Advice from the FCO about prescription renewal for visitors stuck in Tenerife

For those stuck here without flights and concerned about prescription renewal, the Consulate has now issued the following advice:

To obtain prescription medicine in the Canary islands as a visitor, you must telephone 012 and you will be informed where the nearest health centre is/what steps you need to take. If you are experiencing problems organising replacement medication and need medication urgently, please write to and put “PLEASE CONTACT ME – MEDICATION” in the subject line.

Please note that 012 might not have an English-speaking operative available, and the line is overwhelmed in any case. Some readers have found that their local chemist is very helpful, and just taking in an old prescription, or even just a box of used medication, can work. Others have managed to get emails from UK doctors confirming the prescription. The farmacias are being very helpful to everyone right now, including state system patients who simply turn up with their health card after a telephone appointment with their doctor, and their prescription is automatically renewed.

Anyone in trouble should definitely try their chemist first, and of course in extremis, there are private doctors here who can prescribe. It won’t be the cheapest option but it will get you medication.


  1. We took our medication into the pharmacy here in Palm Mar, no problem very helpful, my one lot of tablets they didn’t stock the same strength l had to go next door to the doctor who searched the Internet to find an equivalent, she gave me a prescription €20 next prescription will be €10 fab service, very happy☺

  2. Yes, I had a similar experience with pharmacy at san Eugenio alto. They were able to sell me various medications which we normally get on prescription at home at a very reasonable cost. The only thing they seem unable to supply is antibiotics.

  3. My partner has a defibrillator and the battery is running low. How can we get help here in Tenerife? The alarm has not gone off yet. We have had two flights cancelled so far.

  4. Author

    I don’t know. Do you have any contact numbers that have been issued with the machine itself? I would have thought the manufacturers were the best place to start. There’s also a dedicated Healthcare in Spain website HERE run by the British authorities and they may well have details of how and where you can resolve this.

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