Specific Issues in England
If you take prescription drugs, keep a supply in your carry-on luggage and make a list of all your prescriptions to keep on file at home while you’re abroad. You won’t be able to renew a U.S. prescription at a pharmacy in Britain. Prescriptions are accepted only if issued by a U.K.-registered physician.
Over-the-counter medications in England are similar to those in the United States, with a few significant differences. Medications are sold in boxes rather than bottles, and are sold in small amounts—usually no more than 24 pills. There may also be fewer brands. All headache medicine is usually filed under "painkillers." You can buy generic ibuprofen or a popular European brand of ibuprofen, Nurofen. Tylenol isn’t sold in the United Kingdom, although its main ingredient, acetaminophen, is found in brands like Panadol.
Among sinus and allergy medicines, Clarityn is the main option here; it's spelled slightly differently but is the same brand sold in the United States. Some medicines are pretty much the same as brands sold in the United States—instead of Nyquil cold medicine, there's Sudafed or Lemsip. The most popular over-the-counter cough medicine is Benylin.
Drugstores are generally called pharmacies, but sometimes referred to as chemists' shops. The biggest drugstore chain in the country is Boots, which has outlets everywhere, except for the smallest towns. If you're in a rural area, look for shops marked with a sign of a green cross.
If you can't find what you want, ask at the counter; many over-the-counter medicines are kept behind the register.
Shots and Medications
No special shots are required or suggested for England.
National Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (800/232–4636 travelers' health line. wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.)
World Health Organization (www.who.int.)
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's