Buying Painkillers in Spain: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Buying Painkillers in Spain: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Buying painkillers in Spain is more expensive than it is in many other countries in Europe. The same can be said for Italy. If you want to buy painkillers over-the-counter you can’t just pop down to the local supermarket and pick up a box of ibuprofen or paracetamol. When you’re in Spain you can only by painkillers from a pharmacy. That makes it an unusually expensive business.

If I have a headache or toothache I take ibuprofen. I find it’s the option that works best for me. Ibuprofen is ibuprofen. It’s all the same. I don’t see the point of paying extra for a popular name.

When I was living in the UK I used to pay less than £1 for a box for a supermarket or pharmacy own-brand box of ibuprofen. When I was living in the Netherlands I did the same. Buying painkillers of any kind was a lot cheaper in both countries than it is in Spain.

I bought a box of ibuprofen from the pharmacy today and it cost me €5.30. The box contains 12 x 400 mg capsules. That’s double normal strength so the box provides 12 (adult) doses per box.

Out of curiosity, I thought I’d check out the present price of Ibuprofen in the Netherlands and the UK.

Albert Heijn IbuprofenIf I were to walk into an Albert Heijn (Dutch Supermarket Chain). I could buy a box of own-brand ibuprofen for €1.74. That’s less than half the price I just paid in Spain and there would be 20 x 400 mg capsules in the box instead of just 12.

If I wanted the Albert Heijn lesser-strength version, I could walk to the till with 10 x 200 mg capsules and pay just €0.77.

Supermarket Ibuprofen from MorrisonsIf I were to walk into a Morrisons supermarket in the UK, I could buy a box of own-brand Ibuprofen caplets for only 45 pence (€0.50). There would only be 200 mg of Ibuprofen in each caplet but I would be getting 16 of them in a box.

So, if you are planning on travelling to Spain for a vacation and a hangover may be on the cards, do yourself a favour and include some painkillers in your luggage. It never makes sense to pay more for anything if there’s a way you can pay less.

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