Medical Issues

Can I get medicine or prescriptions in Japan? 

Allergy and cold medicine is readily available here. If you become ill and need to see a doctor, you will be able to get a prescription easily for antibiotics or cold medicine. However, be aware that not all medications are the same as those in North America, Europe or Oceania. If you have a medical history or allergies to medications, please be sure to bring that information along. You can bring up to one month’s supply of prescription drugs into Japan and up to two month’s supply of non-prescription drugs without completing any paperwork. This same rule applies to mailing prescription and/or non-prescription drugs. It is always a good idea to have a copy of the prescription and/or letter from the prescribing physician explaining the nature of the medication, the purpose of taking it, recommended dosage and frequency of ingestion. Most prescription drugs are permitted, including some drugs that may not be available in Japan. Drugs that are hallucinogenic, narcotic and/or psychotropic in nature will be confiscated except in extenuating circumstances where prior approval has been obtained, e.g., a cancer patient taking a type of medication that has a high percentage of pain killer; these cases are treated on a case by case basis. The following over-the-counter medications are prohibited in Japan since they contain narcotic or stimulant ingredients in excess of the Japanese standard: Tylenol Cold, Nyquil, Nyquil Liquicaps, Actifed, Sudafed, Advil Cold & Sinus, Dristan Cold No Drowsiness, Dristan Sinus, Drixoral Sinus, Vicks Inhaler, Lomotil. Japan is very strict about bringing medications into the country. Psychotropic drugs (in particular, Adderall) are prohibited and not allowed even with a prescription. If you are caught at customs with these drugs, they will be confiscated and you may be imprisoned. Please read the following article that highlights the dangers of mailing or bringing these drugs into Japan:

Mental Health

Living in a foreign country can be an exciting, wonderful experience, but it can also be stressful and terrifying. Culture shock can happen at any time and while we will try to help you in every way possible, we are not equipped or able to help with major mental health issues such as anxiety, panic disorders and depression. If you have dealt with these issues in the past, please talk to your health care professional prior to applying for this position. In cases where you are accepted as an intern, but we determine that you are not performing effectively due to some mental health issues or other situations that we deem unsafe for our staff, students or other interns, unfortunately, we may have to ask you to leave the internship. You will be responsible for all fees incurred due to the change in schedule.


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