Navigating Common Over-the-Counter Drugs: A Guide from USA to Spain

Traveling abroad is an exciting adventure. However, it comes with its set of challenges, especially when it comes to health care. A simple task such as buying over-the-counter (OTC) medication can become daunting when faced with unfamiliar brand names in foreign pharmacies. This blog aims to alleviate some of these concerns by providing a list of common OTC drugs in the USA and their equivalent names in Spain, along with tips on how to get them.

1. Ibuprofen

In the USA, Ibuprofen is a common non-prescription pain reliever and anti-inflammatory drug. It is often sold under the brand names Advil or Motrin. In Spain, Ibuprofen can also be obtained without a prescription and is sold under the brand names Nurofen or Neobrufen.

2. Acetaminophen/Paracetamol

Known as Acetaminophen in the USA and sold under the brand name Tylenol, this medication is used to treat mild pain or reduce fever. In Spain, it is known as Paracetamol and can be found under the brand names Gelocatil, Termalgin, or Paracetamol Kern Pharma.

3. Diphenhydramine

This antihistamine is used to relieve symptoms of allergies, the common cold, and also as a sleep aid in the USA, where it is sold under the brand name Benadryl. In Spain, Diphenhydramine is not commonly available. However, you can find other antihistamines such as Bilastina (Bilaxten) or Loratadina (Clarityne or Loratadina Cinfa).

4. Loperamide

Commonly known as Imodium in the USA, Loperamide is used to treat diarrhea. In Spain, you can find it under the brand name Fortasec.

5. Pseudoephedrine

Sold under the brand name Sudafed in the USA, Pseudoephedrine is used to relieve nasal congestion caused by colds, allergies, and hay fever. In Spain, it’s found as Pseudoefedrina under brands like Frenadol, Sudafedrin, or Pseudoephedrine Cinfa.

Tips on How to Get OTC Medications in Spain

  1. Learn the generic name: It’s essential to know the generic name of the drug you’re looking for since brand names can vary from country to country.
  2. Visit a pharmacy: In Spain, all medicines, including OTC drugs, are sold exclusively in pharmacies (farmacias). Look for a green cross sign, which is the symbol for pharmacies in Spain.
  3. Talk to the pharmacist: Pharmacists in Spain are highly trained and can provide medical advice for minor ailments. They can guide you to the right medication.
  4. Know the language: While many pharmacists in urban and touristic areas can speak English, it’s beneficial to know some Spanish, especially when traveling to more rural areas.
  5. Ask for an equivalent: If the exact medication you’re looking for is not available, ask the pharmacist for a Spanish equivalent.

Remember, while OTC drugs are safe for most people when used as directed, they are still medicines. Always use them as instructed, and consult a healthcare professional if symptoms persist.

Tags: #TravelHealth #OverTheCounterDrugs #HealthcareAbroad #Spain #USA #Pharmacy #TravelTips

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