My son and I are leaving our small town in southeastern United States to live for a year in a small town in southeastern France. It couldn't possibly be THAT different, right?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

French pharmacies

Going to a French pharmacy is quite a treat, even if you ARE going because you can no longer breathe through either nostril.
They are usually quite small and personal, and they mainly contain medicine, vitamins, and supplements.  You can also find really good lotions, reading glasses,  and a couple of different brands of make-up that aren't sold in other stores.
What you canNOT find is candy, magazines, lawn furniture, etc.  You have to go to a hypermarché for all of that stuff, where, incidentally, you will not be able to buy a pill of any kind.  The French are big believers in "a place for everything, and everything in its place."
All medicine in a French pharmacy is behind the counter---even pain killers such as Advil.  This means that every trip involves a consultation with one of several pharmacists on duty.  They ask all about your symptoms and other medical conditions and then make recommendations.  These may include traditional medicine or homeopathic treatments.
For my allergies today, I walked away with Zyrtec, a homeopathic pill that I will take eight times a day, saline spray, and a month's worth of probiotics.  The pharmacist had also asked about other family members with allergies and ended up recommending that I take Jed for a consultation at the pediatric asthma center in Dieulefit.
I certainly got my money's worth in this quick trip to the pharmacy near my school, and I met another very nice person.         

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