Annual PSA - Bring your OTC's!
Place Dauphine is in bloom, and over the next few days, the square will turn into a sea of pretty pink flowers. This display is one of the many signs that Spring has officially arrived in Paris - and so has allergy season!
Printemps may not have arrived yet for those traveling to France soon, so it's hard to think of what you might need to bring in your cosmetic bag. But, along with sunscreen (always important!), consider these hard-to-find OTC's in France.
Why? The strength may not be what you're used to. Or, in France, the medication requires a prescription.
Here's a short list:
° Allergy medications like Allegra
° Alleve or NSAIDs
° Have a sensitive stomach? Bring your fav medications for relief - French food is rich! Plus, the combo of long-haul flights, jet lag, and eating foods in a different country is the perfect recipe for an upset tummy.
° Ibuprofen, paracetamol, & other pain relievers are kept behind the counter in pharmacies, so you will have to talk to someone at the counter to ask for those drugs.
° Saline solution is sold only at pharmacies - not at grocery stores, like in the States
° And this is also where you'll find bandaids, blister help, & bandages if you wear those brand-new shoes to Paris. 🤣
What to look for if you need a pharmacy in France.
A bright green neon plus (+) sign in France indicates the universal pharmacy sign.
This is not a chain of stores; they are independent of each other. Use your favorite mapping app, like Google Maps, to find a nearby pharmacy. If you have multiple options, quickly check out the reviews to see if there is one that has better ratings.
Do you need to speak French?
No, but also don't expect the pharmacist to speak English. Be prepared by translating your request. The pharmacist role is the first in line before seeing a doctor, so they are very engaged. Be specific about your symptoms and what you need to avoid questions.
P.S. I have a YouTube video on this topic!