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Guide to Pharmacies Germany

Updated on March 18, 2012

In Germany as in any country if you are an expat living there and you get sick you are going to need to find a way to get the medicine that you need. Normally, in most languages pharmacy is somewhat summarily spelled. However, in Germany, it is referred to as “Apotheke” or “Apotheken Pharmacy” translated it means pharmacies in German.

In Germany in most major cities there is always a drugstore or more than one that are open 24 hours a day. If, you are new to the city check with your hotel concierge or the local internet for business information in the city you are residing. It is important to know what pharmacies are available to you and there hours of operation in case you need them quickly. Most cities also have a list of directories of their own by going to www.

The pharmacies do offer many services to their clients. They offer full sales and medical service advice, so if, you are in need of a can of pepto bismol after a night of binge drinking you can ask the pharmacist about any prescription drug medications you may have questions concerning. Or how to get rid of that black eye that the guy at the bar just gave you.

Somethings to consider if you plan on buying medicine at after hours pharmacy’s though. If, you really can wait then it is worth it if you wait till morning. You can save yourself a few Euros by going during regular business hours. A lot of German pharmacies charge a convince tax for staying open late and usually consist of a few Euros.

You will also be hard up to find one of these pharmacies that are open later at night with someone on duty that speaks English so if you do not have a friend with you that is fluent tin German I recommend at least moving on until you can find one that has someone on duty who speaks a little English. Having to get the wrong medicine can be a life threatening proposition so always have a backup plan.

Germany has a very large market for alternative medicines, so the sales people will always try to push you to try natural curing medicines. If, you are not comfortable with that let them know. Pharmacies are in the business, to make money not just sell things that are supposed to make you feel better so always have an alternative plan.

When you are in a German pharmacy, you will notice that the names of the drugs you are failure with in English are pretty close to the same in German. For example, the name aspirin is “Apsirin” in German. Many medicines have very similar sounding names, so you can pretty much understand what is printed when you see it. Another example is “paracetamol,” in German pronounced, “Paraceramol” only pronounced slightly different. If, you are still unsure write down on a piece of paper what you need and give it to the pharmacist they will usually know what you are searching for. However, there are other medicines that are not as common in German like cough medicine is pronounced “Hustensyrop”. So these are differently things you should be aware of as you travel throughout Germany.


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