Hi reader, this is Yu Ozaki, which is the pharmacist in Japan.
At drug store in Japan, you could buy not only medicine and cosmetics but also you can buy many kinds of things.
So, in this article, I summarized 7 OTC medicine that is available in a drug store.
If you have a toothache, bruise, minor headache, pain by stiff shoulders, back pain, and period pains, you don't have to refer the doctor, and it could get better by OTC pain killers so you should remember before you travel in Japan.
Also, many of a drug store has full-time pharmacist, so if you have concerns regarding medicine effect and side effect, you should ask him/her.
However, if you have an acute severe headache or an acute severe heart pain, you should call an ambulance by dialing 119 in a telephone using Japanese phone operator(including roaming).
【Caution Regarding All Pain Killers】
If you take a pain killer when you hungry, your stomach might get hurts. Therefore, you should take it after you eat something.
If you get allergy before by pain killer or antipyretic, we advised that you should consult with a doctor, for your safety.
Except for paracetamol (a.k.a.: acetaminophen), most of all OTC pain killers can take from 15 years old or older. If you/your child are younger than that age, we advised that you should consult with a doctor, if available.
1. Loxonin S (Main Ingredient: Loxoprofen)
Loxonin S is the most potent pain killer that is in the OTC pain killer market in Japan.
The price is about 520JPY ~ 700JPY.
You should take one tablet per dose with water. You can take it up to two times per day. It would be best if you did not dose it when you are hungry or less than 4 hours from the last dose.
This medicine rated as "Class 1 Medicine" in the OTC category, and it's required to see the pharmacist to get an explanation before you buy.
If you don't understand Japanese, the pharmacist does the best to understand explanation by using leaflet (usually that is available in Japanese, Chinese, Korean and English) or translator. However, if you still could not understand the explanation by the pharmacist, you could not get that class medicine.
If you are pregnant and expected to birth your child in the next 12 weeks, this medicine is not available in your option. Also, it is not recommended to take this medicine chronically. If you have your pain longer than one week, you should see the doctor.
2. Loxonin S premium (Main Ingredient: Loxoprofen)
Loxonin S Premium differs from standard Loxonin S. This medicine is added Apronal and Anhydrous caffeine to increase pain killer effect.
The price is 650 JPY~ 750 JPY for 12 tablets (6 doses). If you consider buying 24 tablets(12 doses) one, the price is 1100 JPY ~ 1300 JPY.
This one could more effective for pain killer and antipyretic than standard Loxonin S. This drug has a side effect that is dizziness so you could not operate machinery, including driving.
You should take two tablets per dose. You can take it up to two doses per day. It is not encouraged to take it if it's less than 4 hours from the last dose.
This medicine also rated as "Class 1 medicine".
3. Eve A (Main Ingredient: Ibuprofen)
Eve A tablet is containing 150mg of ibuprofen. It is effective for fever and pain. For pain killer use, this medicine is somewhat effective. Price is 640JPY ~ 800JPY for 60 tablets (30 doses). For 48 tablets(24 doses), 540JPY ~ 740JPY.
You should take two tablets per dose and three doses per day. You should not take it if it's less than 4 hours from the last dose.
This medicine contains Apronal and Anhydrous caffeine. This drug has a side effect that is dizziness so you could not operate machinery, including driving.
4. Eve A Tablet EX (Main Ingredient: Ibuprofen)
For Eve A Tablet EX, the main element does not change from Eve A tablet.
The price is ¥ 640 ~ ¥ 1,000 for 40 tablets. For 20 tablets, about ¥390 ~ ¥ 650.
Because it contains 200 mg of ibuprofen as the main ingredient, it can expect a higher analgesic effect than usual Eve tablet.
5. Bufferin A (Main Ingredient: Acetylsalicylic Acid [a.k.a.: Aspirin])
Bufferin A includes the central part, that is aspirin. Effectiveness is mild.
Price is 1000 JPY ~ 1600 JPY for 80 tablets. 900 JPY ~ 1300 JPY for 60 tablets. 380 JPY ~ 540 JPY for 40 tablets. There is also have 20 pills.
It has an Anticoagulant side effect, and therefore if you are badly bleeding, younger than 15 years old, or you are pregnant and expected to birth your child in the next 12 weeks, you could not take this medicine.
You should take two tablets per dose and two doses per day. You should wait 6 hours before you take another dose.
6. Bufferin premium (Main Ingredient: Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen)
Although it is a product name of Bufferin, it mixed with ibuprofen and acetaminophen as a component, which is quite different from Bufferin A tablet.
The pain-relieving effect is higher in OTC drugs. However, because it is not Class 1 medicine, it can be purchased even at a drugstore where a pharmacist is not present.
The price is 40 tablets, ¥ 970 to ¥ 1,700. Twenty tablets are about ¥ 650 to ¥ 1,050.
You should take two tablets per dose and three doses per day. You should wait 4 hours between doses. If you are pregnant and expected to birth your child in the next 12 weeks, this medicine is not available in your option
Due to the content of Apronal, it may cause drowsiness. After taking it, you cannot operate machinery or drive a car.
If younger than 15 years old or you are pregnant and expected to birth your child in the next 12 weeks, you could not take this medicine.
7. Naron Ace T (Main Ingredient: Ibuprofen, Ethenzamide)
The price is 84 tablets, ¥ 1,300 ~ ¥ 1,850. For 24 tablets, it is about 420 ~ ¥ 650.
You should take two tablets per dose and three doses per day.
Mixed ingredients name Bromovalerylurea may cause drowsiness. Please do not operate machinery, including driving.
I introduced seven medicines in this article. In these medicines, Loxonin S Premium has the most potent effect. However, it classed as class 1 medicine. Also, it has a side effect that is dizziness. So if you are going to drive or operate machinery, I recommend you to take Loxonin S.
In my opinion, if I give ranking in these medicines that easily get,
Eve A tablet EX > Naron Ace T tablet > Bufferin Premium tablet > Eve A tablet > Bufferin A tablet.
However, it has a difference for effect/side effect level per each person, so please use this ranking for referring users.
It's best not to get sickness/ill. However, in case of these conditions, if you go to a drug store/pharmacy, there might have some useful medicines.
If you could not find these medicine, you can point this article pictures to the employee to find it. If you have luck, you might encounter to me :)
*Disclaimer/Caution: The pharmacist does not review this English version article (However, in the Japanese version, the pharmacist already reviewed this article). Before you find/purchasing medicine, please see the pharmacist for your safety.