You are going to find this incredible and I assure you I am not making any of this up: You can waltz into any pharmacy (Farmacia) in Mexico and buy almost anything without a prescription. Except for controlled substances, you can get most anything you want or need simply by asking.
This is astoundingly advantageous. Just think of it. You don't necessarily have to pay a doctor's office fee to get a prescription that you already know that you need. Let me qualify this statement.
When I have pain in my sinuses, my head feels like it is going to pop like a party balloon, and I cannot get any air up my nose, it doesn't take a medical degree to figure out what is wrong nor what I need to take! You know what you need. Here is why I say this.
America is a drug-taking culture. We Americans take drugs at the drop of a hat, whenever we feel puny, and do so because we are attacked every time we turn on the TV or turn the page of a magazine with ads for prescription drugs. So when we start feeling a little "under the weather", we run to the doctor for that little piece of paper. At the very least, we go to the pharmacist and ask for a recommendation of what to take.
However, what the pharmacist will show you is an array of weak sister, over-the-counter drugs that NEVER work.
The reason the over-the-counter stuff is so weak is that they are designed for someone who weighs less than 150 pounds. In other words, all drugs work effectively according to how heavy you are. That's why the doctor is always weighing you when you go see him. One Actifed tablet won't cut it for me because I weigh in at 265 pounds.
I think most Americans must have the equivalent of at least an undergraduate degree in Pharmaceutical science from all the drugs they've consumed. You KNOW what you need when you get sick! You have years of experience of doctors writing prescriptions for you and your various illnesses.
Let me be clearer. If you've been seeing an American doctor for some chronic illness, like arthritis, and he's been prescribing such-and-such drug, chances are when you are in Mexico you can go into a pharmacy and simply ask for it. If you have a recurring illness for which you've been prescribed a certain drug, and the symptoms rear their ugly head when in Mexico, just pop on down to the local pharmacy and pick it up-no prescription needed.
Having said all that, here's the downside: You will be tempted to self-diagnose. I can just hear the sigh of relief from all the American doctors and pharmacists reading this column. I am not recommending self-diagnosis-not at all. If you listen well to your body, you will know when some symptom is new and unusual. When that happens, haul your little American nalgas (buttocks) down to the local doctor's office. Don't mess around with new symptoms. Listen to your body!
My point here is this: You come down with a cold. You have a nose of granite. Your sinuses are so clogged that you cannot get one breath in or out of them. Your head is killing you and you have muscle aches and pains. You don't have to go to the doctor for a prescription when you already know what you need.
You know you need a decongestant, antihistamine, maybe something for a cough, and some pain relievers. In Mexico, you don't have to mess around with weak over-the-counter, high-priced drugs (although they do have the popular brands here).
You can go to a pharmacy, talk with the pharmacist, and he will give you PRESCRIPTION-STRENGTH medications that will give you some relief.
Don't mess around with those weak sisters.
Expatriates Doug and Cindi Bower have successfully expatriated to Mexico, learning through trial and error how to do it from the conception of the initial idea to driving up to their new home in another country. Now the potential expatriate can benefit from their more than three years of pre-expat research to their more than two years of actually living in Mexico. The Plain Truth about Living in Mexico answers the potential expatriate's questions by leading them through the process from the beginning to the end. In this comprehensive guide, you will learn not only how-to expatriate but will learn what to expect, in daily life, before coming to Mexico.
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