The Breakdown: 5 Over-The-Counter Medicines You Need in Japan

Apr 6, 2019


When I first came to Japan, I realized that it is true that the Japanese really do not take their health lightly. Whether it is a regular flu during colder months or abdominal pain, going to a clinic for an overall checkup, seems to be a common thing to do. While getting checked professionally is undoubtedly the best choice, some might say it is not the most economical option considering how expensive services in Japan can be, not to mention health-related procedures. However, it is not just about the expenses that hinders one seeking help from licensed clinics. Being an international resident in Japan, it has been 3 years since the first day I got here, I am still struggling with the Japanese language, especially when it comes to specific terms and jargons. Speaking from experience, I would say I understand how horrifying it can be going to the clinic and being asked questions where you have to describe specifically what your symptoms are, as that situation might require a certain proficiency in Japanese.

With that being said, there are certainly a few alternatives that you can rely on if the thought of going to hospitals/ clinics makes you even iller. You can find drugstores within every corner of the street in Japan, such as Welcia or Matsumotokiyoshi, especially in large cities like Tokyo. The availability of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines offers you more options than going straight to the clinic whenever you feel that you might need to pick up some vitamins or medicines to fight against your cold.

Below are some of the most recommended and common medicines you can find in any drugstore near you that you can receive over-the-counter (OTC), along with the breakdown in ingredients lists for better care while using.

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