Medication in Dominican Republic

Good morning everyone,

Whether it's a simple cold or a chronic illness, medication and medicine use vary from country to country and culture to culture.

When you are used to certain brands or types of drugs, being in a country like the Dominican Republic with different rules can affect your daily well-being.

Some drugs also differ in name, price, dosage, active molecule, so we would like to hear your opinion on these issues:

Have you ever had difficulties finding familiar or useful medicines for your health in your host country?

Have you ever been faced with a shortage of medicines in Dominican Republic?

Would you have said that in Dominican Republic drugs are more or less expensive than in your home country? Do you find them more or less effective or of similar quality?

What is the place of alternative medicines in your host country? Have you ever used them?

Thank you in advance for your feedback,


Medicines are readily available here. In contrast to many countries, most are available without doctor prescription. 

Of note - strong painkillers are difficult to get and require specific prescription that not all doctors have access to.

Meds are in many cases much less expensive than they are in USA and Canada. I don't know about comparison to other countries.

It's best to stay away from small local pharmacies due to counterfeit drugs.  And always check expiry dates.

Alternative medicine is not readily accepted here. Those practitioners are not easy to find.

Culturally here Doctors are still on pedestals and everything else is not.

Although some medication plans in the USA have very low co payments depending on The plan One such is Kaiser Permenente employee and family co payment which is $5.00 However the non covered medications can be very high( in some cases $500 for brand name medication).. In RD that $500 name brand medication may be sold for 1500 -2000 peso ($40)

A d they don't apply here

Medication can be brought with you so long as it is not a controlled substance in the D.R., but most legal meds are available without Rx. and far cheaper than in the U.S.A. If a medicine or an analog is unavailable in the D.R., just take a buck with you... and if it's that important, it's sometimes worth a quick trip to go back and get some more, now and then.

Meant to write "take a bunch with you" , not take a 'buck'... lol.

this sounds crazy but two times now my meds didnt arrive in my luggage.

Once coming in and i found all but one of my heart meds in SD.

the one I couldnt find was the main one I need but dont remember off hand what it is called.  I take 4 different ones.

I checked at least 8-10 in SD and others in Santiago and La Romana for the one that wasnt available and even looked under other names for it. 

then of all things.. I had a few extra left over on my return to the states in one of my three 7 day pill boxes.  the BOX made it back but not the meds!!

I was told or read somewhere that they limit the amount you can bring into DR.

anyone want to address that?

as to pricing to be honest I didnt even check it.  I needed them and it didnt matter

the last time one of my bags arrived without my lock and another arrived in the clear wrap and I didnt recognize it as mine.  looked for almost an hour and an attendant said "here it is".

when I got to the apartment and went to lift it up on the bed my hands went "inside" my bag on both sides.  No Zipper.. no lock.. and stuff missing.


by the way.. there is a NEW lock out you can track with your phone.. says when it is opened and where.  And you can unlock it with your phone app.

about 40.00US i think.

and hey Hey HEY... be careful out there.  we are now on Stay At Home her in Dallas due to virus.

Well I took 3 months supply with me and I will run out in a month.

Tried pharmacies in DR most are a waste of space, can't get anything.

Spoken with Fedex France and they can ship over as urgent medical supplies but their cost 270€

Don't know what else to do as it appears we are stuck in DR for several months


Why do you put your meds in check baggage? I always travel with a big bottle of Ibuprofen, 500 count,  as well as other meds in my carry on. I have traveled all over Europe, South America and the Caribbean and never have been questioned about them. The only thing I have ever had taken from my suitcase was a small CO2 cartridge by TSA. They claim it could not be transported.

Not judging, just wondering.

Meds should always go in carry on, in original containers AND if you can bring a copy of the doctors prescriptions

Hi there

I'm struggling to get my medication in DR.

I live in France where all my medications are free.  I don't expect this but it would be good if I could find them here in Sosua.

My other choice in Fedex from France to DR-however their costs are 282€  Very expensive.

But as I am stuck in DR because of the Covid-19 I really need to find this medication quickly.



There are still ferry flights leaving the DR.  We just had friends leave for Canada and France

Thanks, which airline for France


Have you contacted your embassy for very flights?  Most seem to leave from punta Cana and Santo Domingo.

Call all the French airlines!  Scour the internet!

There is one coming in today at Punta cana Air France I think. They are coming in empty. Definitely check with your embassy.


I guess I am NOT the world traveler I "thought I was".

my meds are in my dopp kit with toiletries I cant carry on.

what about my alligator belt and the RainX that was larger amount of liquid that I can carry on with me?

I didnt mention "everything" that has been stolen.

dont remember if I mentioned the customs agent pulled me aside and asked about the clothes and who they were for and how much I paid.

It was before Christmas and told him gifts for my lady and her mother and sister and two kids.

He asked how much I paid for them and I said maybe 200 or 250.00US.

He then asked how much money I had on me.

I said about $2000 to 2500.00

He said show for me to show it to him.  Then asked for me to put it in the suitcase.

Then he held out two fingers and said for me to give him 200 HUNDRED DOLLARS.

I said he must be crazy.  The receipts are in one of my bags and I will open them up and show him.

He shrugged and said to give him the $200.  I was hot.. tired.. pissed so I peeled of two $20.'s and he took them and pointed for me to leave.


I wondered if I was going to be flagged because of it but have been back 4 times since then and no problems.   However I went though the Consulates office to do it.

Always always put meds in carry on!  That's a big deal if they go missing.  Most things can be replaced.but meds can be a very timely issue!

AS this thread began speaking about meds here, I found the meds to be very inexpensive. When immobilized for a while due to an issue with the thyroid, once I was able to move a little I got taken to a Dr in a local hospital. (Luckily he spoke a little English) He prescribed a couple meds plus gave me several free samples. Two visits and free meds each time. What was strange was that a Pharmaceutical sales guy came into the office each time I was there (different people, different meds) and left freebies for the Dr - I got a couple. I did  google each med to verify what it was and what it was to do and the strength. THey were mid strength pain and muscle relaxants and the prescriptions were very little. They were also made by well known companies and they did the job.....Luckily I have no need for on-going meds as some have indicated.

Does anyone know if Arthritis medicine such as Methotrexate or Xiljanz are sold in DR and how they charge for them??

Most drugs are available here without prescriptions at any good pharmacy. Some are generic and type will be .relatively cheap and inexpensive if you have insurance here.

I typed in the drug name you gave on google as 'metotrexato en republica dominicana'

And got this.....

Happy googling.

Some bigger pharmacies in DR/SD are:

I don't have the need for much medication,  but I did once purchase a skin cream that was prescribed to me here in the use. A prescription renewal would require a doctor visit ,$20 copays and $5 for the cream at the pharmacy. Without my insurance the cream would be around $25. I was able to purchase the same cream in the DR for 1,100dop. That saved me about $25.  Several times I have purchased meds for friends back here in the states. The hospital pharmacy seems to be well supplied. The regular pharmacy is very accommodating.  If they don't have it, they find who does and go pick it up for you.


I usually bring all of my medication In my hand luggage that is carried on the plane and put overhead! That is your entitlement as it won't do much good if needed and located in your checked in baggage.
La Serena Super markets all have Pharmaceuticals . Also in the Las Americas airport upstairs on the departure hall level there is a well stocked Pharmacy. All shopping malls have Pharmacies including Plaza Central, National, Blue Mall...will be well stocked compared to smaller local pharmacies.

What about valium or ketamine? Do those require prescriptions? Ban you recommend a couple farmacias in Punta Cana? Sincerely appreciate the info!

Those are controlled substances and will require a special prescription

After a few years I totally agree with what the previous person stated. Stick to the big pharmacies sure you may pay a little more but you know at least they are not expired. Also and I can't stress this enough verify verify verify. I have a severe back injury and usually I have my pills mailed here and a few times when I was waiting for them to get here I would use local brands. And after doing research I found most of them are either off market in the US and Canada or you can find very little information about them. So stick with actual approved medication and check those dates. It's not uncommon to get medication that expired like 2 to 4 years ago. And like everything else when you buy it here the price they tell you is usually about 30 to 40% higher if you ask for local rates most reputable chains will offer them at that. But usually not that hard to get any kind of medication here it's just how much are you willing to pay and how much are you willing to risk taking stuff that are not approved in other countries. If you have a list of medication you can always check ahead of time by calling the pharmacy directly or establishing a good doctor here and having your record sent to him so they can evaluate it too. That is what I did and it's hasn't been that bad since then. I hope it helps

Is anyone familiar with the Mapre medical plans for ages 65 plus.  I emailed them for info and they only have in Spanish.  When translated, it appears that there really isn't any prescription medical costs.  It mostly covers doctor, hospital, etc. 
Can someone tell me if they are aware if prescription coverage can be purchased as well or you just have to purchase on your own? 
Really having a hard time getting correct information in English and this may cause a big wrench in the plan to move to DR :-(

How old are you? As I understand it, if you are over 65 and have not had the insurance here, you are out of luck.

This is for my Mother.  She is 69 and she can get insurance through Mapfre however I am having difficulty with the translation and coverages and they have no English plan.
What I require is someone who currently is over age 65/70 and uses Mapfre and can assist with what the coverages are in English.
Thank you

If you send it to me I will review it with you.  I will message you

I am in Iberostar punta cana resort. I ran out of my Adderall gabapentin Xanax and lamictal...what can I do?

Go to the closest pharmacy and see what you can get.  Some may be controlled but you can get most without a prescription here!

Hi everybody, my name is Kathy I am moving to Dominican Republic and I am under two medications... Restasis for dry eyes and Tirosint 75 for my thyroids. Can anyone tell me if they have these medicines? And which one are the best Pharmacies over there?

The best pharmacy is going to be the one most convenient locations across the country.for you! We tend to go to one right next to our doctors if they have prescribed something, or to the one near our grocery store for monthly refills.

I don't know about Tirosint, but levothyroxine, the generic, and Synthroid, a different brand name, are available here. You can check the pharmacy websites to see if you can find your meds. Carol and Los Hidalgos are two of the ones with

Both available here!

@planner what is desespan for and how much does it cost

NO idea honey  sorry.  It does not show on google or on any pharmacy app I have

Hey do you have WhatsApp my number is ±1(***

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How hard is it to get Valium or Nembutal here. ?  Im a baseball fan . Personally knew Matty Alou and Jesus and his other brother phillippe. They ofter told me about the blue waters and how gorgeous their country was. Im interested in vacation life there. You country sounds so easy going comapred to many.