Across Continents

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Chinese medicine

October 11th, 2010

Antibiotics - web

I’d made an important discovery. Replenishing antibiotics in China is relatively straightforward. Name written in English on the box. Just a question of pointing to the right one in the pharmacy. But the much more important, and elusive, was Loperamide Hydrochloride. Better known by its trade name “Imodium“, it’s the drug of choice when faced with a tenacious bout of traveller’s diahorrea. Stocks were depleted, and waiting for a further dose before hunting for more had struck me as a particularly bad idea.

Much smiling. And shaking of heads. I’d tracked down the Simplified Chinese on the web for both the brand and generic names. Had been particularly diligent to copy out the characters with absolute accuracy. Didn’t want to inadvertently end up with the wrong medication. With some embarrassing side effects. But, in each pharmacy, I drew a blank.

Couldn’t believe there wasn’t the call for anti-diahorreals in China, nor could I imagine they’d rely solely on traditional Chinese medicine. In the right circumstances I’d probably give anything a go, and I’m sure there is some substance to the various concoctions. But, given the choice between, say, half a rabbit’s foot, a dose of the placebo effect, and some chemically contrived tablet with proven effectiveness, I’m definitely with the latter. But perseverance pays. My eighth pharmacy – incidentally, a very lucky number in China – and success.

[And for anyone caught, well, short I suppose, in China for Loperamide Hydrochloride, the images below might be very helpful indeed…]

LH - front - web

LH - back - web

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