A guide to over the counter medicine in Japan!

Jan 17, 2020

A guide to over the counter medicine in Japan!

Getting sick when traveling in Japan is never good, and even though Japan is famous as one of the cleanest countries in the world,
you can still get sick here; especially during winter when the air temperature severely changes.

Purchasing over the counter medicine in Japan is never easy, since most of the medicines are sold in packages with Japanese characters on them.

Today, we introduce some over the counter medicines to purchase when you’re in Japan.


1. Cold medicines : Pabron Ace Pro

There are a lot of cold medicines in Japan, but our favorite is Pabron Ace Pro tablets, and apparently this cold medicine works better than any other cold medicines as it is a compound of 7 active ingredients such as ibuprofen, L carbocisteine, and ambroxol hydrochloride. This medicine is said to relieve 11 symptoms associated with common cold, including sore throat, runny nose, cough, and fever.

If you take this medicine, you don’t have to take any fever medicines as it already has ibuprofen in it. You have to take this medicine 3 times a day, 3 tablets each time after a meal.

People under 15 years old shall not take this medicine.

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2. Throat lozenges : Vicks Medicated Drops

For us, throat lozenges are the best remedies for sore throat, as it’s not only relieving your sore throat, but also suppressing the coughs too. In Japan, you can get the Vicks Medicated Drops at a very reasonable price at any drugstores.

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3. Fever medicine & pain killer : Bufferin Premium

When talking about fever medicine and pain killers, our favorite is always Bufferin Premium! Made of Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen, Bufferin Premium works way much faster and better than other fever medicines and pain killers.

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4. Cough medicine : Matsumoto Kiyoshi’s private brand

The best cough medicine comes in syrup form, but purchasing one of them is not the best option if you’ll be moving around Japan as the cough syrup is heavy as it is usually packed in a glass bottle. Our favorite is this cough medicine from Matsumoto Kiyoshi (one of the most popular drugstores in Japan), which comes in capsules.

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5. Stomach medicine : Pansilon 01+

Feeling sick after partying too hard last night? You should definitely take Pansilon 01+, a stomach medicine that relieves any digestive problems, including hangover, heavy stomach, and heartburn.

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6. Eyedrops : Lycee Contact

If you wear contacts you might feel tired after using it for half a day, don’t you?

Lycee Contact moisturizes your eyes and relieves eye strain, and it is safe to use directly on your contact lenses.

Packed in a cute and tiny pink bottle, you should definitely look for this when visiting Japanese drugstores!


If you want to know more about over-the-counter medicine in Japan, We recommend you read this article ➡️ “A Symptom-Based Guide to Over-the-Counter Cold Medicines in Japan”

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