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over the counter drugs?

Lincoln, United...
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over the counter drugs?

Hello im planning an extended visit to buenos aires soon and needed to know what the situation is with getting certain medications in the pharmacy.

The meds im intrested in obtaining are codeine , tramadol & diazapam. Are any of these easy / legal to buy withought percription?

Hope someone can help, thanks. Chris

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Argentina
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1. Re: over the counter drugs?

Hello Chris,

I'm not familiar with codeine and tramadol but if you mean diazepam, as in Valium? NO WAY you are going to be able to buy it without a prescription.

In fact, these kind of drugs have to be sold with a double prescription: one for the pharmacy / drugstore and another one goes back to the health authorities for control and later filing.

Lots of medication indicated as sold only with prescription "venta bajo receta", can in fact be bought quite easily. That would be the case of most antibiotics, but all psychotropic drugs, strong painkillers, etc., if considered "venta bajo receta archivada" (sold with filed prescription = double), cannot be bought without a prescription - of an Argentinean doctor, of course.

Buenos Aires...
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2. Re: over the counter drugs?

Antibiotics and cough meds , diarrhetics and your typical cold medicines can be bought over the counter. You just have to know the name in Spanish.

You cannot buy narcotics .. which includes, Valium, and pain killers.

Codeine comes in some cough meds etc and I think you can still buy those over the counter ( I am allergic to codeine so I am not sure about this one ).

Our doctors give us prescriptions that we fill at the hospital pharmacy , but when we first arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could buy antibiotics over the counter .

San Diego...
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3. Re: over the counter drugs?

I doubt you'll be able to buy these types of things without a prescription. Heck, even for something simple like Ambien (sleeping pills) I always needed a doctor's prescription for the 8 years I lived in Buenos Aires.

However, I never had any problem getting a prescription from my physician.

Lincoln, United...
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4. Re: over the counter drugs?

Ok thanks for your resposes. So maby thr only way i could get these meds would be going to a hostpital and getting a percription? How much are these likley to be?

Boulder, Colorado
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5. Re: over the counter drugs?

Chris.......We were at the Hospital Aleman clinic less than 2 weeks ago.

With NO insurance, we paid 259 pesos to see the doctor.

The cost of the meds? Can't help you.

What i did write in a previous post is that Abbott SYNTHROID that is $23/month in Boulder,CO and that's at a substantial discount is $2.70/month here.....no prescription needed.

On the other hand, the ointment that was prescribed on that recent visit was $12/tube and that seemed pricey to us.

CHEERS.

Buenos Aires...
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6. Re: over the counter drugs?

IF you have insurance at the hospital of choice, you still pay for drugs, just a bit less. You have to buy a plan for insurance.

Since you will be here for an extended period of time, I would talk to the doctors at home regarding prescriptions and if you plan on being insured while here ( I recommend this ) then you can see about the prescriptions.

But if you are just planning a long visit, then I would bring the drugs with me.

Either way, I do , very sincerely, suggest that you come here insured .. you don't want to be here and need medical care without insurance.

Aleman is great for us but mind you, it is as expensive as very good US healthcare, although we get more for our money.

Edited: 9:16 am, December 24, 2012
Nice, France
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7. Re: over the counter drugs?

A year ago this month, seeing a doctor at Hospital Aleman cost me 199AR, 30% less than morewierd recently paid. X-rays for my sprained foot cost another 100AR. I had travel-medical insurance so both were paid as was an 85AR prescription for pain.

Buenos Aires...
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8. Re: over the counter drugs?

There is nothing so wonderful as Travel Insurance.

We had a friend visiting us ( back in the states) and she was from the UK and while staying at our house, had to have her appendix removed. Her travel insurance took care of everything ..including the new airplane tickets ..

My son became terribly ill in Nepal and Travel Insurance paid for his doctor, meds and if he had needed, air lifting out.

I really recommend Travel Insurance if your own insurance doesn't cover trips to South America :)

San Diego...
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9. Re: over the counter drugs?

Sockhopper,

Health care and premiums have been going up with the true inflation. I still pay for premiums for some of my in-laws there and I think it's been going up at least 27% a year or so.

I agree travel insurance is a good idea. Or if you have a top tier credit card it can be just as good. The Platinum American Express is probably the best thing on the market. The annual fee is well worth it. They cover so many things you wouldn't believe!

I'd highly recommend that card for anyone that does a lot of traveling. The insurance they include is amazing.

Nice, France
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10. Re: over the counter drugs?

saintba,

Yes, I noticed how the difference between what I paid a year ago and morewierd recently paid to see a doctor at Hospital Aleman matches the approximate 30% annual Argentine true inflation rate rather than Argentina's officially published low one.

Canadians who have a Mastercard can also access cheap annual travel insurance that includes good medical coverage. The annual fee for this is about $CAD100. This covers one person or a couple for as many trips as either takes over a year and that doesn't exceed 30 days. Stay away longer and a daily, expensive fee kicks in per person for each extra day. Also, that $100 annual fee jumps to $300/year at age 65.

I don't know if there are similar options through credit cards issued outside North America. Perhaps somebody knows and would post here about any.