South Africa

Methadone/Buprenorphine Treatment:

Methadone (Physeptone®) and buprenorphine can be prescribed to foreign travellers by doctors and clinics operated by the South African National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SANCA).
A list of SANCA clinics is accessible via the SANCA web site.
Continued dosing should be arranged by doctor-to-doctor contact well in advance of a patient's journey.

Importation of Methadone, Buprenorphine and Other Opioids: possible

Methadone is a Schedule 7 substance. In terms of Regulation 33 of the Medicines and Related Substances Control Act, Act 101 of 1965, any person entering or departing from South Africa may be in possession of a Schedule 7 substance, provided that:

- it is for personal medical use only;
- the quantity does not exceed a reasonable quantity for use for a period of not more than 30 days;
- the person is in possession of a prescription for the substance or a certificate by a pharmacist/doctor/clinic to the effect that the substance was prescribed by a medical practitioner.

Travellers travelling to South Africa will have no problems bringing in methadone under the above conditions, because if the treatment was initiated by a foreign doctor, the purpose for treatment will not be questioned.

Regarding other opioids the same regulations are effective.

The medication brought in and the certificate should be presented to a customs officer when entering South Africa.

Contact Addresses:


Any South African embassy or consulate or

Department of Health
Chief Medicines Control Officer
Private Bag X828
Pretoria, 0001
Republic of South Africa
Phone: +27 12 395 0000 (operator)

Any comments and additional information greatly appreciated.
Please address all correspondence to:

Ralf Gerlach
Bremer Platz 18-20
D-48155 Münster
Phone: +49 251-60123 or +49 2571-582765
Fax: +49 251-666580

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(This page last revised January 15, 2011)