Overall the pharmacy situation in Thailand is excellent. There’s always one open nearby and they are stacked with hundreds of drugs that work and that are a fraction of the price compared to the U.S. The OTC and prescription drug situation in the U.S. is the worst, so if you’re from another country you might be less impressed by the Thailand pharmacies than I am. In the U.S. if I know that I need something like Amoxycillin, I can’t just buy it. I have to see a doctor and get a prescription which has to be filled by a pharmacy. Depending on my insurance situation the effort could be pricey and it’s always going to be time consuming. In Thailand I can walk a block and buy it for two or three dollars with no questions asked. Drugs in Thailand are very cheap and you can get almost everything you need so you’ll never hear me complain about the pharmacies. However, there are some instances where I do prefer some American OTC stuff, so I keep a supply of the ones I like and if I’m running low I buy more the next time I’m visiting. So if you look in my medicine cabinet you will see about 60% Thai drugs and 40% American OTC’s. All in all I feel like I can battle just about anything that comes my way. And for whatever reason (cough…loose women...cough), I do seem to have my fair share of battles with ailments and symptoms. So here is a peak into what my medicine chest looks like. I think it will help you to locate the stuff you need in the Thai pharmacies, and it’ll definitely let you know what you can’t get here that you should bring with you.
*I am not a doctor or a pharmacist, obviously. I have experimented and tested a lot of the Thai stuff over the years and some of it is better than others. But this is my preferred arsenal; use it as a guide, but don’t count on it because some people react to medications differently. IT’s also possible that I’m missing a couple of good ones. Instead of telling me how stupid I am for missing something (love those emails), please tell me the name of the drug I missed and what it’s effective for, in the comment section below the article.
The stuff I buy in Thailand
Scheriproct - Hemorrhoid Cream
Zithromax - A strong antibiotic used to kill a wide range of things, including Chlamydia
Tylonol 500 – Your standard pain reliever
Tiffy - Good for temporary relief of cold and flu symptoms
Nasotapp – Cold symptom relief, especially nasal congestion
Gaviscon (Tubes or chewables) – For quick relief of heartburn and indigestion. The tubes are usually 15 baht and they work very well. The chewables are not easy to swallow.
Kremil-S tablets – Excellent for eliminating gas in the intestine and the stomach.
Strepsils (lozanges) – Effective pain relief for sore throats. They are medicated so they fight bacteria to quicken the duration of the sore throat.
Gofen 400 - Fever Reducer
Hyosman Tablets – For stomach cramping and pain. It provides long lasting relief by relaxing the digestive system.
Amoxycillin 500 – Standard Antibiotic that kills bacteria’s which causes ailments like strep throat.
Fenafex tablets- Relief for allergic breakouts
Dimenhydronate- Prevents motion sickness you might otherwise get on a boat ride or something similar.
Dormirax 25- Mild but somewhat effective sleeping pill. It can also be used for anxiety relief.
Dermaheu Cream - Great for applying directly to some type of skin irritation. It’s an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal cream, so this help with many irritations even if you’re not 100% sure of what you have.
Garamycin Cream – Antibiotic Cream you apply to a skin infection.
Clinoderm Cream – To be applied directly to skin with inflammation.
The Stuff I bring from the U.S.
Benadryl – I haven’t been able to find anything in Thailand that is as good at relieving sneezing, runny nose, itchy throat, and watery eyes.
Tums – There are antacids in Thailand, but none that are as immediately effective as good ol’ Tum Tum Tum Tums.
Neosporin – I still prefer this ointment when it comes to scrapes and cuts.
Orajel – Mouth, gums, and teeth pain can be the worst. Listerine helps, but if you need something better you’re not going to easily find something as effective as Orajel in Thailand.
Zicam – A homeopathic medicine that really works, and that you won’t find in Thailand. You take Zicam at the first sign of a cold and it reduces the symptoms and the duration from the cold. There is no cure for a cold and Antibiotics do nothing for it, so Zicam is the very best bet.
Oscillococcinum (Oscillo) - Another homeopathic medicine, Oscillo reduces the duration and severity of flu-like symptoms such as fever, aches, pains, and hot & cold bouts. This stuff is pricey but it works very well.
Anti-Itch Creams or Sprays with hydrocortisone – I just find some of the hydrocortisone creams to really work well to reduce a severe itch.
Dayquil and Nyquil liquid – If you want to work while you’re down with a horrible cold or flu, you need Dayquil. If you want to get any sleep you need Nyquil. I haven’t been able to find anything like it in Thailand so it’s like gold to me here.
Daytime and Nightime cold/flu relief pills – Similar to Dayquil/Nyquil, I like the pills because they’re easy to take with me if I am forced to leave the house.
Theraflu tea- A hot cup of Theraflu usually breaks your fever and gives you a little bit of comfort while you are down with the flu.
* You'll see in the picture that sometimes I buy the brand name when I'm in the type of mood where I believe what I've read about generics being inferior. You'll also see some generics which I buy when I'm in the type of mood where I believe what I've read about about generics being the same.