Medicine in the United States

Remedies in the United States

Get to know the American names of common remedies in Brazil

Certainly, while on a trip abroad, at some point you will have the need to buy some kind of medicine.

Your chances increase considerably when you are traveling with children or the elderly.

However, foreign countries give different names to the medicines known here. Many people encounter difficulties when buying medicines because they do not know the names of the medicines in the United States.

To assist you in this task, we have listed in this article some of the most common medications, and their respective names in the USA, that you may need at any time.

In addition, see also some tips on how to plan your trip and how to buy medicine in an emergency in American lands.

What is the name of that medicine again?

Those who frequently travel to other countries, especially the United States, know that some medicines have the same nomenclature as those used in Brazil.

But, many other remedies have very different names and formulas, but the same active ingredient. We have separated below a list of the main remedies to solve different symptoms and needs:



The equivalent of Floratil in American lands is the Culturelle;


Called Paracetamol in Portuguese, can be found as Paracetamol or Acetaminophen in English. Tylenol is one more of the same names as in Brazil;


Known as Ibuprofen in Portuguese, is called Ibuprofen in English. You can also search for Motrin or Advil;

Remedies for sinusitis

Among the options are Celestaminecalled Dexchlorpheniramine maleate. You can also opt for the Hixizinecalled Hydroxyzine or the Allegra (fexofenadine hydrochloride);


Dimenhydrinate in Portuguese, Dimenhydrinate in English, can be found by the name Dramamine;

Ointments for itching

Hydrocortisone cream 1%It can be found in any drugstore;


It is known as Dexchlorpheniramine maleate;

Solar Filter

Any drugstore has brands that are known to Brazilians, in addition to the market's own brands;


As with sunscreens, pharmacies offer well-known brands here in Brazil;

Ointment for muscle pain

A Bengay is one of the most used to solve this problem. In addition, the Icy Hot or the Cataflan Gel can also help you;

Ear Medicine

Similasan is the main remedy in this regard.


Serum for hydration

You can make the serum yourself or buy it Pedialyte;

Vicky and solutions for respiratory problems

The most common remedy for this problem is Dayquil Allergy Liquid;


It is called Simethicone in Portuguese and Simethicone in English. It can also be found as Mylicon or Little Tummys. Another highly praised option is the gas-x;

Children's cough syrup

Among the options are Delsym, o Benylin or the Robitussin (Dextromethorphan);


The medicine is not found in liquid form as here in Brazil, but in an ointment. Neosporin will solve your problem (bacitracin, neomycin, and polymyxin B);

Cream for diaper rash

The main options are Desitin and the A+D;

Traveling abroad with medicines

Many travelers must carry their medications across international borders to treat chronic or serious health problems.

However, each country has its own guidelines as to which drugs are legal, as well as rules for quantity and transport.

Medications commonly prescribed, or available without prescription in Brazil, can be categorized as unlicensed or controlled substances in the U.S. or other countries.

For example, in Japan, some inhalers and certain allergy and sinus medications are illegal. Also, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has strict narcotics laws that have put many travelers in jail.

Although the rules vary from country to country, there can be serious consequences if you violate the laws of the country you are visiting.

These consequences can range from confiscation (removal) of your drug, which could harm your medical treatment, to severe penalties, including imprisonment for drug trafficking.

To avoid medical-related problems during your trip, follow these tips.

Buying medicines at your destination

Don't wait to buy everyday medicines at your destination. They may not be available, and if they are, they may not meet quality standards and may have different formulas.

This is not the case in the USA, but in many developing countries, counterfeit medicines are a big problem. So be aware of the veracity of the product if you are traveling to another destination.

If you need to buy medicines during your trip in case of an emergency, there are ways to reduce your chances of buying counterfeit medicines or medicines with active ingredients that may harm your health:

  • Contact your nearest embassy or consulate. They should be able to put you in touch with doctors and pharmacies that can help you find reliable, quality medicines.
  • Buy medicines only from licensed pharmacies and get a receipt for your purchase. Do not buy medicines from open markets or small retailers.
  • Ask the pharmacist if the drug has the same active ingredient that you were taking in Brazil.
  • Make sure the medication is in its original packaging.
  • Look closely at the packaging. Sometimes low-quality printing or strange-looking packaging indicates a counterfeit product.


Dipyrone is not sold in the United States (here it is forbidden) and consequently we won't find our famous Novalgina here. At first it was quite hard for me to get used to it, but today I don't miss it anymore and the substitutes Advil (iboprofen) and Tylenol (parecetanol) work very well (at least for me).

Planning a long-term trip

Make an appointment with a travel medicine specialist or your doctor to get the necessary vaccinations and medications at least 4 to 6 weeks before you leave.

  • If you plan to be away for more than 30 days, talk to your doctor about how you can get enough medication for your trip. Sometimes insurance companies will only pay for a 30-day supply at a time.
  • Ask your doctor about any changes in taking your medicine when you are in a different time zone. Medications should be taken according to the time since your last dose, not the local time of day.
  • Ask how to store medicines safely and check if you need refrigeration. Remember that extreme temperatures can reduce the effectiveness of many medications.

Organizing Transportation and Conditioning

Pack smart and put your medicines in your hand luggage. You won't want to be without them if you lose your suitcase!

  • Bring enough medicine for the entire trip, plus a little extra in case of delays.
  • Keep medicines in their original, labeled packaging. Make sure they are clearly labeled with your full name, doctor's name, generic and trade name, and exact dosage.
  • Bring copies of all prescriptions, including the generic names of the drugs.
  • Leave a copy of your recipes at home with a friend or relative, in case you lose your copy or need an emergency refill.
  • Pack a note on doctor's letterhead (preferably translated into the language of your destination) for controlled substances, such as CBD, and injectable drugs, such as insulin.

Carrying your own essential medicines

Check with the foreign embassy of the country you will be visiting or passing through to make sure that your medicines are allowed in that country.

  • Be aware that many countries only allow certain medications for 30 days and require the traveler to carry a prescription or doctor's note.
  • If your medication is prohibited at your destination, talk to your doctor about an alternative solution and ask your doctor to write a letter describing your condition and treatment plan.

Final considerations and tips

If you are going abroad, or making a long trip, it is vital for your health to know the rules about traveling with medicines, what the country's restrictions are, and how to buy them in case of need.

Millions of Brazilians depend on medicines, and with the globalization of travel, access to prescription drugs is even more crucial.

Most importantly, plan ahead

Plan ahead, especially if you are changing time zones and need to take medicines at a certain time of day.

Make a medical itinerary parallel to your everyday travel itinerary. Plan the nearest cities where you will be and identify the best providers for you based on your specific medical needs.

Don't let it be a fire drill when you get there. Do your homework, it may save your trip - or even your life.

Consider travel insurance

Many factors influence the purchase of travel insurance. How long will you be traveling? Where are you going?

Are you going to relax on the beach for a week or engage in adventure activities in the rainforest? Do you have ongoing medical problems that may need care?

If you need health insurance for your trip, it is recommended that you explore your options before traveling abroad to determine which policy and plan are best for you.

Be strategic about your medications

Although you may want to carry your small bottle of AdvilThese types of medicines are available everywhere.

Give priority to any medications that are vital to your well-being or survival.

Asthma inhalers, diabetes medications, anticonvulsant medications, and blood pressure medications are the main ones to keep in mind.

Be sure to bring medications that require daily use or generate withdrawal if you run out of them.

I have other questions! Who to talk to?

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