Whether you live in Japan or you are traveling in Japan, there is a likelihood that you might get sick. You can probably get by without seeing a doctor, but a trip to a pharmacy without any background knowledge in Japanese is merely a waste of time as there will be practically no written English explanations anywhere and the staff probably can`t speak English. So here are the most common, widely available medicines you need now!
This is catch-all cold medicine. Take it orally within 30 minutes of eating. It’s a powder and it tastes awful so you need to dump it in your mouth then guzzle water like a champ, but it works. Take 3 times daily.
Take it for muscle aches, fever reductions etc. There are other medicines with ibuprofen in them, but many contain other drugs, like caffeine. Mostly, painkillers are aimed at women suffering from menstrual cramps. The sanitary product section of the drugstore might be a good place to check if you can’t find anything else!
This is one of my favorites, and it is something not readily available in the USA. There are two types of patches, cold and hot. Cold patches stick to your skin and cool the area. When you are ready to peel it off, it comes off easily and painlessly. Use on fresh bruises. The hot type is better for sore muscles. Unlike medications taken orally that have a daily limit, you can use as many patches as you want in a day with no limit. The easiest way to tell them apart is by color. Cooling patches are blue and warming patches are red or orange.
In a country like Japan where going out after work is almost a requirement, there are a wide variety of hangover prevention meds. The best way to stop a hangover is to not get one in the first place, but I personally think that these meds work and are worth a shot for the price, even if you are skeptical! Besides pharmacies, usually you can find these among the supplements in convenience stores as well. The standard is Ukon no Chikara!
For those who read this article and still went and got yourself a hangover, here are a few recommendations for you. Sports drinks can help with replenishing your body with important vitamins. Popular brands sold almost everywhere (and written in English) are Aquarius, Dakara, Amino Vitamin C Supplement and everyone`s favorite, Pocari Sweat.
Of course, I am not a doctor and I am only giving you my recommendation for the widest general set of ailments. Go see a doctor if you need to. Many doctors in Japan have some knowledge of English so you wouldn`t be completely lost. Hopefully, this list has the solution to whatever simple ache or pain you may have. Feel better!