Bringing prescription medication to Austria – What can you bring and how much?

One of the things you may worry about when planning a trip to Vienna is figuring out how to bring prescription medication into Austria.

After all, like most people on the planet, you probably have prescription medication prescribed-by-your-doctor that you need to take on a daily or several times a week basis.

That means, whether you are planning a trip to Vienna for a week, a month or longer, you will need to have your prescription medication with you for use while you are here.

Luckily, bringing prescription medication to Austria is not that difficult.

You just need to make sure you abide by Austria’s laws on the subject when you do.


You can fill a prescription from an Austrian doctor at an Apotheke (pharmacy)

What you need to know about bringing prescription medication into Austria

Like any other country, Austria has rules and regulations when it comes to bringing prescription medication into the country.

Rules you must abide by if you don’t want your medication taken away from you by Austrian customs when you arrive.

Should you try to bring in much higher quanties of prescription drugs than you are allowed, you could also find yourself arrested and prosecuted.

As long as the medication is only to cover your own personal needs while you are visiting the Alpine country, however, Austrian rules on prescription medication are pretty easy to follow.

They are:

  • You can bring in up to 3 packets of the drug of the smallest packet size into Austria without requiring a permit. Bringing a doctor’s letter is recommended, however, (see details below), as that will minimize your chances of having the medication taken away from you if a custom’s officer isn’t satisfied with your answers to questions he/she may ask.
  • It is best to leave the drug in its original packaging. This will limit any delays or questioning you may be subjected to upon arrival.

For narcotics (eg: addictive painkillers, sleeping pills) and psychotropic drugs (eg: anti-depressants, Ritalin), the Austrian government is much stricter for anyone who plans on a trip to Austria that will last longer than five days.

These rules are:

  • For prescription medication that will be used for stays in Austria of up to five days, no additional certification is required.
  • NOTE: If the medication is an addictive drug that is only available by prescription, you should still bring with you a letter from your doctor that includes your personal information, the reason why it was prescribed, the generic name of the drug (NOT the brand name) and its prescribed dosage.
  • For stays in Austria between six and 30 days, you must bring a prescription from your doctor. Austrian authorities recommend a prescription form that looks like this. Yes, the form is in German, but its translation into English and French is included on the second page, so your doctor’s office can easily complete it.
  • If you will be staying in Austria for longer than 30 days, you will need to get a prescription from an Austrian doctor for your medication requirements after Day 30 as you cannot bring prescription drugs into Austria that are longer than a 30 day supply. As long as you have a letter from your home doctor, a trip to an Austrian doctor for the purpose of a prescription should not take too long.

Also be sure to travel to Austria with any medication you need on your trip safely carried in your carry-on luggage.

After all, suitcases and other checked bags can disappear en route, and you do not want to arrive in Austria without the medication you need to remain healthy while on your trip.

For more information about bringing prescription medication into Austria, read the Austrian government’s website on the subject.

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About Michelle Topham

I'm a journalist, and the founder of Oh My Vienna. I have been living in Vienna since 2016 as an immigrant, because 'expat' is just a fancy word that means exactly that.