?? on over the counter drugs in France

Old Feb 8th, 2006, 05:05 AM
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Hi lois,

My Lady Wife puts all that stuff into Ziploc bags. Takes very little space.

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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 10:54 AM
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I always take Pepto Bismo with me because it's my preferred medication for those things. I also found out the hard way that it was impossible to get in France, although unfortunately, the pharmacist I visited didn't understand what it was, what a good substitute would be, nor did he know it was banned (even though I speak French and told him it was bismuth and pink). So, he gave me something totally inappropriate as he couldn't comprehend of wanting something to settle your stomach that was not a matter of acid indigestion.

Anyway, I didn't know it was illegal then, but this explains why I could never find it. It is too bad, as I think it is much milder in action than some things like Immodium.

I also was never able to find some eye drops like Visine in France, so bring my own. That was another thing the pharmacist couldn't grasp -- wanting eye drops to soothe your eyes when you didn't really have a medical condition. I was in a dry and sandy area of Provence at that time, and really wanted something like that, but never got it. I think he gave me some eye drops (which were strictly from behind the counter, not on display), but they weren't really as good nor the same thing.
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 02:46 PM
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My husband forgot his Tylenol last trip to Paris... and was not able to buy it at the pharmacy. Due to language differences we didn't understand why. Can anybody explain?
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 03:45 PM
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Just a little reply for all those who garden and have sore muscles...you can get over the counter Tylenol with Codine in both France and England ... Its just enough to take the edge off pain. In England its called "Neurophene(sp?)Plus".. Just check the ingredients list on the package for the word Codine, or ask for it.
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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Grandma - the French and other countries use "paracetamol" as the Tylenol ingredient with or without Codeine. (Our generic for Tylenol is "acetominophen.")

Just ask the pharmacist and you can get paracetamol with codeine without a prescription.
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 04:18 PM
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PS: Nurofen Plus has Codeine but the other ingredient with it is ibuprofen (what we would buy as "Advil.") Not the same as paracetamol and should not be used by people who cannot tolerate it or aspirin.
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 07:50 PM
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Thanks, canterbury. After my experience with an ulcer I have to avoid all anti-inflammatories, and it's good to know the name of another one.
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 08:02 PM
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Pepto-Bismol isn't illegal in France, as far as I know; but the sale of the drug is banned (which isn't quite the same thing).

Tylenol is acetaminophen; there are tons of OTC pain relievers in France that contain acetaminophen. Europeans call it paracetamol, but any good pharmacist should recognize both generic names.

OTC pain relievers in France can contain up to about 15 mg of codeine in addition to other ingredients, so you can get the equivalent of Tylenol II with Codeine over the counter in France. It's intended mainly for migraines or other severe pain with benign causes (such as toothache). The dose of codeine is extremely low (which is why it's OTC), but it is slightly more effective than plain acetaminophen or aspirin. Prontalgine and Migralgine are the same thing. Aspégic with codeine is aspirin with 15 mg of codeine, which may be preferable if you are taking other medications that already contain acetaminophen (it's important not to take too much acetaminophen).

Ibuprofen is sold under many brands, Nurofen being only one of them, but I don't think it is sold under the Advil brand in France.

Fervex contains chlorpheniramine (the main ingredient in Chlor-Trimeton) and acetaminophen and is hand for colds and allergies. Unfortunately nobody makes straight chlorpheniramine without other ingredients in France (which would be useful for people who just have allergies, not colds).

As previously mentioned Smecta contains powdered clay, and is good as a slow-acting and non-medicated remedy for diarrhea. Imossel (loperamide, just like Immodium) works quickly for acute diarrhea. Fiber acts very slowly but it's a good prophylactic.

Most medications in French pharmacies are sold as pills (sometimes chewable) or powders. The French have a bit of an anal fixation and are thus also very fond of suppositories. Some medications are supplied in little glass vials that you snap open, but this is more commong for quirky beauty aids than real medicine. Note that many pharmacies may sell you homeopathic medicines (very popular in France), so beware if you don't trust that type of remedy.
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Old Feb 8th, 2006, 10:30 PM
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I walked into a French pharmacy coughing. I don't speak French so I told him in English that I wanted cough medicine. He obviously didn't speak English. So, as I coughed some more I pointed to my hand covering my coughing mouth. He didn't get it. I said "dextromethorphan". That is the DM in Robitussin DM and similar cough medicine. He understood that and got me some cough medicine.
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Old Feb 9th, 2006, 04:19 AM
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AnthonyGA - of course you are correct! There are tons of acetaminophen products in France. Don't know what I was thinking. Thanks for clarifying.
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Old Feb 1st, 2013, 07:00 AM
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For a list of equivalent medicines in France (and other countries), just type the active ingredient in wikipedia followed by "brand names" -- example: "ibuprofen brand names"
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