Medication needs when moving internationally
On my list of topics to write about was what considerations need to be given to prescription (and over the counter) medications when you move to Ireland. I'm sure it's a topic of considerable concern to almost anyone who moves internationally, so it was a nice surprise for me today to see that my friends at the Irish Fireside have already done a lot of the leg work, and I can point you to them for a lot of the info you might need. Corey (an Irish travel pro) published "What are the rules for traveling to Ireland with medications?" and in the article goes in to detail about how you should prepare for your travels with regard to medication, how much to take with you, prescription information to carry when traveling, and what to expect from Irish pharmacies. There are some good tips in the comment section too, so be sure to scroll down to read those. Corey's site is geared specifically towards holiday-makers, and of course the article is targeted at that audience, so for international movers I'll add a few more points to consider here.
1. If you regularly take any medication, OTC or prescribed, I would recommend consulting with a doctor and/or pharmacist soon after arriving in Ireland. Like Corey mentions, some of the medications you might be used to taking might have a different name in Ireland (e.g. blood pressure and cholesterol meds), and in some cases the medication may not be available at all. An alternative most likely is, and it'll help your medical professional in Ireland assess what you need if you can show them what you take now, and what you take it for. If you want to do a little home-research yourself, there are websites out there that list what the brand names for medications are in different countries. Try drugs.com/international (or grab their app from iTunes or Google Play) and type in the item name of your choice. Here's an example drug page for the search term ibuprofen. On it you can see the brand, generic, foreign brand names etc.
2. Corey recommends taking enough medications to last your through your trip, and a lady who commented on the article says she takes even more just in case she gets delayed on her way back home. For people who are moving to Ireland, you're going to need to plan ahead and bring enough to last you until you can get seen by an Irish doctor, especially for any medications which require a prescription here. If your medications are critical to your health, I would recommend trying to arrange an appointment to see a doctor in your new town/city ever before you set off on your international move. Things can sometimes move a little slow in Ireland, and it might take a few weeks to get in to see a local doctor, especially in busy areas. Keep that in mind when you're stocking up on critical medications before you leave for your new home.
3. Medications are very strictly regulated all over the world, and from country to country the rules can be different for some items. Where you might not have needed a prescription before, you might now, or vice versa. Or to get the desired dosage strength of an item, you might find that you'll need a prescription in Ireland, and you didn't before. It may not be too common a scenario, but it's good to know what you'll need ahead of time.
Another reason you may need a prescription for your medication is because there are regulations related to pharmacy practice whereby a prescription from a doctor registered in Ireland might be required. This is another really good reason to set yourself up with a local GP (family doctor) soon after arriving in Ireland.
4. If you're moving from the US to Ireland, you will probably notice that supermarkets carry far less over-the-counter medications than you might have been used to in the States. I'm not sure why this is but my best guess is that is likely due to regulations about what types of medications they can sell, or what can be readily on display on their shelves. While in Ireland, Pharmacies (or what a lot of people call Chemists here) are the best place to go for your medicinal needs.
What did I miss? Please add any relevant info in the comments. Thanks.