sudafed mexico

Puerto Vallarta tourist arrested over Sudafed pills

A Utah woman’s vacation to Puerto Vallarta included a detour to a Mexican jail after over-the-counter Sudafed pills were found in her luggage at the airport.

Jessica Carver and her husband, Jordan, said Tuesday they believe what happened to them amounts to a scam on tourists, and they pointed to other recent cases where visitors to Mexico have had to pay thousands of dollars to free themselves.

The couple had landed March 28 at the airport in Puerto Vallarta and was about to head with family to a resort when they were randomly flagged by customs agents.

“They looked through our bags, and she was going through my purse and found my Sudafed,” Jessica Carver said.

She said she only had seven or eight pills in the original packaging.

Jordan Carver said a man came up minutes later and said the pills were a “substance that’s not allowed in Mexico.”

“At that point, I didn’t think I’d have to go anywhere else,” Jessica Carver said. “I was like, ‘Oh, it will be a couple hours.’”

What ensued was a roughly 24-hour ordeal that included jail time for the woman.

Carver’s relatives, the couple said, were told by an airport official to procure a doctor’s note or prescription, but then were not allowed to hand the document through security.

The Kaysville woman said after she had been detained for about seven hours at the airport — a time in which she ultimately refused to sign documents written in Spanish that amounted to her admitting she knew she was doing something illegal — she was told she was going to be taken and detained further at the district attorney’s office.

Things then got physical, the Carvers said.

“Two other guys came up and grabbed me and threw me down on the chair while two other girls grabbed Jessica and were yanking her out of her chair,” Jordan Carver recalled.

Jessica Carver said that exchange left her arm sore the next day.

The Carvers said they were transported around midnight to a building in the city that contained several holding cells.

“It just felt sketchy, uncomfortable,” Jessica Carver said.

Jessica Carver said she had to stay overnight by herself, under the watch of a single guard.

“It felt like a really long time,” she said. “It was disgusting. He took me down there and it was your typical jail.”

Family members, meanwhile, were reaching out to everyone they could in hopes of resolving the situation, including Utah elected officials, attorneys and local leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The couple said they believed outside pressure ultimately helped resolve the situation faster and at less expense to the family.

Still, Jessica Carver said she was escorted by local authorities the following morning to visit a doctor, hours before she was to be free again.

“My examination consisted of ‘how much do you weigh, do you have any tattoos, do you have any scars, are you sick?’” she recalled.

Negotiations between local authorities, an official from the U.S. Consulate and an attorney retained by the family ultimately resulted in Carver’s release, the couple said.

The attorney required a $1,500 cash payment, according to the family.

“We were floored and we were dumbfounded that this had happened because of the Sudafed,” Jessica Carver said. “I didn’t feel like I did anything wrong, and it was just frustrating. We felt like we had no rights.”

At the end of the process, the Carvers said an official asked them if they’d like the Sudafed back, and then were told they could buy more at the pharmacy on the corner.

A video taken by a family member and supplied to KSL showed comparable products could be easily purchased at the resort.

An official with the Mexican Consulate in Salt Lake City said the office dealt primarily with issues involving Mexican nationals detained in the U.S., but supplied a link to a list of restricted substances that did not appear to contain the active components of Sudafed.

A Utah-based travel agent and a Latino community leader who had made numerous trips to Mexico both told KSL Tuesday they had never heard of travelers being detained for over-the-counter Sudafed pills.

Representatives with the U.S. State Department and its Bureau of Consular Affairs could not say immediately if they were aware of cases similar to that of the Carvers, but said they would look further into the matter.

A State Department official also encouraged all to know ahead of time regulations and restrictions in the countries in which they travel, and directed would-be travelers to the website.

The Carvers said their hope was to help others from falling into similar situations.

“I know that some of the other cases got off way worse than we did,” Jessica Carver said. “Take one pill on the airplane, and then don’t bring any others because it was ridiculous.”

188 Responses
  1. catalino

    Pseudoefedrine, wichs what Sudafed contain is illegal in Mexico- Avoid any problems- traditionally Mexican officers of the law take advantage of this and similar incidents to extort people- not only Americans. The best way is to be careful- to border crossers-do not attach any small knife to your waist- because, even though is not illegal for people with no criminal record, they keep out that detail to scam you of up too few thousand dollars.

  2. This has probably become the hottest story of the year, oddly. I want to clarify because clearly people read the headline and the story doesn’t matter. Sudafed is not legal in Mexico. Customs tried to confiscate the medication from the tourist and ask her to sign a release form. That is standard, when I moved here I had several items confiscated and I had to sign a release form allowing customs to remove items from my boxes. This woman, as the story reads, refused to allow customs to confiscate the medication and sign the release form. THAT is why it escalated into her being arrested. We did not choose to print this story as a ‘shame on Mexico’ story, we chose to print this story to educate travelers about the need to check the laws in any country where you plan to travel if you are carrying any medications. Also, a side lesson, don’t allow yourself to get arrested over something so unimportant. If you feel like something was confiscated wrongly, contact the embassy and let them deal with the issue before you make it into an international crisis, which this tourist did. She is inexperienced in travel and demanded her ‘American’ rights in Mexico and that just isn’t how things work. So that is the lesson I hope people take from this story. Also note it’s one-sided only because the city refused to comment or dispute her claims.

    1. I see your point, maybe I was too hard on my Mexico. I have seen theses types, assuming that “American Rights are a global thing. Yes she should of signed the dang paper and gave up her pills. Sorry PV Peeps for calling you “Pendejos”

    2. hahahah I didn’t even see the Pendejos comment. While the story is written to make her look like a victim, it’s only that way because the Mexican side of the story has refused comment so it’s a story in her words. But even her words she admits she refused to follow procedure, so we can connect the dots here. :)

    3. Thank you Puerto Vallarta News and If we are in the mood to clarify I will like to say that “America” it the whole continent and not just USA, considering this to say American rights its wrong.

    4. It’s not wrong, but I understand your point. The French can be both European and French. Mexicans can be both Mexican or American. However, the United States of America has the unfortunate situation of not having any creativity to come up with a different name other than the continent’s name. The English word for people who live in the United States of America is ‘American’. If this was Spanish news I would say ‘estadounidense’ because that would be the correct term. But in English the proper translation is ‘American’ there is no other English word to describe those who are from the United States of America.

    5. Please read the KSL original story. When an ‘official’ offers to return the medicine, and tells the individual that such items are locally available at the local pharmacy, perhaps I would be somewhat irritated as well. To advise tourists to conduct due diligence by researching the allowed nonprescription medications allowed into a country I only suggest that you try to do so for any nation in the world – good luck. While I enjoyed my residence in Mexico for seven years, I did find that their enforcement of law is, shall we say, somewhat arbitrary, if not verging on dishonesty.

      1. David Nichols

        All legal documents in Mexico are in Spanish only…if you don’t know the language and have a problem, get a translator forthwith…there are maybe 30 OPC’s waiting by the exit, they all speak English–dispatch someone to make contact with one who appears competent…

        1. mrpoohead

          I enjoyed my time immensely in Mexico – probably by virtue of having a number of passports. With a California plated car I went here and there, any problems my immediate response was, “Heh, me no Americano, Americano hucphhhtping (fake spitting noise and hitting spittoon), me English – football!” This always got me a laugh, my car fixed for free, car not towed in Mexico CBD when parked naughtily and having been stopped for speeding the policeman in hysterics waved me away and then told me where to go and eat. Had a blast! Americans – everybody hates them.

    6. This will blow over. I guessed correctly. She overreacted an insulted the wrong person on the wrong day.

      I’ve run up against the law in PV a few times and I was never close to getting arrested. In fact I prefer their style. A little respect and awareness of your surroundings goes a long way.

    7. Darlene Boston Never sign nothing if you don’t have a legal translator, it is stablished in the Law in México and they know it, if you have any issue with these you can call your embassy and also a Human Rights representer.

    8. Well put/clarified. Try the same in the USA with MEX OTC drugs and not cooperate. Not only will they be confiscated, u will get a Fed arrest record, attny fees, secondary searches (or no fly list) for X # of years and depending on how u and ur attny handle it , and the amount), probably a fine and/or probation.

    9. Zachary Samford I only have had one problem in Vallarta in 10 years. It was driving and I got pulled over for speeding, which I wasn’t, and the cop told me that tickets were paid to the cop, that is how things worked in Mexico. I told him I wanted a ticket and he said I could pay him or they would take my car. I had my local attorney on speed dial and handed the cop my phone. 2 minutes later he gave me the phone back and told me to have a nice day. That was within my first 2 months living here, never a problem after that.

    10. Puerto Vallarta News , Perhaps the 43 university students needed a mobile phone with a lawyer at the other end and they would not have ended up dead, eh?

    11. Sergio Mendez S, Bravo, you are absolute correct.
      My opinion only, is that PVN is encouraging promoting reporting of ‘news’ seeking to promote ‘their’ opinion of Mexican governance and social affairs in a very Anglo Saxon manner. I suspect their understanding of civil and common law is somewhat lacking as to the rule of law and human rights as defined by international organizations.

    12. Well I’ve been pulled over three times. Twice I had it coming and once the guy was “fishing”. Every time I paid a crisp $20 and we all went home happy. The way I see it is those guys are way under paid. Back home those tickets would have been nearly ten times as much.

      Another time I got in a fist fight in Sayulita. I parked in a street and blocked a guys route and apparently he was having a bad day. Twice we tangled an I got him in a chokehold an I let him up. The second time I went to walk away and he picked up a brick. One of the guys at the store jumped in and knocked out his tooth. The cops arrived and took our stories. He gave me the choice of both the locals going to jail or everyone goes home. I said let’s go home and that’s what we did.

      Now don’t freak out. These incidents are spread out over 25 years and I’m hard charger.

      I love PV. My second home. The people there are some of the most honest and humble folks I’ve ever known. Some of the kindness I’ve been shown there over the years is more than I’ve ever known at home. :)

    13. Bruce you must be new to following us so that’s cool. We take a lot of heat for reporting on things like the 43 missing students, local drug cartel activities, the killing of journalists for reporting on government corruption, and many other human rights violations. The expats here rather us stick to tourist activities and hotel occupancy rates, but we cover real news unapologetically. Under no circumstance have we ever been disillusioned by the justice system in Mexico. However to compare the missing (killing) of 43 innocent teacher students to the 8 hour detention of a tourist who REFUSED to forfeit an illegal substance is beyond absurdity and thankfully most people understand the difference between punishing the guilty and victimizing the innocent. This woman was not an innocent victim, her own admission is she refused to comply with the process. I am pretty sure there are 43 families out there who wish their children were treated half as kindly as this guilty woman, because then they would be having dinner with their children and not visiting an empty grave.

  3. thom186

    This family helped me. I have been to PV several times and was getting ready to go again. If Mexico has to “roll” like this; I’ll take my money elsewhere. Hopefully the thugs will be identified and the real issue here identified. The lawyer is a part of this too. $1500 — really? I am so disappointed. I thought maybe they were cleaning their act up. Its true: Mexican Authority positions are full of thugs.

  4. In Puerto Vallarta you can buy banned substances in the pharmacies from steroids to prescription opiates. This is insane. Vallarta has become a very dangerous part of the country in the past few years.

  5. But you can walk into a ‘farmacia’ in MEXICO and buy almost anything lol
    I’ve been to MEXICO countess times WITH sudafed in our carry on and checked luggage and never a problem AND gotten the red light and checked and its never been a problem !!

  6. You would not expect an OTC substance to be “banned”, certainly they could figure from common sense she is not “Breaking Bad” I must carry some meds, but almost all are prescription in the US, most are not prescription in Mexico– Also, the card you fill out is confusing, unless you read all the fine print– Flight Attendant clued me in.

    1. thom186

      Its a scam for money. The scam is full of people in the loop who profit. They pick people who look they can pay. They expect ott that the victims will pay anything as fast as they can. Its no different than gang activity. I hope they have enough pull to shine light on this. Well even if they do, there is a new scam be developed for sure.

    1. Sudafed contains a drug used to make meth. So banned here. If what someone said that was on her flight that she had 20 packages of sudafed is true then I have no sympathy for her. Mules are traveling both ways.

      1. thom186

        If its banned, why do they sell it everywhere in Mexico, including the resort. As a person who works law enforcement – in a crime lab, you should know it takes more then a few Sudifed pills to create meth. Get your fact right before you decide to blast someone.

  7. Many Mexican OTC “meds” are illegal in the USA and Canada, and vice versa.
    No story here except she didn’t know the Mexican law, but somehow knew the “paper she was asked to sign was an admission”, even though she states she didn’t understand Spanish.
    One pill, or eight makes no difference either.
    Take the State Dept’s advice or Lv ur meds at home.

    1. thom186

      Why would authority figures who are there to be fair and uphold the law encourage someone to sign a document that was not in their language – one they could not comprehend. Perhaps the $1500 lawyer, who most likely was a part of the money making scam, explained the document to the victims of theses thugs. If Sudifed is such a big issues why is it readily available there and why isn’t Mexico making a point to advise travelers not to bring it to their country. This is money making scam. Nothing else.

  8. What other innocuous (to me) products are illegal? Rest assured, now that I know, I certainly won’t bring Sudafed! Mexico’s law which I’ll obey, my opinion not important.

  9. Bad publicity it is just impossible or hard to believe! Sure police find somenthing……………….In PV All Foreign and domestic people are treated very very well!! It is not the true or complete story…

  10. Crista M Rogers

    This comment on a FB thread that I am following about this article….. “a
    couple on the beach who were on the same flight and were there when she
    got arrested. Apparently she had 20 boxes of Sudafed for a 1 week
    visit. I’d say that would be rather suspicious”

  11. LAW IS THE LAW: Even that this SUDAFED can be buy it in the counters in Canada or USA directly, in México it is prohibited, its banned due the pseudo ephedrine, no matter if you bring one pill or 100 IT IS PROHIBITED AND ITS AGAINTS THE LAW in México, period. is this ridiculous for you? I guess that no more than the fact that people cannot bring cuban cigars to USA because it is currently illegal. FINAL MESSAGE: People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

    1. Diane Marie Taylor question for you: Do you think that if this happens in USA they will do what you are asking for, I mean, they will just taken away from and thats it? I don’t thinks so. People make mistakes i am talking about the tourists and the authorities at airport, its not good, but my point it tis just to defend México, a country that in 99% of the cases treats foreign people as kings, a country with open arms to all, we are not perfect neither the rest of the countries in this world.

    2. But they sell prescription opiates in the pharmacy! They want to take a girl to jail for sudafed! What are the laws on pharmacies selling Vicodin to kids Mr. Lawman?

    3. Colin DeVore my name is Sergio and for sure I know more about laws than you and for instance You can only get Vicodin in Mexico with a medic prescription, at least that’s what it’s allowed and if you visit Puerto Vallarta and know a
      Place in which they sell this Vicodin to kids pleas be brave, do the right thing and go to police and say it, I can go with you and do this together. Of course you can get illegally what ever you want in Mexico same as in USA if you don’t believe me just find statistics about drug addiction per country and you will see that USA it’s by far one of the worst world wide. Either.

  12. More to the story is correct. I spoke with a couple on the beach who were on the same flight and were there when she got arrested. Apparently she had 20 boxes of Sudafed for a 1 week visit. I’d say that would be rather suspicious.

    1. Go to This is the original publisher of the story. It’s a Utah news site. “Reporter” is Andrew Adams. He did not interview anyone other than the couple.

  13. This story is copied word for word from a story in a Utah paper “KSL News ~ Andrew Adams”. It rings as total BS to me. Did anyone from PVDN do any research of their own? Apparently not. Please disregard this story.

    1. Go to This is the original publisher of the story. It’s a Utah news site. “Reporter” is Andrew Adams. He did not interview anyone other than the couple.

    2. Yes, as the story clearly indicates it is by Andrew Adams at KSL News. Also, yes we did independently source the story. Yes, she was arrested for refusing to comply with the confiscation, as Mr. Adams reported. She refused to sign the standard forms and give up her illegal substance. The form is standard in any country when you have an item taken out of your bags by government officials. No, being arrested is not standard procedure. She was an inexperienced traveler who made horrible mistakes in assuming that she did not need to comply with Mexico law. That is why we chose to print the story, to inform people of two truths. If you want to travel with medication check your destination to make sure it’s legal. Second, do not argue with authorities in a foreign country when you don’t know anything about the law. I read this as a ‘don’t be stupid’ story, not a ‘damn Mexico’ story. Her own words are clear, she refused to sign the legal documents so she was arrested, that’s on her.

    3. still not clear on why if it is the law and ok to sign a document you have no ideal what is said… can enter the country and buy that drug at the pharmacy

    1. A year and a half ago, when I had a head cold in PV, I asked at several pharmacies if I could buy preudoephedrine. The answer was always NO! Obviously the laws towards this drug have changed significantly since I started going to MX 30 years ago.

  14. So many teenagers were coming on the beach in PV bothering tourists asking if they want t buy smoke s…. , we stayed at plaza pelicanos and everyday those teenagers and adults vendors walking holding hats and clothes but they also ask tourists if they want t buy weed etc… and at PV airport authorities threw this cpl in jail over Sudafed , thats a joke !! – that must b scary experience for this poor couple. Next time go Cuba or Costarica.

  15. I am a Lawyer and I have access to some information and I can assure you that Seems there is more in the story than what they are saying. Embassy representer was there and they will do a huge show and pressure if something this happens like they are saying, please people we done leave in north corea its not that easy as much people think. Its easy to do this kind of declarations in order to catalog Mexico as a nightmare country and we are not, if we consult statistics you sure will find few real cases maybe no more than the cases than the ones Mexicans or other travelers suffers when visit your airports (USA) or country, this kind of stories happens everywhere.

    1. Agree. Have vacationed in PV, every year, for the past 25 years and nothing like this has ever happened. I’ve seen this airport go from one that you have to de-plane on the runway to the beautiful and modern one today. We respect and follow the laws.

  16. Does anyone know where to obtain the list of restricted medications? I travel to Mexico frequently, often caring prescriptions, and have never had any problem before… But I will be more careful in the future. Thank you for the article.

  17. Seems like there may be more to the story than what they are saying. I have a sister in law that works at the airport and she has never come home to tell us anything like that. It seems a little extreme that they would put her in jail just for the Sudafed, that is why I think there was more of an exchange than what the couple is saying.

    1. Agree… Has to be more…….Ive been in and out of that airport for 15 years….and many times declaring and paying tax….Ive never had anything even remotely like this happen or even heard of it happening!

    2. Exactly. I am 45 and have traveled back and fourth here yearly since I was 7 and never an issue. I am thinking the couple might have been a little aggresive whether physically or verbally.

    3. BierKerl

      I agree. I’ve been going since 1997 and know that tourism is Puerto Vallarta’s lifeblood. They don’t mistreat anyone unless they are suspicious acting or downright rude. I think the little entitled Trixie in the story probably was her typical snotty self and got what was coming to her.

    4. Yes, as the story reads, she refused to follow the legal procedure for confiscations. When I first moved to Mexico I had items shipped and customs went through everything. They took my green tea and my dog brushes (I don’t know why) but I was required to sign a form giving permission for customs to remove those items from possession, I did and went along my marry way with my move. This tourist, as the story says, refused to sign the release form and allow the confiscation, that is why she went to jail. She wanted to play the ‘I’m an American so therefore I don’t need to follow Mexican law’ card, we all know those people. hahahah

    5. I actually think she feared signing the paperwork that she was scared it was admitting she knew she broke the law when actually she didn’t know. So fear was why she didn’t sign. Maybe paperwork in both languages might help this to not be a international incident. Especially since a huge majority of tourist speak English.

  18. In Canada we can purchase Sudafed over the counter ie any other cold /flu medicine, so how does PV authorities at airport differentiate that ? i been t Mexico so many times , cant believe this, think PV airport authorties need t b told that not everyone knows what they know, AND in Canada we can buy Sudafed ie cold medicine over counter, and they need t chill not t treat tourists this way, how can they throw people from chair this way someone visiting with cold meds ? how r people supposed to know sudafed ing. used t make meth ? i dont know that either. How can they treat tourists in this situation ie criminals ? they could have handled this in less harsh way, or bring translator, I KNOW in PV English is not a problem so why they didnt understand the woman just had cold medicine ? PV airport authorities need to apologize esp. ones who threw them from chair , put them in cell , asked them t sign papers without translating ? Makes me wonder now…..

    1. Seems like there may be more to the story than what they are saying. I have a sister in law that works at the airport and she has never come home to tell us anything like that. It seems a little extreme that they would put her in jail just for the Sudafed, that is why I think there was more of an exchange than what the couple is saying.

    1. I travel back and forth many times a year and have never been asked for a bribe at the airport. I have had items not allowed but they were confiscated from me but never have I been ask for a payoff to get them back.

  19. Common Mexico don’t be so stupid. I was hit up several times to buy weed and cocaine at Playa de los Muertos last month. Maybe we should just go to Costa Rica next time. Pendejos!!

    1. me too, i make medicine bag for us ie tylenol, immodium, polysporin, etc.. how r we supposed t know what ingredients used for what ? we r not pharmacists ? PV airport officials think we r pharmacists ? we shd know all , they only know because they read their rules and regulations , otherwise they wdnot know either.

    2. i was told the reason for this form of checking was to make sure no firearms were brought in the country….i told them , i thought you already had enough there

    1. Just have a copy of your prescription with you. I always get the pharmacy to print one for me. Good to know about the Sudafed though… Can easily purchase it there if needed

  20. Thats too bad this happened, if they told her later they can buy from corner store or if they want their sudafed back that means they knew what it is so why they threw them (couple ) from chair and treat them this way , those guards and authorities who treated them this way over sudafed shd apologize to them, this is not the way to welcome tourists, sometimes we have tylenol so are they going t treat us ie criminals É , makes me wonder now, at PV airport counter those salesmen so fake and sweetalking to sell vacation packages and timeshares and at the back authorities throwing innocent tourists from chair ? and taking them to cells ? may b people shd stop visiting Mexico.

    1. Oscar Gerardo But in Canada we can buy over counter ie cold medicine so in our case this is new news , i never knew this , to us is like buying Tylenol or any other cold meds over counter. Now i know after reading this article,

    2. LAW IS THE LAW: Even that this SUDAFED can be buy it in the counters in Canada or USA directly, in México it is prohibited, its banned due the pseudo ephedrine, no matter if you bring one pill or 100 IT IS PROHIBITED AND ITS AGAINTS THE LAW in México, period. is this ridiculous for you? I guess that no more than the fact that people cannot bring cuban cigars to USA because it is currently illegal. FINAL MESSAGE: People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

    3. Sheena: You can NOT buy sudafed over the counter everywhere in Canada. Alberta took if off of the shelves in 2004 because it contains ephedrine which is used to make Meth. You have to ask the pharmacist for it. You can only buy a limited amount and your name is recorded when you buy it. It’s not up to the travel agents to educate travellers. In this day and age, all this info is at your finger tips. You just have to google it. If you are travelling outside of your own country you should always check what is allowed and what is not allowed b4 you travel.

    4. MiGustaPuertoVallarta

      You cannot buy Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) anywhere in MX, with a RX or without. Get educated.

  21. PV security has checked our luggage periodically if you don’t get that push button green light but never said anything about our prescription drugs, I have bought allergy medication in one of the pharmacies in PV and it was quite expensive way more than at home what a scary and expensive situation for the lady from Utah

    1. I got the red light after my fight from utah going to pv for surgery in sept. It was scary. They were very scrutinizing of my meds. I have an auto immune disease and was held up for quite some time.

  22. Don’t carry any type of medicine in your carry on. That should be obvious by now.

    I’ve been through that airport more times than I can count and never had anything like this happen. Something tells me there is more to the story.

    1. Yes, you cannot bring Sudafed into Mexico. It’s used to make Meth. I ‘believe’ Sudafed is still a medication that requires ID to purchase in the USA, although it’s not a prescription drug there is a limit the amount you can buy at any certain time. General rule for bringing medication to Mexico, if it’s prescription have a copy of your doctor prescription or in the bottle with YOUR name on the label that matches your passport. If it’s over the counter it’s OK. If you need to show ID to purchase, like Sudafed, it’s not OK.

    2. Puerto Vallarta News In Canada we can purchase over the counter , its just cold medicine, so are they going t arrest us too and treat us this way ? we just got back from PV , was planning to go back but now all this makes me wonder, you know or they know ingredients of sudafed used t make meth but we dont know that , am sure they didnt know that either, i never knew this , cant believe PV authorities treated them this way . Here we have Sudafed sold over counter ie any other Tylenol, Sinutab, Benilyn, etc.

      1. MiGustaPuertoVallarta

        Good luck. Don’t risk it. You are not a Mexican citizen and you WILL pay the price, just as this woman did. Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) is ILLEGAL in MX and you cannot buy it here.

    3. I don’t know about Canadian laws, I just know Mexico is a sovereign nation with its own laws and one of those laws is that Pseudoephedrine is a banned substance, but there are other banned substances, not just in Mexico but around the world. Anyone planning to travel and carry any medication should check the laws in their destination because those are the laws they will be required to follow. I think what happened at the airport here is a little extreme, they should have just confiscated the medication and told the passenger it was a banned substance without the need to sign an admission of guilt, but perhaps they tried and this lady refused to give up her Sudafed so it landed her in jail. It’s one person’s story. Perhaps the paper she was signing was an agreement that she gave up the medication willingly so she could not claim airport staff stole it from her. Who knows, moral of the story is know the laws of your destination.

      1. MiGustaPuertoVallarta

        It cannot. It is illegal. You CAN buy phenylephrine in conjunction with paracetamol or a cough suppressant, but you cannot buy Sudafed (phenylephrine) anywhere in MX. Get educated.

    4. What is the difference between putting it in your carry on and checked baggage? If you get pulled aside for further inspection. They will go through everything. You should never travel without your prescriptions to show agents when the need arises

    5. The laws in Mexico are not as lax as the laws here in the US. If it’s a law, it is enforced in Mexico. You have to have a prescription or have your meds in a prescription bottle. We have never had a problem in the 25 years that we have traveled through that airport.

    6. I don’t know Barry Bowman. I just know that when that red light goes off they concentrate more heavily on your carry on. That’s my experience anyway. So just for sake of conflict avoidance I keep my meds in my checked baggage. Obviously if you have some type of med that is life or death you should carry that but anything else (like Sudafed) I would keep in my check in. This is just my opinion.

    7. You can also buy apples at any corner store but if you bring them in to mx without declaring you r going to have problems. Ppl need to read what they give you on the plane and follow it.

    8. Got the red light in January. The opened my luggage and barely looked at it. Never checked my carry on. The difference with bringing my prescriptions in my carry on is that it won’t get lost being with me, who knows what can happen to my luggage. I need my prescriptions. I also carry them in all the original containers.

    9. I don’t know about the brand name Sudafed, but the generic pseudoephedrine is sold over the counter in the US in many different pharmacy store brands.

    10. OK, I just did some checking. Pseudophedrine is sold over the counter in the US except in Oregon and Mississippi where it must be requested from the pharmacist but does not require a prescription.

    11. It’s over the counter but you have to provide ID because they track how much you purchase. This is an attempt to keep folks from purchasing large amounts in order to manufacture methamphetamine. Buy too much and the cops will be coming to have a chat.

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