Monday, April 20, 2015

Getting over the counter medication in Japan

I've been in lots of pain this past week.
So I finally decided that since my other pain meds had run out, I would have to cave to Japanese prices (which are coincidentally approximately the same as back home, but I'm a spoiled mama's girl and she always bought it for me). Basically I've been trying to save money and anything more than five dollars that isn't food I usually try to put off.
My pain was that from the lower regions of my body, thus I was not only in pain but also dealing with my emotions being all over the place. Thank goodness for Ryosuke being with me on the weekends to save me from myself and help me with everything like the small child that I am.
At about nine PM on saturday I finally had enough of the pain and decided I would just buy the stupid medicine to be able to live a more normal life for the weekend. He looked up the strongest meds to treat my specific pain and we came up with this: Loxinin S! It's always on commercials and so I figured it would be simple enough to attain.
First of all, in Japan, as of two years ago there was a law passed that there needs to be a pharmacist on duty to prescribe certain kinds of medications. Secondly, there is apparently a shortage of pharmacists. I personally wasn't aware how 'strong' these meds are since I'm used to getting extra strength Advil over the counter at Target back home. But as Loxonin S is an Anti-Inflammatory, it's not even available over the counter back home and so it's actually 'obvious' that a pharmacist be on duty to allow me to purchase it.
So my first mistake was forgetting Japan closes anything truly necessary, early--big chain drug stores don't sell meds after about 7pm. Secondly, Sunday is a national holiday--day, so most pharmacists are not at work these days making it very difficult to find certain medications.
LUCKILY, the people at the drug store I went to kindly told Ryosuke and I that there was one drug store and one medical supplies store that would possibly be able to rid me of my pain. Ryosuke, being the life-saver that he is, called ahead for me to confirm that I could infact buy it there and we made our way over to the store.
Once we got there, a quick wave of panic rushed over me when I checked the wall to not see the brand I wanted, but we went to the counter where a very nice older lady took one out from the glass counter and asked me a couple of questions:
1. Is this your first time taking it?
2. Do you have any medicinal allergys?
No, and no.
She then informed me not to exceed two pills in one day, and to be sure to take it after eating.
I'm so happy she was so nice and even gave us some salty rice crackers. I plan to return if I ever need out of the ordinary medication, and maybe even when I need a prescription filled for something.
To be honest, I should have known it would have been a pain to get anything involving actual medication in this country as even when I get eye drops the person at the register asks me if I need an explanation on the product and has to press a special button on the computer.
I was able to get the medicine and I've been pain free for the past two days!!! Always be sure to ask questions and be aware if you know you might need something like a pain killer, or something of that sort.
Thanks for reading. :)


  1. Oh dear! I'm so sorry to hear about your pain and your ordeal with mission impossible to find something to help it!

    All in all, I'm glad someone was finally able to help you