Buying Medication Over the Counter

Hello,

Does anyone know if you can still buy most medications over the counter in Thailand?

I've heard they have cracked down and that you can no longer buy medications, that you would need a prescription for in the States,  over the counter.

I need to buy some medication that is to be used for fertility. If I can't buy it over the counter, does anyone have an idea of what clinic I can go to In Thailand in order to get this medication? thanks!

I've heard they have cracked down and that you can no longer buy medications, that you would need a prescription for in the States,  over the counter.

It's not that straight forward here :)

The thing to do is try many different pharmacies... especially local mom & pop pharmacies (versus chain stores) are more inclined to not be as concerned with prescriptions.   If they have it, they want to sell it.   But some stores, some employees will or will not ask for them.   I've actually never been asked for a prescription and I've gotten at least 5 things now that normally require it in the States.

1. The Thai officials don't follow the same guidelines as USA, they have their own.
(Here some pro-biotics need a prescription, where none do in States.)
So you can't reference it based on the states.

2. Many pharmacies here don't have the inventory that US ones have.   Some things only hospital pharmacies have them (or not at all).   So you have to just go to many places and ask around.

3. If someone does ask for a prescription and you don't have... try another pharmacy, or come back at a different time of day when different employees are there.   They may sell it.

4. If they have it and you are confident and just expect to get the medication easily, sometimes they will just give it to you.   I had an experience like that... I asked for multiples of what is typically a prescription drug, the lady hesitated but then just got it and gave it to me.  I was clear and unconcerned, so she didn't question anything.  :)

It's not true, they've actually cracked down on codeine, Tramadol. Valium, etc..

    Anything you need, including very strong opiates, you'll get at a government or a private hospital. But most drug stores will sell you ordinary drugs.

   You'll get any fertility treatment at any drug store all over the country.

How about if you have your bottle with the prescription label? are pharmacies more likely to refill prescriptions based on what is on the bottle labels? In my case, My prescription have been done to date by the US Military's Veterans Hospitals. Are Pharmacies likely to honor refills from prescriptions that were filled by the US Military?

themorn2112 :

How about if you have your bottle with the prescription label? are pharmacies more likely to refill prescriptions based on what is on the bottle labels? In my case, My prescription have been done to date by the US Military's Veterans Hospitals. Are Pharmacies likely to honor refills from prescriptions that were filled by the US Military?

I pretty much doubt that they follow the US Military, but it's a great way to show them what you need.

   If they can't give you the same medication, they usually have another medication with the same content/ substances.

    Most drugs are easily available without a prescription. Only for opioids, or other highly dangerous/ addictive drugs, you've got to see a doctor who needs to fill out a special form, but nobody in Thailand has to suffer from pain.

    They sometimes have expensive medicine from abroad, but a very cheap version made in Thailand, or another Asian country.

Isaanfarang :

...   Most drugs are easily available without a prescription. Only for opioids, or other highly dangerous/ addictive drugs, you've got to see a doctor who needs to fill out a special form, but nobody in Thailand has to suffer from pain..

...unless you know the pharmacist well... In this case, it is quite possible to obtain Tramadol-style drugs.... I get it without any problem in my village without a prescription or going to the hospital  ;)

Pilouthai :
Isaanfarang :

...   Most drugs are easily available without a prescription. Only for opioids, or other highly dangerous/ addictive drugs, you've got to see a doctor who needs to fill out a special form, but nobody in Thailand has to suffer from pain..

...unless you know the pharmacist well... In this case, it is quite possible to obtain Tramadol-style drugs.... I get it without any problem in my village without a prescription or going to the hospital  ;)

Tramadol is an ugly drug and makes people very depended on it. It's also very hard to stop taking this medicine once you're on a higher dose.

   Too many people were abusing Tramadol and of course are there some pharmacists who do sell certain drugs under the counter.

  But please be aware that you'll have huge problems when you get caught with more than 20 pills, without any proof of a prescription.

    First, it was codeine that was taken off the market, then Tramadol followed. That you know a pharmacist well, doesn't make it legal.

    I've got a lot of pain in my right leg after a motorcycle accident and received morphine from the local hospital, without a problem. But it was prescribed by real doctors and even paid by my social security.

Many foreigners have to undergo body searches in Bangkok these days, I'm wondering how you explain a bigger amount of pills that are only available/legal with a prescription.

  If I were you, I'd try to taper them off, before they take control of you. But it's your life, just saying.

Tramadol is highly addictive and the withdrawal symptoms aren't nice and more complicated than a withdrawal from morphine, for example. If you really have pain, you'd get your prescription fully legal at a government hospital.

I know and I have pescription from my doctor too... I use Skenan and Izalgi too in case of big pain... When I use Tamadol, it's 100mg (2 pills) every 4 hours... during 4 to 10 days... Then, I can stop without any pb for 1 or 2 months..

As far as I know, none of my meds have Narcotic tendencies. I ask this because of the lack of availability of certain meds. One of my friends in Chiang Mai is a nurse. @ one point she complained about pain and I suggested that she take Alieve (Naproxen Sodium), very potent and effective OTC medication. She informed me that Alieve was not available. I have heard about the history of meds that are common in the States, but hard to come by, if not being illegal.

themorn2112 :

As far as I know, none of my meds have Narcotic tendencies. I ask this because of the lack of availability of certain meds. One of my friends in Chiang Mai is a nurse. @ one point she complained about pain and I suggested that she take Alieve (Naproxen Sodium), very potent and effective OTC medication. She informed me that Alieve was not available. I have heard about the history of meds that are common in the States, but hard to come by, if not being illegal.

It doesn't mean a lot to me when a nurse gives me such an answer that's not even true. Especially when you gave her the misspelt name of the medicine.

BTW, the real name is Aleve, not Alieve. Even most doctors in more developed countries have to "look it up" before they prescribe a drug to you if it's one they do not prescribe every day. Nobody is perfect.


  Why would you pay a fortune for Aleve, if you can get another Naproxen Sodium medication for much less money?

   Naproxen Sodium is available under many different brands and you can get it without a prescription nationwide.

  Here's a post of a forum covering the same topic: -"same same basic substance: Aleve, Anaprox, EC-Naprosyn, Naprelan, Naprosyn"

naprosyn can buy price: 90 Tabs x 250 mg = $80

Please see: https://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/28 … -naproxen/

Thank you for the correction. I bow to your superior grasp of medical names and terminology. I actually have a generic bottle of "Aleve" (hence the misspelling); in my case the generic name for my product is "equate". That is where I got the technical name of the medication. As a medical professional, my nurse friend should have a working knowledge of medications available. Missing one letter should not be enough to have a total lack of knowledge of medication available, and leaves me to question the reliability of the medical establishment. I cited my personal story as an example of the availability of medication, not an actual situation I will be potentially going through. In the States we commonly use the commercial name of a medical product by default (i.e. Tylenol for pain relief in place of Acetaminophen [I could use a couple of tablets of Tylenol], and Bayer in place of acetylsalicylic acid [see first example]). My particular bottle is 220 mg x 100 tablets. I seldom take the stuff because of the potential to aggravate my kidney damage. When I do take the stuff, it is a last resort to address my gout symptoms. Few things show the dept of character as well as asserting superiority by assuming the role of grammar police.

Any recommendations for the best pharmacy in Bangkok?

There was an old post somewhere on some site for Charoen Pharmacy, I think it was called, and a smaller one next door called something like JR's, both on Sukhumvit next to an expat bar.

Charoen was great, but I just went to them again after a gap of eight months and they're out of business. The smaller one next door tried to be helpful but didn't have anywhere near the inventory that Charoen used to have.

Nothing illicit. Antibiotics, antihistamines, etc., but later generations and a greater variety or American brand generics (e.g., Benadryl generic). Tried all the local pharmacies and they have zilch.

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