5 Top-Selling Japanese Cold Medicines

Japanese OTC Medicines for Cold with Sore Throat

Are you worried about getting catching cold while living or travelling in Japan? If you have cold symptoms such as sore throat, sneezing, runny nose and light fever, they may be cured by OTC medicines that are widely sold at Japanese drugstores.

OTC medicine also known as Over-the Counter medicine or non-prescription medicine is the type of medicines that you can buy at drugstores or pharmacy without doctors’ prescription. A wide variety of OTC medicines are sold in Japan including pain killers, cold medicine and stomach medicine.

But buying medicines in Japan could be a big challenge for non-Japanese speakers as most packages are written in Japanese. Also, there are so many medicines in a shop, so it may be very confusing to know which medicines are effective for your symptoms.

I imagine nobody wants to struggle with finding a right medicine, especially when you are already feeling sick. So if you urgently need to buy OTC medicines in Japan, the best way is to remember the name or packaging of the products.

Cold is a very common sickness in Japan, and drugstores sell various kinds of cold medicines with different active ingredients that are effective on different cold symptoms such as sore throat, coughing, runny nose and chills and fever.

In this article, I would like to introduce 5 top-selling Japanese OTC cold medicines for sore throat. The listed Japanese cold medicines are specially designed to relieve pain and inflammatory of throat but also effective on common cold symptoms including fever, runny nose, coughing and sneezing. You can find these Japanese cold medicines at almost every drugstore across the country.

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-Buying Medicines in Japan

Before we start, here is a small advice for buying OTC medicines at Japanese drugstores and pharmacies. Cold medicine is called Kaze Gusuri (風邪薬) in Japanese. In case you don’t remember the names of the medicines that you are looking for, ask shop staff “Kazegusuri arimasuka? (Do you have cold medicine?)”. If you are looking for cold medicine particularly effective for sore throat, another useful word to remember is “Nodo no Itami (のどの痛み)” which means sore throat.

1. Lulu Attack EX


Lulu Attack EX (ルルアタック EX) is a cold medicine designed to relief sore throat. It contains 2 kinds of anti-inflammatory ingredients (ibuprofen and tranexamic acid) that suppress the causative agents of pain and inflammation of throat. It’s also effective for fever, chills, coughing and runny nose. Both tablet and powder types are available.

Instructions for use
Age: over 15 years old
Dose: 2 tablets or 1 powder sachet (3 doses per day)
Note: Take within 30 mins after meals
Official Website: https://www.daiichisankyo-hc.co.jp/products/details/lulu_attack_ex/

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2. Esutakku Ibu Fine EX

Copyright © 2021 SSP CO., LTD.

Esutakku Ibu Fine EX (エスタックイブファインEX) contains ibuprofen as an active ingredient and features the quick action formula which helps ibuprofen to quickly dissolve and treat sore throat and fever. It also contains ingredients that are effective for runny nose, coughing, sneezing, joint pain and headache.

Instructions for use
Age: over 15 years old
Dose: 2 tablets (3 doses per day)
Note: Take within 30 mins after meals
Official Website: https://www.ssp.co.jp/product/all/stefex/

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3. Pabron Ace Pro Tablets

Copyright(c) Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.

Pabron Ace Pro Tablets (パブロンエースPro錠) is combined with 7 active ingredients including ibuprofen, L-carbocisteine, and ambroxol hydrochloride, and relieves various symptoms associated with the common cold, such as sore throat, cough, runny nose and fever. The powder type is also available.

Instructions for use
Age: over 15 years old
Dose: 3 tablets (3 doses per day)
Note: Take within 30 mins after meals
Official Website: https://www.catalog-taisho.com/04596.php

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4. Precol Long-Acting Capsule


Precol Long-Acting Capsule (プレコール持続性カプセル) is an extended release cold medicine combined with two kinds of granules in a capsule, which dissolve and work with different time lag. It contains 7 kinds of active ingredients such as propyphenazone and acetaminophen, and effectively acts on 11 severe cold symptoms including sore throat, fever, runny nose, coughing, chills and body ache.

Instructions for use
Age: over 15 years old
Dose: 2 capsules (2 doses per day)
Note: Take within 30 mins after breakfast and dinner
Official Website: https://www.daiichisankyo-hc.co.jp/products/details/precol_cup/

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5. Benza Block L Premium

© Alinamin Pharmaceutical Co.,Ltd.

Benza Block L Premium (ベンザブロックLプレミアム) is a cold medicine specially designed to treat sore throat. It’s combined with ibuprofen and tranexamic acid which suppress mucosal inflammation and ease throat pain. It contains 7 ingredients that relieve various severe cold symptoms including runny nose, phlegm, cough, fever, chills and headache.

Instructions for use
Age: over 15 years old
Dose: 2 tables (3 doses per day)
Note: Take within 30 mins after meals
Official Website: https://alinamin-kenko.jp/en/products/kaze/benza_l_premium.html

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Before taking any of these medicines, I advise you to check precautions to prevent side effects and the current symptoms from being worse. Here are standard precautions for OTC cold medicines.

These medicines should not be used by following persons:

-Who have had allergy or asthma after taking cold medications or antipyretic analgesics in past
-Children under 15 years old
-Pregnant women who are expected to give birth within 12 weeks
-Who are under medical treatment, consult with your doctor before use
-Women who are breastfeeding
-Elderly people

Also, please avoid followings:

-Do not take together with other antipyretics/analgesics, cold medicine
-Do not drink alcohol before/after taking these medicines
-Do not use this product continuously for a long term

After all, each medicine has different precautions, so if you have any concerns, please read instructions and precautions carefully or consult with your doctor before using any of these medicines.

Having a migraine or menstrual cramps? Then please check out the top-selling OTC pain killers at Japanese drugstores.

Thank you very much for reading! For more useful information about living and travelling in Japan, please check out these articles, too!

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"The world is my oyster" A globetrotter 🌎 and hammock lover 🌞 who loves taking adventures to fuel wanderlust. Born and raised in Japan, I have lived and explored countries around the world. As a resident of Japan and based on my travel experience, I'd love to share my knowledge and tips for travelling Japan with my readers. I hope my story will help you plan your trip and have a great time in Japan 🌈