Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Egypt Essentials: The Pharmacy

All of these items are available in Egypt
A pharmacy would be important in any country for obvious reasons. But in Egypt, the average pharmacy is bound to surprise with all kinds of secret items hidden away.

I know you think I'm exaggerating. But it's really true.

Sure you can buy medicine under the counter, over the counter, you name it counter and well, no prescription is required.

And just like I've mentioned already about fighting a cold in Egypt, you can simply walk up to the pharmacist, name your ailment and get the appropriate medicine (or at least something that might work).

But did you know that pharmacies here also carry the following items?
*Shower gel
*Hair gel
*Hair wax
*Hair spray
*Face wash
*Hand & body lotion
*Anti-aging creams
*Boxed hair coloring sets
*Mouth wash
*Band-aids (adhesive bandages)
*Elastic bandages
*Compression stockings
*Cotton balls
*Sterile gauze pads
*Nail clippers
*Nail files
*Nail polish remover
*Nail polish
*Make-up (lipstick, eye shadow, foundation, eye liner, etc)
*Pill cutters
*Shaving cream
*Hand soap
*Victoria's Secret lotions
*Perfumes of all kinds
*Colognes of all kinds
*Baby food
*Baby cereal
*Swimming diapers
*Diaper wipes
*Diaper rash creams
*Baby shampoo & body wash
*Dr. Sholl's shoes
*Hair appliances (straightener, curler, blow dryer)
*Eye glasses
*Feminine products (sanitary napkins, tampons, hair removal creams)

This is really just the beginning of the list of things you can find at pharmacies in Egypt. I'm telling you, these places are like mini goldmines just waiting to be explored.

Yes, I have known to be a bit of a pharmacy junkie in Egypt (I guess it stems from my addiction to Walmart and Target back home in the States).

Here are a few well-known pharmacies that tend to stock a lot of the above items:
El-Ezaby Pharmacy. Locations across Cairo.
Seif Pharmacy. Locations across Cairo. Watch their prices, though, because I've seen some things priced higher than other local pharmacies.
Abdel Maksoud Pharmacy. Heliopolis. My experience is that this is hands down the best pharmacy in Heliopolis. I used to frequent this place at least once a week.

Keep in mind that pharmacies in Egypt deliver. You do, however, have to know what exactly you need. If you don't speak enough Arabic to communicate what you need, just speak in English slowly and they'll most likely hand the phone over to the closest English-speaker on hand.

Delivery is great because if you're sick you just have to call the pharmacy instead of dragging yourself out the door to get what you need. Trust me, this will save you one of these days (if it hasn't already).

I hope that you will appreciate the pharmacy in Egypt as much as I do. I get really excited when I see another pharmacy near us opening up. This means I have more places to find what I need!

Note: Keep in mind that many of these items can also be found in larger supermarkets - sometimes even at cheaper prices - so keep your eyes open when you're out shopping for groceries as well.

What about you? Do you have any recommendations for a great pharmacy near you (if you live in Cairo)?

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