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Curious: meds in other countries


Specializes in Cardiac, Home Health, Primary Care. Has 6 years experience.

Knew someone who came back from France. Wound up having issues and got an ER visit and CT for like $300 or so. They also mentioned that you can't get Tylenol and such OTC there. When I asked what people did for a headache they assumed the French just drank some wine (if only).

I know plenty of people say "go to Mexico" for prescription meds without the script but have never been out of the USA so not sure how 100% true it is.

Soooo just curious about other countries!! It's interesting to hear about it!


Specializes in Post Anesthesia, Pre-Op. Has 10 years experience.

I use to live in France as an expat (expatriate) and was so impressed with some of the meds that were OTC there and by Rx in the USA. They did have ibuprofen and acetaminophen OTC as well as allergy meds etc. This was back in 2001 so it might be different now.

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 32 years experience.

Generally called Paracetamol not Tylenol over in Europe


Has 18 years experience.

I'm always amazed at what you can get at the pharmacy in Europe.

Apparently that's why European MRSA is so virulent, it's due to the ease of obtaining antibiotics OTC whenever people feel they need them.

Silverdragon102, BSN

Specializes in Medical and general practice now LTC. Has 32 years experience.

Antibiotics in the UK can not be bought OTC and I knew several GPs that refused to prescribe them if they didn't need them?

Also in the UK paracetamol/Tylenol as well as Ibuprofen could only be bought in small quantities unlike here in Canada. Max used to be 16 and if higher quantity required had to get a prescription


Specializes in Surgical, quality,management. Has 12 years experience.

Agree, antis cannot be bought OTC in UK and Ireland. Paracetamol and ibuprofen are limited in size due to concerns re suicide. Codeine containing products can be bought OTC however such as in combination with paracetamol or in cold and flu products.

I used to go to Mexico about 3 trips per year. Made me realize how expensive and maybe a ripoff how much medicine cost in the USA.

In Mexico I could get birthcontrol for $3 per month and would almost pay for my trip. I also would get Vitamin B12 OTC and it was great for getting over hangover. Of course I would buy Lomotil. Seems like super cheap. Lasix was also OTC and cheap.

I have found in Philippines most the same drugs that are OTC in USA are prescription in USA. Like Birth Control, Lasix, Lomitol, etc.

I do know if you are in hospital in Philippines and you need medication, your family goes out to pharmacy and buys it and brings it back for you to take, if the hospital runs out of medication, I hear this happens more in a public hospital