5 Must-buy items in Japanese Drugstores
We will be introducing to you 5 recommended convenient medical supplies among other products that you must buy in drugstores in Japan. *Please check with the pharmacist before buying medical supplies in drugstores, and be sure to read the usage cautions and strictly follow the directions and dosage.
There are various products which can be used depending from the person who will use it and eye condition, but Japanese eye drops can be used by people who have eye strain from working with a laptop, for people with dry eyes from contact lenses, and people who have blurry vision from aging. Especially eye drops for contact lens use can be very convenient since you can just drop the medicine on your eyes without removing your contact lenses. In particular, we recommend Santen Pharmaceutical's "SanteFX Neo" for those who want to clear their eyes of eye strain. It guarantees to give your eyes a cool feeling and will refresh eyes from work and studying-induced strain. It's also worthy of note that this will clear eye inflammation and suppress congestion from ultraviolet rays. Manufacturer suggested retail price: 950 JPY (tax included)
Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
1. "Eye drops" for computer eye strain and contact lenses
Japanese headache medicine are not only easy to drink and quick to effect, they are also made with ingredients which do not harm the stomach. Phrases like "half of this headache medicine is made of kindness" or "good for the stomach and quick to effect" have become common even in advertisements. Although products of leading manufacturers are popular on their own, among them, Daiichi Sankyo Healthcare's "LOXONIN S" (an OTC drug) stands out. "Loxoprofen sodium hydrate" quickly restrains the cause of headache or fever so it certainly has less negative effects on the stomach.
Manufacturer suggested retail price: 648 JPY for 12 tablets (tax excluded)
2. Headache medicine: immediately effective and easy on the stomach
"Cooling sheets," which are used during fever or muscle inflammation, are also popular in Japanese drugstores. Commonly, these sheets have gel inside, which enables them to stay cool for longer periods. It's very adhesive so it won't fall off even if you move. "Hie-Pita" has become the most classic example of a popular cooling sheet. They have produced big cooling sheets for adult use, for children and even for babies. In particular, the one for babies is adjusted so that it isn't too cold, and they mixed bitter ingredients to prevent them from eating it by mistake.
Selling price estimation: for adults -- 250 JPY - 500 JPY for 12+4 sheets/for children -- 250 JPY - 500 JPY for 12+4 sheets/for babies -- 600 JPY - 900 JPY for 12 sheets (price not printed on the packages).
For kids and for babies
3. "Cooling sheet": easy to stick and stays cool for a long time
Aside from common headache medicine, "painkillers" for menstrual pains is largely sold in Japan. Commonly the small tablet makes it easy for women to take -- it does not affect housework or work, it quickly effects and is non-drowsy. While it's best to consult to the pharmacist, the tablets for women are commonly in pink packages with cute designs to easily distinguish them. Lion's "BUFFERIN Luna i" (an OTC drug) has two pain relieving ingredients "ibuprofen" and "acetaminophen," which quickly blocks pain from both the pain's center and peripheries. It's also worthy of note that aside from menstrual pain, this can be also used for headaches and is good for the stomach.
Manufacturer suggested retail price: 650 JPY for 20 tablets/1,080 JPY for 40 tablets/1,380 JPY for 60 tablets (tax excluded)
4. "Painkillers": a product that specializes for women pains
There are Japanese laxatives which have greatly immediate effects to bowel movement. However, the medicine acts too fast that it causes stomachaches, so there are a lot of people who choose not to rely on it. Due to this, products, which "first put your bowels in order" and are made from herbal and natural medicines as well as lactic-acid bacilli among others, are popular. Lactobacillus bifidus has been added to "Biofermin Benpiyaku" from Biofermin Seiyaku Co., Ltd. in order to make it easier to the stomach. Drinking this would balance the disorder in your bowels and has an effect on dry skin among others.
Manufacturer suggested retail price: 1,080 JPY for 60 tablets (tax included)
5. "Laxatives": herbal and good for the stomach types are popular
These medical supplies are also available in large electronics retail stores among others aside from several drugstores and pharmacies in town areas. Any store has an employee who specializes in medicines and there are also large stores which can respond to foreign languages, so be sure to consult the directions over the counter.
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.