? about over the counter meds in Paris

Apr 11th, 2007, 12:25 PM
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? about over the counter meds in Paris

Trying to lighten up the luggage a bit...just wondering if I can buy the following, (or equivalent) easily in Paris.
calcium pills
Optifree saline

I am assuming ibuprofen and the like are easy to find..


loisco is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 12:32 PM
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I'm only familiar with ibuprofen, antiacid and Benedryl and though these are all available they seem only to be sold in small batches at outrageous prices - the over-the-counter pharmacy industry in France seems not to be de-regulated - i think hypermarches, or what they call 'grandes surfaces' cannot sell many of these and you must go to a pharmacy and pay outrageous prices so i'd pack my own.
PalenQ is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 03:27 PM
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I don't know if my experience is universal, but when I ran out of saline solution when I was in Paris, I had a very hard time finding it. First, it is not sold in the pharmacies, but by opticians. I was actually looking for rewetting drops (preferably Bausch & Lomb) and finally found a few small vials called ReNu Comfort Drops, but took quite a lot of searching. I would say pack your own, especially if you want a specific brand.
monet77 is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 03:42 PM
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I saw Opti-free in the pharmacies. You may want to check prices, as various solutions (and larger variety) are found in Optician shops all over.

I refill a rewetting drops bottle (on recommendation of my eye doctor) with whatever solution I'm currently using which does just fine (better, I think) for rewetting.

As for Zantac and calcium pills, they will be more expensive. For any brand name, it's best to know the generic name (or show them your empty package) - as the clerk/pharmicist will look that up and check for the local brand.

Note that a lot/most of "over the counter" products are actually behind the counter in pharmacies in Paris. You have to ask.

They do have some nifty products. I needed a cough remedy once, wrote down "Dextromethorphan". They had a huge variety of possibilities, including capsules packaged in two blister packs per box (easy to carry around and take when out and about). They did cost more than products available at home. And, when I went looking for another box, a half a dozen or more places I wandered into did not carry that particular product.

I have a 4x6 zipper bag stocked with just enough for the trip of things I'm likely to need.

Most pharmacies in Paris are small and the stock varies widely from one to the next.

Anyway, prices are much higher in Paris and the exchange rate continues to worsen.
djkbooks is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 03:58 PM
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Try the ibuprofen in the cream form- not available in US
wondering is offline  
Apr 11th, 2007, 04:03 PM
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That is not at all true that the prices are much higher in Paris for drugs!

I use Zyrtec, Rx in the US , it costs me $35.00 for a months supply..in Paris I get it for under $10,00. I use Flonase ..$60.00 in US ...under $20.00 in Paris ..no RX.

I never fill either Rx in the US, but stock up when I get to Paris each year..the price differental pays for a few dinners!

I've never bought Zantac or ibuprofen
though both are readily available, I just bring some from my home supply..no idea of the price.
The things that seem more expensive for some reason are vitamins...maybe they don't need them ..maybe they eat better???

jody is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 09:15 AM
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Thanks...good ideas. We are going for a month so I want to make sure I can purchase some things..can't bring a month's supply of everything.

loisco is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 10:01 AM
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Really Jody?? Those are two of my meds..is it the same brand name in Paris? I will be sure to look!

Tylenol with Codeine is OTC in France, isn't it?

MissZiegfeld is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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I've found drugs to be much cheaper in Paris. I recently had a prescription filled for a week's supply of amoxycillin and a package of 20 Advil. It came to 3,94.
Toupary is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 10:32 AM
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Agree about drugs costing less in France. I have a list of about half a dozen drugs I stock up on while in France. As someone said, the price differential usually affords me a couple of nice meals.
StCirq is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 11:01 AM
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Most stuff is only available in pharmacies. I would bring any needed drugs with me. We recently spent more that E5 in Paris for a package of aspirin and one of tylanol. And the aspirin was some kind of effervescent that we couldn't take walking down the street.
nutjobz is offline  
Apr 12th, 2007, 11:11 AM
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It's weird in a country that practically has universal free health care - not everybody but every worker i think and those who are on the dole - that things like aspirins, roll-aids, ibuprofen are only sold in small pharmacies in small amounts at extortionary prices.

No super drugstores here like in U.S. or U.K. as the hypermarches are not allowed to sell these things for some stupid reason.

I recently saw a doctor in France and paid 21 euros for the appointment but paid more than that for the stuff he told me to get at the pharmacy - stuff that would have cost a few bucks at home.
PalenQ is offline  
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