50 Medicines and Beauty Products from Drug Stores in Japan Picked by Japanese Pharmacists

Here is this article we are going to introduce 50 medicines chosen by Japanese pharmacists that you can buy from drug stores during your stay in Japan.




*Be sure to consult a pharmacist before purchasing these products (many major chain stores will have staff that can also speak Chinese) and be sure to follow the use guidelines and recommended dosages

1. Esutakku Ibu Fine (エスタックイブファイン) [Medicine,General Cold Medicine]

Medicine for the typical symptoms of a cold, such as a fever, a cough, phlegm, a runny nose, sneezing and pain. This medicine uses ingredients that are very effective against the cold symptoms, making it one of the most effective anti-cold medicines on the market, so it's worth having a pack of these in your house, just to be sure.

2. Ryukakusan Direct (龍角散ダイレクト) [Medicine,For Coughs and Phlegm]

Ryukakusan is a medicine mainly for inflammation of the throat, coughing and phlegm. However, I like other medicines, you can take it without water, making it very convenient. After putting it in your mouth, it dissolves and works directly on your throat. Ryukakusan contains herbal medicinal ingredients, so if you're taking any other Chinese medicine, be sure to consult a pharmacist before taking it. 

3. Kaigen Cough Pills (カイゲン咳止錠) [Medicine,For Coughs and Phlegm]

If your symptoms are just a cough and phlegm, this is the medicine for you. It contains ingredients that are very effective, even against the most painful of coughs. In certain people, side effects, such as a dry mouth or drowsiness occur, so be careful if you take it. Mothers who are currently breastfeeding their children should avoid this medicine.

4. LOXONIN S (ロキソニンS) [Medicine,For Fevers and Pain Relief]

Loxonon S is known for its effectiveness and the speed at which it takes affect. It is the most effective fever medicine and painkiller on the market, and is often prescribed by doctors as well. As it is classified as an over-the-counter drug, you can only buy it at a stores with pharmacists during opening hours.

5. Eve Quick Headache medicine (イブクイック頭痛藥) [Medicine,For Fevers and Pain Relief]

Out of the medication available on the market, Eve Quick is the second most effective anti-fever pain killer medicine after Loxonin S. You can also find it on the shelves at drug stores even without a pharmacist present. The medicine is labelled as "headache medication," but you can take it for relief from other types of pain, such as toothache and period pains, as well as for fevers.

6. Tylenol A (タイレノールA) [Medicine,For Fevers and Pain Relief]

While it may not be as effective a pain killer as Loxonin S or Eve Quick, Tylenol A is very effective at lowering your temperature. The side effects, such as digestive trouble, are less severe compared to Loxonin S, and it is a safe medicine that even the elderly can use.

7. ALLEGRA FX (llegraアレグラFX) [Medicine,For Rhinitis]

A medicine for hay fever and allergic rhinitis. Out of this range of medicines, Allegra FX is the only one that does not induce drowsiness, so you can use it even if you need to drive or work. As a medicine that requires instruction, you can only buy it at stores with a pharmacist present during opening hours.

8. Contac Nasal Spray (コンタック鼻炎スプレー) [Medicine,Nasal Spray]

Contac is a nasal spray prescribed at hospitals for allergic rhinitis that is also available to buy in stores. The majority of other nasal sprays found on the market contain ingredients which construct the blood vessels which can make the symptoms worse, but you can use Contac with peace of mind without worrying about those sort of side effects.

9. Hythiol C Plus (ハイチオールCプラス) [Medicine,Vitamin Supplement]

Vitamin supplements that work to eliminate blemishes and freckles. It also acts on the liver, making it effective against tiredness and hangovers. There are other similar medicines, such as Hythiol C Whitier, which have similar ingredients but cost more, so from the cost-performance perspective, we recommend Hythiol-C Plus.

10. Alinamin EX Plus (アリナミンEXプラス) [Medicine,Vitamin Supplement]

Alinamin EX Plus is a medicine which contains vitamins to improve circulation and help you recover from fatigue. It is affective against a wide variety of symptoms, such as tiredness of the eyes, stiffness of the shoulder and lower back pain. A similar medicine called Alinamin A is also available, but the ingredients in EX Plus are better, so if you are going to buy it, we recommend going for EX Plus.

11. Inochi no Haha (命の母) [Medicine,Medicine for Women]

A medicine that is effective specifically against the troubles faced by women, such as a sensitivity to cold, irregular periods and menopausal disorders. Made from a combination of herbal medicine and vitamins, it works to warm the body and improve blood circulation. It cannot be taken by those breastfeeding, and people with sensitive stomachs should probably avoid it. 

12. Kawai Kanyu Drops (カワイ肝油ドロップ) [Medicine,Vitamin Supplement]

A medicine combining vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy eyes, and vitamin D which helps in the formation of healthy bones. It can be taken from they age of one, and as it supports the development of children, it is extremely popular with parents. It can be taken without water. Please ensure that you only take the recommended amount.

13. Kyushin [Medicine,Herbal Medicine]

Kyushin is often thought of as a medicine for the heart, but as a combination of herbal medication, it is effective on a variety of symptoms. It contains herbal medicine to increase vitality and improve circulation, making it ideal for times when you cannot focus due of tiredness, times your feet are swollen from standing up all day, when you are dizzy or feeling lightheaded, or when you have nervous palpitations.

14. Chondroitin ZS (コンドロイチンZS) [Medicine,For Joint Pains]

Chondroitin products are made by a number of manufacturers, but as a “pharmaceutical product,” Chondroitin ZS and has had its effectiveness confirmed. It also contains a higher concentration of chondroitin than other companies’ products, so you can be sure of the results.

15. Liverurso (レバウルソ) [Medicine, For the Liver]

Liverurso, which contains ursodial, a substance that helps the working of the liver, is not only a good source of nourishment and helps you recover from tiredness, but it is also great for hangovers as well. Heparize is another medicine that provides similar effects, unlike Liverurso, it does not contain ursodial, which makes it less effective.

16. GASTER 10 (ガスター10) [Medicine,Digestive Medicine]

Gaster 10 is a medicine that prevents heartburn and improves the condition of your stomach. It is effective against stomach pains when your stomach is empty. It comes in a variety of forms, such as tablets, powder and as a liquid, so you can take the medicine in a form that suits you. As an over-the-counter drug, you can only buy it in stores where a pharmacist is present during opening hours.

17. Buscopan (ブスコパンA) [Medicine,Digestive Medicine]

cramps and tension of the stomach. It’s a good idea to keep some in the house in case of emergency. Please note that there are cases where it doesn’t go well when taken with other medicine, such as other digestive medicine or carsickness medicine.

18. THE GUARD (ザ・ガード) [Medicine,Digestive Medicine]

While it is often thought of as just an intestinal medicine like Biofelmin, it works to improve both the condition of your intestines and your stomach. It works in a wide variety of ways to improve the condition of your digestive system, such as neutralizing stomach acid, protecting the mucous membrane of the stomach, assisting with digestion, and removing bloatedness.

19. SELBELLE (セルベール) [Medicine,Digestive Medicine]

Selbelle is a drug often prescribed by hospitals. It contains the ingredient teprenone which helps to protect the mucous membrane of the stomach. In contrast to Gaster, which is a medicine to weaken attacks against the stomach, Selbelle is a medicine to protect the stomach. Selbelle works to lessen the burden on the stomach, which makes it ideal for people who have stomach troubles when taking pain-killers like Loxonin. 

20. Lopera Mac Satto (ロペラマックサット) [Medicine,Diarrhea Medicine]

For diarrhea caused by catching a chill in one’s sleep, or over-eating and over-drinking. It contains the strong binding ingredient loperamide. Once put in the mouth, it quickly dissolves, making it an easy medicine to take. But please not that when using it to stop diarrhea caused by a fever or by a contagious disease may make the symptoms worse.


Next: No.21-40 Further OTC Medicines from Drugstores in Japan

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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