Where to find OTC medicines in Japan

Poste date: Wednesday, September 19, 2018

While living in or traveling through Japan, you never know when you may need a band-aid, some headache relief or maybe even a bit of cold medicine. Perhaps your ailment isn’t dire enough to warrant a visit to the doctors or you may already know what you need.

OTC (Over-the-counter) medicine can be purchased in many stores throughout Japan such as at a pharmacy (drugstore) or at some large supermarkets. Though convenient for most things, finding medicine at a convenience store is very unlikely.

How to Find Japanese OTC Medicines Online in English

Please visit Find OTC Medicines from Japan Self-Medication Data-Base Center. You can search medicines by body parts or indications. 

Major drugstores in Japan

Tsuruha Drug is one of the biggest drugstore chains in Japan. Their stores are located throughout Japan.

http://www.tsuruha.co.jp/

Sun Drug is also a nationwide drugstore chain.

http://www.e-map.ne.jp/

Matsumoto Kiyoshi have stores through Kanto area to Okinawa. You can find many of their stores especially around Tokyo.

http://www.matsukiyo.co.jp/

Welcia is a drugstore chain that you can find their stores from North Japan to Kansai area.

http://as.chizumaru.com/

Kusuri no Fukutaro is a group company of Tsuruha drug (above). You can find their stores in Tokyo and Chiba area.

http://www.kusurinofukutaro.co.jp/

Daikoku Drug has their stores throughout Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa. Their main territory is in Kansai, especially in Osaka.

http://daikokudrug.com/shop/

How to read the medicine’s directions

The directions for the dosages of each medicine is usually displayed on the back of the box or bottle.

①【用法・容量】
次の1回量をなるべく30分以内に水又はぬるま湯で服用してください。1日3回、食後ななるべく30分以内に水又はぬるま湯で服用してください。

→【Directions】
Take the indicated quantity of medicine with water 3 times a day within 30 minutes of eating breakfast / lunch / dinner.

  • 年齢: Age
  • 1回量: Dosage
  • 成人 (15才以上): Adults (15 years & over)
  • 3錠: 3 tablets
  • 11才~14才: 11 to 14 years old
  • 2錠: 2 tablets
  • 5才~10才: 5 to 10 years old
  • 1錠: 1 tablet

①【用法・容量】
次の1回量を朝夕食後なるべく30分以内に水又はぬるま湯と一緒に服用してください。

→【Directions】
Take the indicated quantity with water within 30 minutes of eating breakfast in the morning and dinner at night.

  • 年齢: Age
  • 1回量: Dosage
  • 1日服用: Daily dose
  • 成人(15才以上): Adults(15 years & over)
  • 2カプセル: 2 capsules
  • 2回(朝・夕): 2 times (morning&evening)
  • 7才~14才: 7 to 14 years
  • 1カプセル: 1 capsule
  • 2回(朝・夕): 2 times (morning&evening)
  • 7才未満: under 7 years
  • 服用しないこと: Do not use

Medicine for headache (Zutsû yaku - 頭痛薬)

Here is a useful Japanese phrase to use when purchasing medicine for a headache:

“Zutsû yaku” wa arimasu ka? (Do you have medicine for a headache?)

Bufferin

Loxonin

Eve

Medicine for stomachache (Igusuri - 胃薬 or Ichôyaku - 胃腸薬)

Here is a useful Japanese phrase to use when purchasing medicine for a stomachache:

“Igusuri” wa arimasu ka? (Do you have medicine for a stomachache?)

pansiron

Buscopan

Cabagine

Medicine for diarrhea (Geridome - 下痢止め)

Here is a useful Japanese phrase to use when purchasing medicine for when you have diarrhea:

“Geridome” wa arimasu ka? (Do you have medicine for diarrhea?)

Seirogan

Pishatto (you can take it without water)

Sutoppa (you can take it without water)

Medicine for cold (Kaze gusuri - 風邪薬)

Here is a useful Japanese phrase to use when purchasing cold medicine:

“Kaze gusuri” wa arimasu ka? (Do you have medicine for a cold?)

Lulu

Contac

Kakkonto

For wounds (Kizu gusuri - キズ薬)

Here is a useful Japanese phrase to use when purchasing ointment for wounds:

“Kizu gusuri” wa arimasu ka? (Do you have ointment for wounds?)

Oronain

For disinfection (shodoku eki - 消毒液)

Here is a useful Japanese phrase to use when purchasing liquid disinfectant for cuts and scratches:

“Shodoku eki” wa arimasu ka? (Do you have liquid disinfectant?)

Makiron

Oxidol “オキシドール” (Hydrogen Peroxide)

For insect bites (Mushi sasare - 虫さされ)

Here is a useful Japanese phrase to use when purchasing an insect bite reliever :

“Mushi sasare no kusuri” wa arimasu ka? (Do you have an insect bite reliever?)

Muhi

Una kowa

For skin burns (Yakedo - ヤケド)

Here is a useful Japanese phrase to use when purchasing ointment for burns:

“Yakedo no kusuri” wa arimasu ka? (Do you have an ointment for burns?)

Panpasu nankô

For more Japanese words and phrases of medical expressions

You can learn more Japanese words and phrases of medical expressions on JHI(Japan Healthcare Info)’s website.

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