OTC meds in Tuscany

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OTC meds in Tuscany


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Old 14th February 2010, 07:38 PM
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Default OTC meds in Tuscany

I apologize if this has been asked and answered several times before - but where can I find a list of OTC meds available in Italy? (I have searched online) Many people tell my husband and me that we can get our prescription drugs OTC while we are there for a year - but I am skeptical. Where can I find a list? (my concerns are specific blood pressure, blood thinner and chotesterol drugs as well as insulin) Thanx for any suggestions.

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Old 15th February 2010, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by suzsid View Post
I apologize if this has been asked and answered several times before - but where can I find a list of OTC meds available in Italy? (I have searched online) Many people tell my husband and me that we can get our prescription drugs OTC while we are there for a year - but I am skeptical. Where can I find a list? (my concerns are specific blood pressure, blood thinner and chotesterol drugs as well as insulin) Thanx for any suggestions.
I always thought OTC meant non prescription? You could try the pharmacy association. Best if you have the generic names and not the marketing names.

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Old 15th February 2010, 11:36 AM
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I'm not sure there is actually a listing of OTC (over the counter) drugs for Italy (or any country I know of). What you need to do is to make a list of what you need - the chemical names, not the brand names - and then see if those are available in Italy, and the status of them if they are available (i.e. prescription only, literal OTC or available only at a pharmacy).

By literal OTC, what I mean is that there are some drugs in Europe that you don't need a prescription for, but you won't find them out on the shelves anywhere. You literally have to go to a pharmacy and ask the pharmacist to get them for you. The pharmacist may ask you some questions about what you want these for, and in some countries it's up to the pharmacist whether or not you'll be given them.

To get anything that is a prescription drug, you'll probably need to get a prescription from a local (i.e. Italian) doctor. This is where the list of chemical names comes in handy. Many common medications have different names in Europe. And then there's the issue of different prescribing habits.

In any event, it's best to work together with a pharmacist and/or a doctor after you get to Italy.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 15th February 2010, 04:49 PM
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Thanks Nick and Bev
I guess I used the term "OTC" - which of course DOES mean "over the counter" = because I was told that many meds that are presecription here in the US are OTC in Italy. In fact, when I spoke to my doctor about our plans to be in Italy for an extended period, it was his nurse who told me I could probably get my meds easily (OTC) while there. But I thnk I will take my meds with their technical or chemical names and visit a pharmacist. Problem is - I can't easily get a 9 mos - 1 year supply before I go and I don't believe it is possible (or legal?) to have the meds shipped to me. Has anyone on this forum done that?
Thanks

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Old 15th February 2010, 05:32 PM
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It varies whether you can get medications shipped to you. Technically, you should be able to get anything shipped to you that is legal within Europe - but I think that only applies to shipments from other European countries.

In some countries (Germany, for sure), shipments of medications can only be done to a pharmacy, which then will issue the drugs to you. (At least that's how it worked when I lived there.) It may be similar in Italy.

What are you doing for medical coverage while you're in Italy? Because ultimately, if you've got coverage for doctor's visits in Italy, it's probably going to be easiest to just get an Italian doctor to write you prescriptions for what you need and have them filled over there as you need them. (You can probably get at least the first 3 months' just before you go - then you can check with the US consulate in Italy to find an English speaking doctor where you'll be.)

I keep hearing that people with good US health insurance say they can use any doctor in Europe and it's considered "on-plan." If you've got insurance like that, why not take full advantage of it?
Cheers,
Bev

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