Drugs in Thailand : When you get sick, you don’t want any hassle and certainly the last thing you need, is to get confused when searching for medicine in a Thai pharmacy. And it does get confusing! The selection of drugs in Thai drugstores is astounding and very few have labels in English. To make matters worse, Thai doctors are known to overmedicate their patients and prescribe antibiotics as if they were candy. How to avoid that? Know your medicines!
This is exactly what this Medicine in Thailand compendium is for – in it, we introduce the most common and popular drugs found in Thai pharmacies, so that next time you get sick, you have one headache less to deal with.
Disclaimer: This article cannot be treated as medical advice and is for informational propose only. Consult a doctor or a pharmacist before using any of the medicines presented here and apply at your own risk. Always buy a travel insurance when traveling to Thailand.
Where can you find medicine in Thailand?
All drugs listed here are usually found in pharmacies. Some essential medicine in Thaialnd can also be bought in 7Eleven, near the cash register. Pharmacies in Thailand are located in all major shopping centers, as well as in supermarkets such as Big C or Tesco Lotus.
Drugs in Thailand
Thai medicines for cold, fever, sore throat and cough
How does one even catch cold in Thailand, if it’s so hot all the time? It’s very simple. The key word is air conditioning. In shops, in restaurants, in public transport, in cinemas and many other place, aircon blasts mercilessly, seriously increasing the risk of catching a cold. Here are some local drugs that will help you fight one.
Makham Pom Cough – A plant based syrup for caught and sore throat. It’s sweet in taste. A pharmacist advised us to take a teaspoon three times a day.
Paracetamol – It comes under a variety of brands in Thailand such as Sara, Tylenol or Calpol. Available in tablets for adults and as a syrup for children. You’ll find it in 7Eleven and all pharmacies. Good first-line defense against fever and pain.
Kamillosan – Works against sore throat and cough. Available in tablet and as a syrup.
S.M.OTO, Archifen – Used for ear inflammation, also mild ear pain after diving. (with anything serious go see a doctor!)
Inhalers – Portable inhalers with ointment based on eucalyptus. Good against common cold, Thais use them also to soothe the discomfort of motion sickness.
Other Thai medicines for cold:
- Decolgen – Cold medicine similar to Fervex.
- Mucosolvan / Bisolvan – Cough tablets for adults, syrup for children.
- Tyzine and Nasivin – Nose drops for common cold.
- Strepsils – Lozenges with mild effectiveness.
Medicines for headaches and migraine:
Thai medicines for food poisoning and upset stomach
Ya tat nam kau – Used in food in poisoning. Absorbs toxins from poisoning and restores digestive balance.
Other Thai medicines for food poisoning and upset stomach
- Carbone – Activated carbon is sold in the pharmacies and 7Eleven.
- AIR-X – For gastritis in case of inflammation.
- Gaviscon, Maalox, Beltsil, Mezim, Antacil – For flatulence sand stomachache.
- Smekta – For diarrhea and vomiting.
- Imodium – For severe diarrhea.
- Senna – Laxative.
- Enemas with saline solution – For constipation, sold in pharmacies in ready-made form.
- Candles with glycerol – Laxative.
Thai medicines for motion and sea sickness
- Dimin – Sold in 7Eleven and pharmacies.
Thai medicines for cuts and other wounds
Hydrogen peroxide – A disinfectant preventing infections.
Betadine – Disinfects wounds and speeds up healing. Antiseptic, iodine solution.
Pises Powder – An antiseptic powder for wounds and abrasions. Good in Thai climate due to high humidity impairing healing of the wounds – helps keep the wounds dry.
Other remedies for wounds and antiseptics
- Chlorhexidine – For washing wounds.
- Saline – Saline solution
- Bepanthen and Methyluracil – Improve healing of bruised skin.
Gofen – Local version of Ibuprofen or Neurofen, It’s a remedy for headaches but it also eases pain during menstruation.
Other medicine in Thailand
Opsar – Eye drops, relieve fatigue and irritation.
Acne Clear Soap – More a cosmetic than a medicine but it helps with one particular condition – acne.
- Dactarine – For oral thrush.
- Furamag – For cystitis.
- Aciclovir – For herpes .
- Hirudoid – For varicose veins.
- Valian-X – A light sleeping pill based on valerian.
- Suprastine and Lomilane – For allergies.
- Amoksiklav – A broad spectrum antibiotic.
This list of drugs in Thailand is of course not complete, but it features the most common drugs for most common ailments.
If you do get sick and need some medicine in Thailand, do not despair. Many, lesser issues can be treated with over the counter medicines, which are widely available and very affordable. And in case it’s something more serious, the hospitals are very well equipped and doctors skilled – just make sure you have a health insurance, without one bills can pile up very quickly.
When shopping for over the counter medicines, talk to the pharmacist. Even if they don’t’ speak English, a lot can be communicated with patience and sign language. And remember, it’s better to ask three times than to take the wrong medicine!
And once more: This article cannot be treated as medical advice and is for informational propose only! Consult a doctor or a pharmacist before using any of the medicines presented here and apply at your own risk!
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