% of the time there is no check of a foreigner's bags and you just walk  through. On the rare occasions that a foreigner is checked, simply showing a doctor's certificate and prescription has been enough, and that includes people with what was more than 30 days supply (but not, of course, whole suitcases full). Controlled substances would be a whole other matter.

 

I can recall offhand just one case where someone reported being told they couldn't bring in the full quantity they had with them, and the excess was kept at customs to be retrieved when they left.

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Thank you so much, Sheryl! You really calmed me down. It seems you are super informed, so i would like to ask you some more questions. I am using Tianeptine 3-4 times a day in 12.5mg doses. That means i would be traveling with an amount of around 300 pills for my stay in SEA. I am also taking 1 pill of levothyroxine daily (150mg). All in all i would have 400 pills traveling with me. Would you say that maybe such an amount equals to the "whole suitcase full" as you stated above? 

 

My second question would be: are you sure that Tianeptine is definitely not a controlled substance (whether psychotropic nor narcotic)? I have found a list for the narcotics here:

 

http://www.fda.moph.go.th/sites/Narcotics/en/Shared%20Documents/NARCO-list-update-05.10.2015.pdf

 

And the table for psychotropic substances here:

 

http://www.fda.moph.go.th/sites/Narcotics/en/Shared%20Documents/table-PHYCHO-list-update-21.12.2015.pdf

 

It is luckily not on those lists provided by the FDA. But these lists are from 2015 and i don't know if they have been updated. Especially the psychotropics list is based on the old Controlled Psychotropic Substances Act B.E. 2518 from 1975, although there was a new Act (B.E. 2559) passed in 2016 (http://www.fda.moph.go.th/sites/Narcotics/en/Shared%20Documents/Psychotropic-Substances-Act-B.E.2559.pdf). My fear is that Stablon is off market and now illegal (or at least now regulated under the categories "narcotics" or "psychotropic substances") in Thailand because people have been abusing Tianeptine and some countries therefore banned it, but i can't find anything about it on the FDA website. The FDA website is a total mess. Some links like the "permitfortraveler" site are giving me the 404 "page not found" and i am overall super uncertain about all this. If, by any chance my bag gets checked and i have to explain to the customs officer what Tianeptine is and why i am carrying it, can i rely on the informations by the FDA website and show him the lists? Are they official and reliable? Because IF Tianeptine would suddenly be a narcotic or psychotropic substance i am sure i would be in big, big trouble with an amount of 300 pills, exceeding the personal amount by 300%.

 

My third and last question would be, if you could look up other products including Tianeptine in MIMS. Would that be possible? It seems like you have an account.

 

Tatinol (produced in China), Neptine and Staneptine (produced in South Korea)

Maybe they are available by import (like you suggested in Phnom Penh).

 

I surely don't want to put my health at risk, but i certainly don't want to start my traveling experience in your country with an unlawful act. 

 

Thank you very much for your help and sorry for the long text.

 

 

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1. There is no need at all to bring in more than a few days supply of levothyroxine as you can readily buy it here over the counter and cheap.

 

2. The drug is NOT banned. It is still listed under the generic as an approved drug for use in Thailand and, as you already know, does not appear on the FDA list of either narcotics or psychotropics. yes, these lists are old but updated ones have not yet been released.

 

they only ever had 1 brand here, Stablon, and that brand is now off market. It is quite common for imported drugs to go off market here, usually happens because sales are low and is manufacturer's decision not Thai FDA. Maintaining brand registration is costly entails some hassle, and companies do not want to bother if the sales are low.

 

it is possible there is still some Stablon on shelves at some pharmacies but would take time to search and no guarantee of success.

 

3). 300 tablets is not a suitcase full but yes, rather a lot though it will depend on how it looks - i.e. how packaged, how many bottles etc. They aren't likely to count the tablets, it is more a question of how it looks to them. It would certainly be better if you had less than 300 tablets especially since that exceeds what you would need for the time you can stay in Thailand on a single entry (30 days if coming in visa exempt, up to 90 days on a tourist visa which is a better idea for you). I suggest getting a tourist visa because then if asked you can say you are staying 3 months. On a visa exempt entry, which allows only 30 days, having that much medication with you would seem odd.  You can get a re-entry permit if you want to leave Thailand to travel in neighboring countries and then  come back. Note that you will be stamped in initially for 60 days and need to go to an immigration office with the 30 day extension to get 90 days on a tourist visa.

 

4) You do nto have to show any lists to customs in the unlikely case that they search. just show your prescription. They already have lists of controlled drugs. Do not go into a whole song and dance, just calmly state it is medication and you have a prescription and show that. This is all unlikley to occur.

 

5) Tatinol, Neptine and Staneptine are nto and never have been registered for use in Thailand. The only brand of tianeptine ever here was Stablon, as noted.  I have no idea if you will find these or Stablon/Coaxil in Phnom Penh, I have never had occasion to look. there is no directory of what is available in Cambodia and it is pretty chaotic and unregulated and depends on what there is a demand for at any point in time.

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Oh Sheryl, thank you so, so much for your help. It is highly appreciated. My last question is, is there a policy to ban similar psychotropic substances that are not explicitly stated on the published tables i presented above? Tianeptin is chemically related to a psychotropic substance in category 2 called Amineptin. Do i have to worry about being confronted with something like this at the border, or do the customs officers just go through their list, don't find "Tianeptine" and that's it? No song and dance, as you said?

 

Thanks again!

 

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There is no "policy" to ban things not on the list. If they decide to ban something, they ban it. Otherwise not. To date no ban on tianeptine.

 

Category 2 psychotropics are not banned, just controlled.

 

Sent from my SM-J701F using Thailand Forum - Thaivisa mobile app

 

 

 

 

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