General Question

tedibear's avatar

Can I mail 1% non-prescription Hydrocortisone ointment to Germany?

Asked by tedibear (18600points) November 24th, 2013

The U.S. Postal service says you can’t ship medicines, but it’s not specific about the definition of medicines. This makes me think that anything – prescription or not – cannot be sent.

I have a friend who has found this to be the only effective thing for an issue she is having on one of her hands and one of her feet. She could get it from Amazon UK, but it’s expensive, as is the shipping. I could easily get it for her and ship it with her Christmas box, but don’t want either of us to get in trouble.

Can anyone help??

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13 Answers

glacial's avatar

No one here can offer you more than a guess. Why not call USPS and tell them what you told us, then ask if it would be allowed? There’s only a small risk that anyone would check the package anyway, so if they tell you it’s ok, you can do it.

ibstubro's avatar

Personally, I would buy some and put it in an empty Pringles tube. They’re nearly crush-proof and are lined in a metallic foil. Then wrap the can in foil Christmas paper. They’ll never know it’s in the Christmas box.

I can’t imagine they mean to exclude 1% non-prescription Hydrocortisone ointment, anyway. It’s not that much different than toothpaste.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I’m surprised that she can’t find it in a drugstore in Germany. I remember about 10–11 years ago, I was in Israel and needed some hydrocortisone for a rash, and I went to the pharmacy there, pointed to it, and paid them.

JLeslie's avatar

USPS doesn’t allow the shipment of medicine? I know many people who have done it. They don’t ask if you are shipping medicine when you go to the post office. Not to mention I used to get medicine through the regular mail from a pharmacy. I would call USPS. I can send this Q to our resident USPS expert, but I haven’t seen him on a lot of Q’s lately.

I also find it shocking she can’t find it in Germany. I can send this to our German jellies also. The cost to send it oversees isn’t worth it if she cannjust buy it there.

gailcalled's avatar

When I mail stuff to my daughter in Canada, I have to fill out a custom’s declaration form. Once I sent her some Rx pills she ordered in the states (since it was cheaper for her) and declared them as beads. I was a wreck and would not repeat the performance.

ragingloli's avatar

There are 362 results for hydrocortison on the German Amazon page.

Smitha's avatar

There are rules and restrictions for what can and can’t be mailed.
Prescription Drugs – Prescription medications can only be mailed by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registered entities. Similar regulations may apply to over-the-counter medications. For more information you can call them.
Just check some online german pharmacies :

longgone's avatar

She has to be able to get that in Germany.
Has she asked at a local pharmacy if they could order it for her?

mattbrowne's avatar

It’s only legal if it’s non-prescription in Germany too.

tedibear's avatar

@mattbrowne – Any idea how she could find that information? I believe she has a doctor’s appointment coming up and will ask then. But I’m wondering if there is an online source she could go to in the meantime. Or, if you happen to know and are willing to share that information. I understand if you would rather not give that kind of information.

The items on amazon that she found were either creme or gel, neither of which had any effect on her problem. The ointment is what worked and she’s running low. As well, the cremes and gels that she found were shipped from either the U.S., Canada or the U.K. and the shipping cost made it even more expensive. Since I’m sending her a Christmas box, and can get the product less expensively, I would like to include it. Hence, the question about legality.

@JLeslie – when I went to the USPS website and searched regarding Germany, the information I found said “medicines.” That was what made me question the legality of sending it.

@Smitha – I will send her the links to those sites. My German is limited to a very few words, none of which are pharmaceutical. :)

JLeslie's avatar

@tedibear I was just surprised, but you say you checked for Germany specifically, I was thinking you meant in general, even domestic. It still might be illegal domestic, and I didn’t realize it, I never checked. I still say you should call USPS to get specifics for the country you are sending to.

What is the name of the drug? We can try to look up if it is sold under a different name in Germany. Possibly the exact same drug is available there. If not, but the actual drug chemical is the same, but all that is different is ointment rather than gel or cream, she can probably just used vaseline over the drug, separately from the drug, alternating, and it will work. The inactive ingredient might be what is really helping her.

mattbrowne's avatar

@tedibear – Some seem to require a prescription, others don’t. I used the German Google search engine.

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