Common Medicines at Pharmacies in China

Rachel Weiss
Career China Digital Marketing Manager
Jun 27, 2019

No one likes being sick, and being sick in a foreign country can cause extra challenges with trying to get the right medicine you need. Luckily in China there are pharmacies everywhere with most medicines you'll find in your home country.

Common Medicines At Chinese Pharmacies

The medicines listed below are suggestions for commonly used medicines that you can find in a Chinese pharmacy. (Note: this information is not all-inclusive and is provided for informational purposes only. There are many other medications, and make sure to consult with your doctor if you're unsure what you should take.)

1) Medicine for Body, Joint, or Muscle Pain

A. Pain and Swelling Patch - 痛肿灵 (tòng zhǒng líng) 

This medicine comes in the form of a stick-on patch. It is used for swelling and pain. It can be specifically used for inflammation or pain in the joints, muscles or tissues, and can also clear up bruises.

B. Red Flower Oil - 正红花油 (zhèng hóng huā yóu) 

This medicine provides quick and temporary relief of pain and discomfort when rubbed directly on the skin. It is used to treat minor aches and pains in the neck and shoulders, arthritis, rheumatism and joint pain. It can also be used for numbness, bruises, and insect bites.

2) Medicine for Bronchitis or Coughing

A. Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide Syrup - 右美沙芬糖浆 (yòu měishā fēn tángjiāng) 

This product is suitable for a dry cough or a phlegm-producing cough. It is effective in easing frequent, severe coughing.

B. Acute Bronchitis Particles - 急支颗粒 (jí zhī kēlì) 

This product can loosen phlegm and ease coughing. It is used for the treatment of colds, coughs, and bronchitis.

C. Ma Xing Cough Relieving Tablets - 麻杏止咳片 (má xìng zhǐké piàn) 

This antitussive and expectorant is used to treat acute, chronic bronchitis and wheezing.

3) Medicine for a Common Cold

A. Cold Relieving Capsules - 伤风停胶囊 (shāngfēng tíng jiāonáng) 

This medicine is used to treat the symptoms of a common cold, including chills, fever, headache, nasal congestion, runny nose, muscle aches, itchy throat, cough, and mucus. It is suitable for treating upper respiratory tract infections, colds, rhinitis, etc. 

B. Four Season’s Cold Tablets - 四季感冒片 (sìjì gǎnmào piàn) 

This soluble tablet is used to treat cold symptoms such as fever, headache, runny nose, cough, dry mouth, sore throat, nausea and loss of appetite.

C. Compound Paracetamol and Amantadine Hydrochloride Capsules

复方氨酚烷胺胶囊 (fùfāng ān fēn wán àn jiāonáng) 

This medicine is used to relieve the symptoms of the common cold or influenza. Symptoms include fever, headache, nasal congestion, and sore throat.

4) Medicine for Female Health

A. Clotrimazole Vaginal Tablets - 克霉唑阴道片 (kè méi zuò yīndào piàn) 

This medicine is used to treat yeast infections in women.

B. 妇炎康片 (fù yán kāng piàn)

This is an anti-inflammatory medication and pain reliever. It is used to treat pelvic inflammatory disease, vaginal infections, and urinary tract infections.

C. Usana PhytoEstrin - 妇康宁 (fù kāngníng)

This pain-relieving and nourishing pill is appropriate for use during a woman’s menstrual cycle. It is effective in reducing menstrual cramps.

D. Menstrual Painkillers - 调经止痛片 (tiáojīng zhǐtòng piàn)

This painkiller promotes blood flow and reduces pain resulting from a woman’s menstrual cycle.

5) Headache

A. Ibuprofen Capsules - 布洛芬胶囊 (bù luò fēn jiāonáng)

This medicine is used to relieve mild to moderate pain, such as headaches, joint pain, migraine, toothache, and muscle pain. It also can be used to treat fever caused by the common cold or influenza.

B. Zheng Tian Pill - 正天丸 (zhèng tiān wán) 

This medication promotes blood circulation and has a nourishing effect. It is used to treat pain headache, nervous headache, or premenstrual headaches.

C. Gastrodia Elata Headache Tablet - 天麻头疼片 (tiānmá tóuténg piàn)

This medication is used to treat headache, chills and nasal congestion. It is also appropriate for reducing pain associated with the common cold.

6) Antibiotics 

There are many types of antibiotics available over the counter in China. This list includes just a few examples of antibiotics used for the treatment of some specific conditions.

A. Anti-Inflammatory Tablets - 消炎片 (xiāoyán piàn) 

This antibiotic is used to treat upper respiratory tract infections, fever, bronchitis, cough or swollen boils.

B. Pudilan Anti-Inflammatory Tablets - 蒲地蓝消炎片 (púde lán xiāoyán piàn) 

This antibiotic is used to reduce inflammation and swelling. It can be used to treat swollen boils, sore throat, or tonsillitis.

C. Pharyngitis Tablets - 咽炎片 (yānyán piàn) 

This antibiotic has throat clearing, antitussive and anti-itch properties. It can be used to treat chronic sore throat, dry throat, itchy throat, or irritating cough.

7) Oral Contraceptives, Morning After Pill, Condoms

A. Marvelon - 妈富隆 (mā fùlóng)

This is a 21-day oral contraceptive that is sold over the counter with no doctor’s prescription required.

B. Levonorgestrel Capsule - 左炔诺孕酮胶囊 (zuǒ quē nuò yùn tóng jiāonáng) 

This is a form of short term (emergency) contraception for women, commonly known as the morning after pill.

C. Invisible Condom - 隐形避孕套 (yǐnxíng bìyùn tào)

The invisible condom is a foam spray that is injected into the vagina to form a protective layer that can kill sperm and a variety of viruses, acting as a contraceptive and preventing infection.

D. Durex Condoms - 杜蕾斯保险套 (dùlěisī bǎoxiǎn tào)

Durex is a common brand of male condom that can easily be purchased in China at pharmacies, supermarkets or convenience stores.

Learn more about healthy living in China from The Ultimate Guide for Moving to China

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