You can find many types of over the counter, OTC medicine in Japan’s drugstores. I’m surprised by the variety and quite a few of them have highly raved reviews online. However, with everything written in Japanese, you wouldn’t know what medicine to buy unless you did prior research.
Moreover, the boxes’ instructions and precautions are all in Japanese, so I did a bit of digging to make sure I’m not putting my body in danger. To help you, I’ve listed the items I’ve bought based on online reviews, along with their instructions and precautions in English.
For my review on beauty products, refer to my subsequent posts: “Beauty Products in Japan’s Drugstores – Face (Part 3)“, “Hair and Body (Part 4)”
*Prices stated in this post are the prices (including tax) at the time I bought from the respective drugstore in Japan. The prices might have changed since then, or varies from drugstore to drugstore.
Price: ¥1,780 (S$22.40)
Purpose: For constipation, loose stools, indigestion, bloating, and those with trouble with stomach and intestines. etc. Also for people who require nutritional support for physical exhaustion, during and after illness, and before and after childbirth.
Instructions: 9 tablets per time for people above 15 years old, 3 times a day after meals. The tablets decrease with age.
Verdict: It works for indigestion, but I wasn’t comfortable to eat 9 pills at one time. And perhaps that’s why they made the taste nice, it reminded me of Horlicks.
For more about the product, visit www.wakamoto-pharm.co.jp/english/product/index.html
p.s. Another highly raved product to ease constipation are these by taisho, www.taisho.co.jp/colac/menu01.html – from the light purple box for first-timers of laxative to the pink box for chronic constipation. Google translate the webpage to get an idea. I couldn’t find this while I was there, so can’t comment much.
Price: ¥665 (S$8.40)
Purpose: Painkiller for all sorts of pain – period cramps, headache, toothache, sore throat, joint pain, muscular aches, nerve pain, backache, stiff shoulders, ear pain, etc. It also reduces chills and fever.
Product: There are 4 types of Eve –
- EVE A – For menstrual cramps and headaches, but can also be used for other aches.
- EVE A EX – For a higher intensity of pain.
- EVE Quick – Especially designed for headaches, but can also be used for other aches.
- EVE Quick DX – For more severe headaches.
Instructions: 2 tablets per time for people above 15 years old. Not suitable for those below 15. If possible, avoid taking on an empty stomach. Drink water with each dose.
- For EVE A and Quick, take at intervals of more than 4 hours and do not exceed 3 doses per day.
- For EX and DX, take at intervals of more than 6 hours and do not exceed 2 doses per day.
Verdict: EVE A didn’t really help in my menstrual cramps, but I should have known better and gotten the EVE A EX, because mine was quite a severe case. However, my mum who had frequent headaches said that this was effective and good.
For more about the product and its labelling, visit www.ssp.co.jp/eve/en
Pabron Gold A
Price: ¥1,556 (S$19.60)
Purpose: Relieve cold symptoms (cough, phlegm, sore throat, sneezing, watery nose, blocked nose, chills, fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain)
Instructions: 1 whole packet per time for people above 15 years old, dosage decrease with age. To be taken within 30 minutes after a meal.
Verdict: It works for my hubby, but note that it’s a bitter medicine in powder. So, swallow all at once and drink some water. Think it’s even more effective to take this when you have early symptoms of a cold, than when the cold has worsen.
LION Cooling Leg Pad
Price: ¥550 (S$6.90)
Product: Each box contains 3 sachets. And in each sachet, there are 6 gel sheets.
Purpose: Refresh your tired legs after long hours of standing, wearing high heels or doing sports. According to their website, this pad cools your legs through the vaporization of water and adheres firmly to the leg until the next morning but still gentle on your skin. Five fragrances are available: lavender, common sage, rosmarinus, lemon and orange.
- Use it after shower or before going to bed. Ensure skin is dry and clean before using.
- For best cooling results, refrigerate it prior to use. Do not store in freezer.
- Each sheet is for single use only. Keep unused sheets in the sealed packaging.
Verdict: There was only orange fragrance at where we shopped, otherwise would have gotten the lavender. I bought only one box, and hence in order not to waste the sheets, I cut some of them into half for small areas. Btw, the effect was really icy cool!
For more about the product, visit www.lioncorp.com.sg/Kyusoku%20Jikan/kyusoku-jikan.html
Roihi-tsuboko Pain Relief Patches (156ea)
Price: ¥880 (S$11.00)
Purpose: For shoulder aches, back aches, bruises, sprains, pain in joints, muscular pain, muscle fatigue, chilblains, and pains caused by bone fractures.
- Apply directly on painful or stiff areas to relieve pain.
- Remove the product 30 – 60 minutes before taking a shower or a bath to avoid a burning sensation. Also, the effect might be enhanced when used along other warming equipment such as disposable body warmer.
- To retain the quality, keep the product in its original packaging and store it in the attached storage bag.
The patches come in difference sizes, but we got the smallest size because the bigger it is, the fewer pieces you have in a box. When I first used it, I didn’t feel a thing. It was after a while I could feel the burning sensation and that probably lasted only for 1-2 hours? Somehow, I still prefer my yoko yoko, because I can choose to apply to areas as large as i wish.
Do note that the warning about the shower is true. I peeled it off only before I showered, and I felt the burning sensation intensified. However, if I put it overnight and peeled it off just before a shower, there’s no such burning sensation.
Visit www.nichiban.co.jp/en/products/otc/analgesic/roihi-tsuboko.html for product information.
For more information about Japan’s drugstores and products, click on my other posts:
- About the different drugstores in Japan: Drugstores in Japan (Part 1)
- Review of Products in Japan’s Drugstores:
What other OTC Medicine in Japan’s Drugstore would you recommend? :) Tell us below or on our Facebook Page or Instagram. Moreover, bookmark this page > Overview Itinerary: Hokkaido and Tokyo (Winter/Spring 2016).