Can I buy antidepressants from the USA?

The antidepressants I've been taking are no longer available in the UK, but are available online from American pharmacists. Is it legal to buy three months’ supply and have it shipped over to the UK for personal use?

Clinical depression can be a serious and debilitating condition, and it’s frustrating when a medication that you’ve been taking is no longer available. The internet has become a saving grace for many people because it makes it easier to find what you need and have it sent to you from anywhere in the world. But you’re right to check out the legality of importing drugs (even if they are for medicinal purposes).

There are many reasons why a drug may be discontinued in the UK. It’s important that you try to find out why the antidepressants you were taking are not available to you; your GP should be able to answer this question. This is particularly important if the drug has side effects that are of concern.

The purchase and importing of goods from the internet is a specialist area and it might be best for you to seek some legal advice from Release, an organisation specialising in drugs and the law. They have a confidential helpline staffed by legal experts, call 020 7324 2989, or email them at ask@release.org.uk.

Remember, there are many antidepressants still available on prescription in the UK, as well as alternatives and complements to medication.

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