Medication in Poland

Good morning everyone,

Whether it's a simple cold or a chronic illness, medication and medicine use vary from country to country and culture to culture.

When you are used to certain brands or types of drugs, being in a country like Poland with different rules can affect your daily well-being.

Some drugs also differ in name, price, dosage, active molecule, so we would like to hear your opinion on these issues:

Have you ever had difficulties finding familiar or useful medicines for your health in your host country?

Have you ever been faced with a shortage of medicines in Poland?

Would you have said that in Poland drugs are more or less expensive than in your home country? Do you find them more or less effective or of similar quality?

What is the place of alternative medicines in your host country? Have you ever used them?

Thank you in advance for your feedback,


I have had a few problems getting medications in Poland that are sold over the counter in the US.

For example, Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is hard to get without acetiminophen in a combination. It does exist but getting it as a single ingredient is difficult.  One pharmacist said it was not available  as a single ingredient, but  I was able to get it in Warsaw for nausea (as opposed to treating allergies, which I had requested before.)

Another example is the test strips for urinary tract infections. You can buy these in any drug store in America, but they  exist in short supply here. And the kits do not test as braodly as they do in America.  On the other hand, Sudafed (pseudophredine) is available and does not require a signature as some states in America require.

When you do get a prescription, your name won't be on a bottle (and it probably won't come in a bottle) and you won't have instructions written anywhere.  *So you need to listen carefully to what the doctor says while prescribing it.*

Although the national health system does not cover everything, the cost of most medications is lower in Poland than in America.