Is that true?

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NewtoSing
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Is that true?

Post by NewtoSing » Sun, 03 Feb 2008 9:46 am

Is that true that we are suggested to bring over the counter medicines and vitamins since they are hard to get or very expensive in Singapore? I thought with such a high number of expats one would think those OTC medicines are readily accessible. :?

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Re: Is that true?

Post by sprite » Sun, 03 Feb 2008 10:02 am

NewtoSing wrote:Is that true that we are suggested to bring over the counter medicines and vitamins since they are hard to get or very expensive in Singapore? I thought with such a high number of expats one would think those OTC medicines are readily accessible. :?
There may be 'alot' of expats but they are from all over and one man's over-the-counter medication is another man's snake oil. There are much, much fewer pharmaceuticals on the shelves here. If you have a headache you have two choices: Panadol and tiger balm (OK and maybe axe oil). No Motrin, not Tylenol, no Aleve, no Excedrin, no kidding. If you are moving, I'd load up on all the OTC items you think you'll need. You'll rest easier knowing you have them. If you have kids, bring whatever works for them.

In Singapore, doctors prescribe a lot of medications and they are dispensed right from the office. This is not seen as a conflict of interests, and the prescription medications are cheaper.

After you've been here for a while, you'll probably bring less and less with you from home and realize, while they don't have the range of products here -- they have what you need for most illnesses.

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Re: Is that true?

Post by durain » Sun, 03 Feb 2008 10:43 am

NewtoSing wrote:I thought with such a high number of expats one would think those OTC medicines are readily accessible. :?
not "a high number of expats" are OD on OTC medicines in singapore!!! :P

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Post by seasider » Sun, 03 Feb 2008 11:03 am

Nurofen is now available here but sprite is right about the lack of strong OTC painkillers that you're probably used to.

Panadol is the painkiller of choice, on every supermarket counter, and antibiotics are dished out like smarties.

I prefer natural/alternative medicine, which is thankfully easy to find here. However vitamins and minerals are probably more expensive than you're used to so worth stocking up on when you move or travel.

Tiger Balm is a wonderful thing. :)

edit: said sms instread of sprite - sorry :oops: so used to him wading in ;)
Last edited by seasider on Sun, 03 Feb 2008 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is that true?

Post by jpatokal » Sun, 03 Feb 2008 1:19 pm

sprite wrote:There may be 'alot' of expats but they are from all over and one man's over-the-counter medication is another man's snake oil. There are much, much fewer pharmaceuticals on the shelves here. If you have a headache you have two choices: Panadol and tiger balm (OK and maybe axe oil). No Motrin, not Tylenol, no Aleve, no Excedrin, no kidding.
You're exaggerating a little here. While it's true that you're not going to find the same brands as you're used to in the US, most medicines are available, so just look up the actual ingredient and ask for that. Also, while items on the shelf are a little limited, there's a pretty big selection of what I'd call "under the counter" medicines, which can be dispensed by a pharmacist without a prescription just by asking. These included eg. ibuprofen (Advil) and cetirizine (Zyrtec).

Also, you can always just hop across the border to JB or better yet Thailand, where a number of meds are half price or less compared to Sing.
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Post by Splatted » Sun, 03 Feb 2008 1:57 pm

and you can buy pseudoephedrine containing cold tablets in the superamarket in singapore. Much more lax on the restriction than australia where in many places you need to present your drivers licence at a pharmacy to purchase.

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Re: Is that true?

Post by Splatted » Sun, 03 Feb 2008 2:01 pm

sprite wrote: In Singapore, doctors prescribe a lot of medications and they are dispensed right from the office. This is not seen as a conflict of interests, and the prescription medications are cheaper.
Depends on what you buy. I found that the Singapore prices for atenolol at the doctors clinic were 3x higher than what I could buy at the local Guardian around the corner.

Other blood pressure medication, similarly overpriced.

Also, theres this trend to repackage medicine into little plastic bags which doesn't do much good to the stability of the medicine.

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Re: Is that true?

Post by sprite » Sun, 03 Feb 2008 2:39 pm

jpatokal wrote:
sprite wrote:There may be 'alot' of expats but they are from all over and one man's over-the-counter medication is another man's snake oil. There are much, much fewer pharmaceuticals on the shelves here. If you have a headache you have two choices: Panadol and tiger balm (OK and maybe axe oil). No Motrin, not Tylenol, no Aleve, no Excedrin, no kidding.
You're exaggerating a little here. While it's true that you're not going to find the same brands as you're used to in the US, most medicines are available, so just look up the actual ingredient and ask for that. Also, while items on the shelf are a little limited, there's a pretty big selection of what I'd call "under the counter" medicines, which can be dispensed by a pharmacist without a prescription just by asking. These included eg. ibuprofen (Advil) and cetirizine (Zyrtec).

Also, you can always just hop across the border to JB or better yet Thailand, where a number of meds are half price or less compared to Sing.
Not just compared to the US, compared to a lot of western countries. Also, I was refer to recognizable brands, not the base active ingredients. I'm not sure I'd send people across the border for medications they could buy for a few dollars here :roll:

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Post by sprite » Sun, 03 Feb 2008 2:46 pm

Splatted wrote:and you can buy pseudoephedrine containing cold tablets in the superamarket in singapore. Much more lax on the restriction than australia where in many places you need to present your drivers licence at a pharmacy to purchase.
Yes, no crystal meth labs here as far as we know :) The original poster is from Alabama, correct? I meant the prescriptions are much cheaper here than in the US. Vitamins are much cheaper in the US however.

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Re: Is that true?

Post by road.not.taken » Sun, 03 Feb 2008 4:55 pm

NewtoSing wrote:Is that true that we are suggested to bring over the counter medicines and vitamins since they are hard to get or very expensive in Singapore? I thought with such a high number of expats one would think those OTC medicines are readily accessible. :?
What items are you thinking of specifically?

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Re: Is that true?

Post by NewtoSing » Mon, 04 Feb 2008 2:36 am

road.not.taken wrote:
NewtoSing wrote:Is that true that we are suggested to bring over the counter medicines and vitamins since they are hard to get or very expensive in Singapore? I thought with such a high number of expats one would think those OTC medicines are readily accessible. :?
What items are you thinking of specifically?
I was thinking for children:
clarytin clear children
motrin or advil
gummy bears complete vitamin Lil Critter
gummy bears brain booster (fish oils) - Lil' Critter
Triaminic cold/cough/sore throat strips
Pepto Bismol children
Runny Rhino Cold Relief Pops
Natural Sore Throath Lollypop
Gravol kids
Sudafed Nasal decongestan

Adults:
Advil Gel
Tylenol Sinus Daytime
Tylenol Extra Strenghts
Nature Made selections of vitamins and mineral and flax seed oils.
Sudafed PE
Dr. Brandt Anti Oxidant water booster

those are that I can think of at the moment.

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Post by jpatokal » Mon, 04 Feb 2008 2:54 pm

Clarityn = Loratadine = available
Motrin, advil = ibuprofen = available (ask for it)
Gravol = Dimenhydrinate/diphenhydramine = available

C'mon, you're not moving into Congo here. Figure out the active ingredients and bring them to a local pharmacist... or just bring along a package from the US and ask them to give you the local equivalent.
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Post by road.not.taken » Mon, 04 Feb 2008 4:41 pm

I think to make your move easier, you should stock up and bring the things you're used to, you can always take jpatokal's advice and replace your items with the Singapore equivalent -- especially when you're dealing with kids and flavors you know they like.

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Post by Splatted » Mon, 04 Feb 2008 9:21 pm

sprite wrote: Yes, no crystal meth labs here as far as we know :) The original poster is from Alabama, correct? I meant the prescriptions are much cheaper here than in the US.
Depends on what you're getting. If it's something that's off patent, it's way cheaper in the US. You wont find anything in Singapore coming close to Walmart prices of generics.

http://i.walmart.com/i/if/hmp/fusion/fo ... g_list.pdf

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Post by NewtoSing » Tue, 05 Feb 2008 2:59 am

jpatokal wrote:Clarityn = Loratadine = available
Motrin, advil = ibuprofen = available (ask for it)
Gravol = Dimenhydrinate/diphenhydramine = available

C'mon, you're not moving into Congo here. Figure out the active ingredients and bring them to a local pharmacist... or just bring along a package from the US and ask them to give you the local equivalent.
That is exactly what I thought! I am surprised when someone advised me to pack everything up. A little story on a similar note, we went to Thailand for vacation, and I do not bring kids Gravol with me. We can only find other brand of diphenhydramine in the local pharmacy, not made specially for kids. So we had to cut it in half and crushed it. Yap, it was bitter!

Anyhow, my kids are a little bit particular with medicine in terms of flavours (expecially the chewable ones), I will do as Road.Not.Taken says, stock up. At least I do not have to worry about it for a good number of months.

Thanking you all!

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