It’s never easy when you move to a foreign country nonetheless factoring in a language barrier. I was lucky enough to have help in getting the proper medicine regarding various ailments, but just in case you don’t have someone to help, here are a few must-haves to keep in your home and office.
  • One thing you should know is that any medication can be bought over-the-counter; however, if you think purchasing Valiums here will remotely equal that of prescription-based US Valium, you’re completely wrong.
  • Another rule is that you may describe any problem you may have to your pharmacists and (s)he will be able to direct you to the appropriate medication instead of going to a doctor (also saving you the LE 150 checkup fee). And in areas where there is a higher number of expats, there will always be someone that speaks enough English to accommodate you.
  • For women: you will find female pharmacists in various locations. I suggest keeping a note of the pharmacies that you see them at in case you encounter personal problems that you don’t feel comfortable in relaying to a man (ie urinary tract infections and menstrual problems).
  • The best news is that most pharmacies deliver, so make sure you take a card from your nearest pharmacy and add the number to your mobile.
**All items are hyperlinked to a quick explanation. There you will find the descriptions. Also note that description and recommended dosages are featured on a slip in each box.

First up, you are going to get a case of Pharaoh’s Revenge periodically, no matter how strong you proclaim your stomach to be. The number one medicine for this, and I recommend that ladies keep a few capsules in each purse, is Antinal.

Feeling a bit under the weather? Try Panadol Cold & Flu. Also for women, Panadol regular may help with menstrual cramps (it is similar to Midol, but as a personal experience, Panadol makes me feel nauseous and you should always eat before taking it). 

 One of my ultimate favorites for pain relievers is Catafast. It's a minty powder that you can mix into water (I take mine straight and just chase with a liquid), but you can get its sister, Cataflam, as the usual anti-inflammatory medication. For women: I recommend Catafast first for menstrual cramps).

The ibuprofen equivalent is dubbed Brufen. Take this for headaches (and I'm sure other uses, but again, Catafast is my first choice for pain).

I was prescribed Flagyl in conjunction with other medications when I had a major infection as a result of a "rogue" wisdom tooth.

For women: if you're faced with the oh-so painful UTI, this is a must! Take Cipro until it is completely gone, not until you no longer feel pain. Also, if you live in Maadi, pick up Ocean Spray cranberry juice (imported but not costly) and drink while staying away from things like carbonated beverages (coke, pepsi, sprite, etc).

And if you have any other suggestions, such as herbal remedies, please feel free to pass them along. Remember, these are just a couple of the most important items that I find myself using the most.


  1. Ocean Spray Cranberry actually contains quite a lot of artificial sweetener, and isn't the best thing for a UTI. You need straight up cranberry - no sugar added. Haven't found that here yet though!

  2. Thanks so much for this listing! Sooo helpful.

  3. Fungal infections here in Egypt can be a real pain in the "unmentionable". With the overchlorination of water here due to the aging and often unsanitary water system, female yeast infections are common and recurring.

    After 2 years here, I was reading up on a study of a medication that was found to be particularly effective in preventing these recurring infections here in Egypt.

    While it is normally prescribed for other more serious problems, it had been a godsend.

    Diflucan 150mg.. one pill, once a month. Totally worth it.

  4. @Suz .. hey lady. I havent found cranberry either :(

  5. Thanks Chloe for the helpful tip. I will find a box and make sure to post it on the blog. Also, thanks for the other comment. I have been slacking lately on blogging because I just celebrated a big birthday, but I hope to get back to it at some point this week.

  6. A comment on Panadol cold and flu.. Panadol is basically the same as Tylenol (same ingredient, different name). It get small itchy bumps between my fingers if I take it... allergic reaction of some sort, so I stick with Brufen. But back on topic, they have "Brufen Cold" here as well, which is a good substitute.

    1. I actually get very sick with Panadol, but was trying to leave out too much information. However, I also get sick from Midol. For me, Catafast is the best and I rarely use Egyptian cold medicine but if so, I'd probably opt for Brufen Cold.