We are sharing with you the 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
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.
HP: www.ssp.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: www.ryukakusan.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: www.kaigen-pharma.co.jp/index.html (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: www.daiichisankyo-hc.co.jp/index.html (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: www.ssp.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: http://tylenol.jp/tylenola.html (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: www.allegra.jp/ (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: contac.jp/ (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: www.ssp.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: alinamin.jp/index.html (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: www.kobayashi.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: www.kawai-kanyu.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: www.kyushin.co.jp/index.html (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: zs1560.jp/ (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: www.sato-seiyaku.co.jp/ (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: www.daiichisankyo-hc.co.jp/site_gaster10/ (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: www.ssp.co.jp/product/buscopan/ (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: hc.kowa.co.jp/the_guard/index.html (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: www.i-no-science.com/promo/selbelle.html (Japanese Only)
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.
HP: search.sato-seiyaku.co.jp/pub/search/dispproduct.php?productid=546 (Japanese Only)
While not as effective as Roperamakkusatto at stopping diarrhea, it is a well balanced medicine that has a wide variety of effects, including controlling stomach cramps and protecting the stomach lining. It can be taken by children from the age of 11.
HP: www.biofermin.co.jp/products/geridome/index.html (Japanese Only)
One of the special points about Stoppa is that you can take it without water. It is the next most effective diarrhea medicine after Roperamakkusatto. There are 2 types of Stoppa – the regular Stoppa and Stoppa L. The L-type is often thought of as specifically for women, but men can take it as well.
HP: stoppa.lion.co.jp/index.htm (Japanese Only)
A strong constipation medicine that stimulates the stomach to help assist in passing stools. For stubborn constipation. 1 pack contains 100 pills so from the cost-performance perspective it is great. When taken with milk or in combination with other medicines, the effect can drop, so be sure to take it 1 hour after drinking milk or taking other medicines.
HP: www.kokando.co.jp/seihin/fra_seihin.html (Japanese Only)
A medicine made based on a Chinese medicine called “daiokansoto.” While not as strong as Byurakku, it will help you to passing stools more naturally. By using it before sleeping, it will work just as you wake up. Please note that mothers who are breastfeeding should avoid taking it.
HP: kanpobenpi.jp/kanpobenpiyaku/ (Japanese Only)
A digestive medicine which contains brewer’s yeast and lactic acid bacteria. It assists the digestion and improves the condition of the intestines, and can be taken with vitamin and mineral supplements. It is a type of medicine that should be taken regularly to gradually improve the condition of the digestive system.
HP: www.wakamoto-pharm.co.jp/products/item/si_01.html (Japanese Only)
Another popular medicine like Wakamoto. The brewer’s yeast it contains improves the condition of the digestive system and provides nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids. IT can be taken by children over 5 years old, so it is great to have at home for families with children.
HP: www.asahi-fh.com/ebios/ (Japanese Only)
A Chinese medicine that is effective against muscular cramps and stomach pains. It can be used by people regardless of their constitution. It is often taken for leg and calf cramps, and works rapidly after being taken. It is one of the most popular Chinese medicines available.
HP: www.tsumura.co.jp/products/ippan/023/index_s.shtml (Japanese Only)
Available in various forms, including tapes, lotions, gels and sprays, each with the same effect, so you can use the type that suits your needs. It is one of the most effective external medicines available on the market. It also doesn’t have a strong scent.
HP: www.voltaren-ex.jp/index.html (Japanese Only)
Doxin contains the ingredient methocarbamol which relieves cramps and stiff muscles. It is suitable for people who have stiff shoulders, lower back pain or muscular pain that isn’t relieved by regular pain-killers. You can find it in the poultice corner of the pharmacy, rather than the pain relief corner.
HP: takeda-kenko.jp/products/genestu/doxin.html (Japanese Only)
A very effective medicine for mouth ulcers. Kenalog was designed to be very sticky to stay on the area being treated and not be removed by saliva. There are internal medicines for mouth ulcers as well, but if you already have one, Kenalog is the medicine to take.
HP: www.bms.co.jp/patient/medicine/nostrum/kenalog_a/ (Japanese Only)
While there are various types of motion sickness medicine, Aneron Nyskap has the fullest ingredients so you can count on its effectiveness. It was also designed to have a long lasting effect, making it ideal for long distance travel.
HP: www.ssp.co.jp/product/aneron/ (Japanese Only)
For families with children, we recommend Travelmin Family. It can be used by both children and adults, and the fact that it can be taken without water is very convenient. While it is only for children aged 5 and over, children under the age of 5 generally don’t get car sick, so there is no need for medicine for them.
HP: www.eisai.jp/health-care/products/travelmin/ (Japanese Only)
The RiUp series is Japan’s only external medicine whose hair growth effect has been recognized. Typically, the effect can be felt after approximately 3 months of use, so continuing to use it without giving up is important. It is an over-the-counter drug, so it can only be bought at stores with a pharmacist present during the opening hours.
HP: www.taisho.co.jp/riup/riupx5/ (Japanese Only)
Various different types of eye drops are available from a number of different manufacturers, but out of these, one of the most effective is Rohto V11. It contains 11 types of ingredients, and gives a pleasant cooling sensation when used. Ideal for tired eyes from looking at smartphone and PC screens for too long.
HP: jp.rohto.com/v11/ (Japanese Only)
In a stylish container like a perfume bottle, and with a faint fragrance of roses, this is a popular product with ladies. But it is not just the look and the scent that makes this a hit – it contains ingredients that are very effective in soothing your tired eyes. Ideal for people who like gentle eye drops.
HP: www.santen.co.jp/ja/healthcare/eye/products/otc/beauteye/product/ (Japanese Only)
A new eye medicine release in spring 2015 for people with allergies, such as hay fever. It contains ingredients to protect the eyes, and reduce itchiness and swelling, and is one of the most effective eye medicines on the market. There are 2 types available – cool and mild – which you can choose according to your tastes.
A medicine for chapping, cuts and other skin problems. Although it slightly stings after applying it, it quickly dries and provides a covering for the wound. For when you want to protect an cut or a scrape.
HP: www.qlife.jp/meds/otc4987393971031.html (Japanese Only)
Betnevate is a general purpose ointment that contains steroids to reduce inflammation and antibiotics, and has a wide variety of applications. It can be used on rashes, monitor burns, insect bites, hives, heat rash and any other skin problems that come with inflammation.
HP: www.daiichisankyo-hc.co.jp/products/details/betnevate_n/index.html (Japanese Only)
An ointment containing 2 types of antibiotics, suitable for weeping injuries. It can be used on a wide variety of injuries, from simple cuts and scrapes to bleeding rashes. It is a good idea to keep some in the house.
HP: takeda-kenko.jp/products/gairai/teramaisin.html (Japanese Only)
This ointment doesn’t contain steroids, so it can be used on delicate regions, and even on infants. It also contains anti-inflammatory ingredients, so you can be sure of its effectiveness and safety. Great for rashes and itchiness.
HP: medical.shiseido.co.jp/enkuron/cream-ufex.html (Japanese Only)
With the wide variety of supplements on sale, it can be hard to choose. Otsuka’s Nature Made is made to the company’s strict standards, so you can be sure of its quality. Nature Made also comes in a wide variety of types, from single ingredients to multivitamin and mineral versions.
HP: www.otsuka.co.jp/product/naturemade/ (Japanese Only)
A cooling product consisting on a sheet lined with cooling gel that you place on the forehead to cool oneself down. A very useful item to have for families with children. They can be used by both adults and children, with the differences between the two being the size and the amount of menthol, the cooling ingredient, in the sheet itself. Children should avoid using the adult sheets.
HP: www.kobayashi.co.jp/seihin/nss/ (Japanese Only)
After taking the eye mask from the pack, it reacts with the air, heating up to a temperature of 40 degrees while releasing steam. You can use it before you go to bed to relax, on a plane to help you have a nap, and to relax your tired eyes. There are scented versions that come in a range of fragrances, such as lavender, as well as non-scented versions available.
HP: www.kao.co.jp/megrhythm/eye/products/ (Japanese Only)
The leg version of the previously mentioned Netsusama Sheet. You can relax and refresh your tired legs by applying these sheets coated with a cooling gel before going to bed or after soaking in the bath. The adhesive on the sheets is strong so you can be sure that the sheets will stay in place until the morning. The faint herb scent also helps you to relax.
HP: www.lion.co.jp/ja/seihin/brand/012/01.php (Japanese Only)
A mask coated with beauty lotion that you apply to the face. The masks have slits cut into them which allow them to closely fit your whole face. The sheets are scented, so you can enjoy the beautiful rose fragrance while caring for your skin. Using the mask also improve the application of makeup on the skin, which makes it a popular product with women.
HP: www.utena.co.jp/puresa/index.html (Japanese Only)
A Kose brand product. The name sekkisei come from the Japanese “seki” meaning snow, “ki” meaning skin and “sei” meaning spirit, and this product is supposed to give you snow-like clear, white skin. Made from Japanese and Chinese plants, it naturally supports your skin and protects it from trouble. It is available in a wide range of types, from foundation, to beauty lotions, to creams and and masks.
HP: www.sekkisei.com/product/ (Japanese Only)
Hadalabo’s main series of products. It contains super hyaluronic acid. Gokujun is a product made specifically with gentleness to the skin in mind, being low-stimulating, scentless, colorless, and mineral-free. Made under a concept of removing all unnecessary ingredients and utilizing only ingredients that are good for the skin, Gokujun can be used by people even with sensitive skin.
HP: www.adalabo.jp/products/gokujyun (Japanese Only)
A cosmetics brand that uses isoflavone from soybean milk, this product is unscented and uncolored, and is known for being kind to the skin. It is thick but not sticky, and is popular with the younger generation. We recommend this for people with sensitive or dry skin.
HP: nameraka.jp/line/moisture_detail.html (Japanese Only)
A powder type face wash you lather up in your hand before applying. It contains protease, and it easily removes any excess keratin or sebum. It comes in individual packets, making it ideal for travel. The packets have been designed in a hexagonal shape which makes it easy to open even with wet hands.
HP: www.kanebo-cosmetics.jp/suisai/moisture/powder.html (Japanese Only)
The most popular horse-fat based product. You can use it to moisturize your skin or on troubled areas, such as dry skin. It is safe to eat as well so you can use it on babies as well. As it can be used on both the skin and the hair, it is especially popular with middle-aged women.
HP: www.yakushido.com/ (Japanese Only)