I'm from Australia and the drugs available here a completely...surprise, surprise... foreign to me. No really in Oz we have completely different brandnames and I would like to know what typical drugs people use when they, for example, have a headache, migraine, backache, sore throat, sinus congestion, etc.

Obviously, you get used to knowing the brandnames for treatments you use and aren't always aware of the active ingredients. And even when you know the active ingredient you don't know how much of it there was in each dose - in other words it's hard to tell how strong they are or how many you should take etc.

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Well in this case you should

Well in this case you should keep yourself informed about your health and try to prevent any incidents that can lead you to the doctor, you can always find support on the internet. Until then I suggest you review your health shape and start with natural supplements they are recommendable for the prevention of other health affections. Chondroitin sulfate

Rythmol/ Propafenone

I have a not-so-much-fun drug availability question.

Almost 7 years ago today I had my first of two bouts with atrial fibrilation. I caused it because of my former love for all that caffeine that coffee provides. After a second bout a year later (Im a slow learner) a cardiologist put me on a daily regimen of Rythmol (generic: Propafenone) 150 mg, 3 x per day and I will stay on it for the rest of my life. It keeps my heart from going back into A. fib. If you've ever experienced that you will do whatever is needed to keep from it happening again.

Before I make a final commitment to myself to move to Nicaragua (which I am very close to doing) I would like to know if that drug is readily available in farmacias in the country. At least in larger ciudads. I have emailed a couple cardiologists in Managua and asked if it was available but have not heard back from any of them.

I wonder if any of my fellow aging boomers in Nicaragua have this same problem (Atrial fib) and if you are on meds for it (hopefully Rythmol) do you have any problems obtaining it in country? If so, do you have to go elsewhere for it? An alternative is my insurance carrier (that I will maintain even when living outside the country -another story) has a mail in program for Rx refills. Does anyone use that source for receiving not-obtainable-in-Nica medications?

Thanks much for any help anyone would care to provide.


Try this: You should also check for pharmacies in Nicaplaza.


Not sure where you are

Not sure where you are living now, or what type of insurance you have, but have you heard a procedure called pulmonary vein ablation? I had it and my a-fib has not re-appeared in the 20 months since. My a-fib appeared after having 2 values replaced (aortic and pulmonary, a Ross procedure), and the a-fib was not all that frequent, but each time they had to put the paddles to me. It is an uncomfortable feeling when your heart is like a garden hose on a tile me off the thread and I can tell you of my experience.

"if you see someone who has lost their smile, give them one of yours"

interesating post

i´m trying to cecaffinate my Nica family. I have to go to Managua (Pricesmart ) to buy Folgers decaf. We now have a rule: decaf from noon on. Since its tastes good and I´m paying, there has been no resistence. Sneak attack: I´m also secretely mixing half decaf with the morning coffee, too.

Medicine costs: they are all over the place. Some are much cheaper or more expensive than in the states, you just have to check. Many are made in CR and are co´labeled with the US name. Most are considerably more expensive that the copay price from my medical plan in the US.

pata de perro¨

Availability/price of drugs for ADD and sleep disorders?

Well, I've decided to spend at least 6 months, perhaps the rest of my life in Nicaragua.

I did not explore the cost and availability of certain prescriptions I take during my previous stay there, and while I have emailed the consulate I was thinking perhaps this forum could answer for *cost* and *availability* (OTC or prescription) for the following drugs:

The two biggies are Adderall (amphetam salts/dextroamphetamine) and Ambien (zolpidem) Of lesser importance are ritalin, bupropion, clonidine.

Thanks in advance

(a future expat) Mike Taht PostCards from the Bleeding Edge

I was there last week, and I

I was there last week, and I was able to buy 10mg Valium (diazepam) for $0.08 US per tablet, over the counter. Similar for Xanax and Lorazepam. Those will definately make you sleep. Not all farmacias will do that for you, but every once in a while you can find a girl behind the counter that is sweet on ya ;) Smaller farmacias back int he barrio are much better than the ones in the market, blah, blah... Codiene is all over the place and cheaper than bubble gum, but I haven't seen hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxycontin and other stuff fashionable with soccer moms and depressed executives here in the US.

You'll have to find out the chemical/formula name and sometimes there are other brand names for the same drug. Some things are not available at all. A doctor visited me in my hotel room and gave me an exam (the hershey squirts ;]), and he asked me why was a wearing a patch. I told him it was a fentanyl patch for my neck pain. He seemed amazed, and told me that he had heard of it, but had never seen one before. Then he wondered for a second, like this was really bothering him and he's gotta figure it out, and then realized that it is called duragesic in Nicaragua.

hershey pennsylvania.....

been there. liked it. now it's ruined. ruined i tell you!

what about cost of zetia?

Zetia? I don't know - I only

Zetia? I don't know - I only take the good stuff ;) Hey, strike that from the public record! Creamy, milk chocolate - if I would have had a some wax paper, I could have made some kisses, and given them to the Sandinistas. Opportunities, ya know, some pass you by.

Looking for drugs, huh?

If you want valium, say/write diazapam If you want zanax, say/write alprolozopam (sp?) Hydrocodone/Oxycodone hard to find (Vicadin/Percocet), but Codiene is all over the place, like another poster said, especially in Granada. You can buy a case of it for $10 US. If you want Rum, say/write Flor de Cana, Siete Anos

Ok, now you know how to get strung out in Nicaragua ;0

I was looking for equivalents to Australian OTC medicines

I wasn't looking for the hard stuff. Just the stuff that's available OTC in Australia or Nica/US equivalents. And I definitely don't want to mix rum with them. And I don't recommend it to anyone else either.


You will find most of the OTCs found in the U.S. in pharmacies in the larger towns and cities of Nicaragua. Many of the drugs they have are from Mexican manufacturers. They will be generic versions of U.S. OTCs. Just check the ingredients, which are in Spanish, of course. Ask around for a Nicaraguan doctor or nurse that speaks English, if language is a barrier. Which drugs, specifically, are you seeking? Email my wife, who is a Nicaraguan doctor, who speaks English, at She may be able to guide you. Ciao

Dr. Thunderdial recommends

Dr. Thunderdial recommends mixing Flor de Cana with just about all medications. However, Flor de Cana is a drink and isn’t right for everyone, including women who are nursing or pregnant or who may become pregnant, and anyone with liver problems. Unexplained jubilation, social confidence, and sexual conquests could be a sign of a rare but really great side effect and should be reported to your friends right away.

Flor de Cana may interact with other medicines or certain foods, increasing your risk of getting a serious side effect, like getting high or enhancing your escape. So, tell your doctor about any other medications you are taking. Your doctor may want to have a drink with you, or do simple blood tests before and during binges with Flor de Cana to check for liver problems. Side effects included headache, vomiting while making promises to God that you cannot keep, and unexpected morning matrimonial obligations.

Dr Thunderdial recommends

Exactly how many rums before posting your story? and is that with ice, water, or cola? Then again you could always smoke a joint..who needs pills. Irie.

I am not a joint guy. I like

I am not a joint guy. I like to drink FDC and go to night paintball with my 30 bps ION, and make the little kids cry.

Drug laws

You need to realize that here (and in Costa Rica), OTC means something very different than in the US. You can buy most things by just asking for it.

Oh I know... therein lies the problem

For example, I know that for my back/neck pain (caused by car accidents), which I get sporadically and is very bad when it does come, requires the strongest OTC pain killer I can get in Australia: "Neurofen +" with ibuprofen and codeine as the active ingredients. However, here, and probably in the US, Neurofen is not available and I don't know what an equivalent is here in Nicaragua.

I tried asking for something with codeine but I was offered all sorts of different drugs which I had never heard of - and they all looked very strong. (I might have been mistaken for one of those gringos who wanted to buy the strong stuff for mixing with rum.) I don't feel comfortable trying drugs without any idea of how strong they are. Hence, my original question and the forum post.

I imagine that, unlike here in Nicaragua, in the US the available OTC painkillers are similar in strength to those available in Australia. But, I'm pretty sure there's an overlap in the available brand names here and in the US. So I thought I'd ask the people who know the US and know Nicaragua to take advantage of that overlap - and that's you guys.

(And, in response to the suggestions that I use natural/herbal remedies, I've tried physiotherapists, massage, chiropractors, acupuncture, oriental herbalists, pilates, yoga, and myothotic (deep muscle) massage. None of which have worked. However, the occasional use of some codeine, while not that great for me, relieves the pain and I'm usually good for a couple of weeks/months. Thanks anyway.)

Ibuprofen with codein

or Aceteminophen with Codein (called tylenol no1 in Canada, or its generic drug equivalet) is usually prescribed for Orthopedic type pain, including knee, neck and back injuries. I had to use it after a knee operation a few years ago.

You can get this stuff here in Granada (and I am sure elswwhere) the only thing is that you will likely find it with Aceteminophen rather than Ibuprofen which can cause a bit of upset stomach in some people.

The Pharmacy that I found it at is at the major intersection of the road that goes to the park and that that goes to the market. It is directly across from that Plaza (2 storey tall) looking building where there was a hot dog seller a little slot machine place and a movistar/cellular selling place. The Pharmacy had a religious name Like the imaculada or something like that.

That's perfect...

Thanks a lot. That solves my back problem.


I wish Anna was here - she'd know what to do.

Best relief

Migraine and headaches: 2 Ibuprohen 400mg + 1 defenhidramina 50mg

Diarrhea: Sulfaprim (forte if needed) take 2 pills and done.

Cold: Take Zinc I take 50mg tablets of Zinc Elemetal once a day for 2 days when I feel it coming on... you can't stop it but zinc makes it go away FAST.

Cuts: Neobol Cream or Spray... creams better and lasts longer

Sunburn: use Zepol ! yes, cover the affected area with zepol. Youll be as good as new the next day.

Bad food?: Warm Water with Salt, and few bows to the Porcelain god and then some Ensa con Limon.

Now that's looking more like it

But is ibuprofen a brand name? Or do you just ask for something with ibuprofen? The problem we have is that we asked for something with codeine and were given all sorts of options... none of which we new.

I did try voltaren forte for a neck/back pain... one did nothing and two almost knocked me out. I'll try one and a half next time.


is a non steroid based anti inflamatory. The active ingredient is declofenac which can be asked for by name.

Codeine is hard to find for some reason but i did find it in granada. I asked for active ingredient Acetemenofen with Codein.

ibuprofen is the active ingredient and is made by many companies.

farmacia info

The local farmacia will often give you suggestions, if you speak enough Spanish to ask the right questions and understand the answers. But read the instructions, contraindications, etc., because stuff that is deemed dangerous enough in the States to require a prescription is sold without prescription here.

I look up every new drug or procedure as soon as I can on It´s very informational and has a flip to Spanish button. One hitch, though, is that I coundn´t find a couple prescription drugs from down here. I think they probably weren´t listed because they are not rated for sale in the States, although they are from the EU so I don´t particularly distrust them.

"When you cross that river, Boy, you in a whole differnt country!" paraphrase from Carl Franz

My Spanish isn't that good yet

And, moreover, the contraindications and instructions aren't always in English either. Don't get me wrong, I'm here to learn Spanish, but until I've been here a while this will be a problem.

I was just hoping for some names of typical treatments for problems mentioned in the post and any others that people can think of.

Thanks for the link. They may come in handy.

Better living through modern chemistry!

Drugs can have many names: chemical, generic and trade. If you get the generic name of a drug you can then take it to a pharmacy in Nicaragua and ask to speak to a pharmacist or to look at the book they have which lists all the drugs available in Nica. I'm not sure if they will show you this as I'm a practitioner and had no difficulty. If you have any questions send me a private message. I also like vitamins, minerals and herbs, but prefer knowing exactly what I'm giving patients. I can relate this info to research studies, and sometimes it's not practical to use herbs. There are some things that can cause harm rather than good if given in differing amounts. keorge

In case you'd like to try

some herbal alternatives to the chemicals found here...

Headaches, especially migraines, are relieved with feverfew tea. One heaping Tbsp per cup of hot water usually takes care of most headaches, three cups of tea will take down a migraine. We ship ours in.

Backache pains require a threefold approach, tumeric, chamomile oil and passionflower tea/tincture. A tsp of tumeric with a dash of black pepper reduces inflammation. This can be found in the spice aisle of many food stores here and is also called azafran or curcuma. Chamomile oil is very effective as a rub and is found in most markets (just cut up, add to a jar, then cover with oil and let 'steep' for two weeks). This stuff smells real good, too! Passionflower is a relaxant and will loosen the tight muscles. You can make a tea similar to the one mentioned above or a tincture by 'steeping' leaves in cheap alcohol, local guaron (sp?) works well, for two weeks. Dosage will vary depending on your system. A good starting place is 1 tsp of the tincture, wait half an hour, then take another. Passionflower is easy to find here and it's best to use the leaves when the vines are in bloom.

For sore throats, start by rinsing with salt water, then chew raw garlic. This won't make your significant other real happy, but it's better than feeling bad!

We use an extreme cure for sinus congestion, something we call sinus snuff. It's a mix of powdered garlic, cayenne, ginger and goldenseal, but this not for the faint at heart as it burns like a mother! You can get all the ingredients here except for the goldenseal, which we also ship in. Nettles is a less painful substitute and is readily found here. It's important to use fresh leaves and the easiest method of ingestion is a tea, one cup twice a day.

There are many local plants that work wonders down here, but they do require research as most Nicaraguans seem to have forgotten the medicines their ancestors knew. A fantastic reference book to get you started is "The Healing Power of Rainforest Herbs" by Leslie Taylor, ISBN 0-7570-0144-0

Best Migrain pain relief

2 Ibuprophen 400mg + 1 defenhidramina 50mg (anti histamine)

herbal alternatives

This is a subject worthy of a Forum unto itself. Thanks for the tip on the Book by Author Leslie Taylor. I was wondering...just as a reflection on the comment regarding Sinus congestion. Do they have Eucalyptus trees in Nicaragua? The oil is very helpful. There is also a book which I would recommend by Dr Andrew Weil, titled "Healthy Aging" published by Alfred Knopf, New York, which is also published in Spanish by Vintage Espanol, division of Random House ISBN 0-375-40755-3. I would recommend this book to all ages.


What makes people think drugs are so interesting ? i guess they just want a way out of their ordinary lives but i'm sure there are better ways to do this. And for those caught in the trap there will always be a drug treatment center for them.

Oh yes thank you, thank you....

you have saved my life.. I have a horible problem with Ibuprofen, out trying to score at night down by the docks, I'm getting the shakes now, I got a weak batch last night, not the regular uncut stuff....

gotta go score some more Motrin

-Doug, LMAO

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate

Pure and Uncut

Hey Doug, I can get you a source for the pure and uncut motrin if you think your system is up to it.

Why not go all the way

If you are going to do that kind of drugs, why not go all the way and try some pure aspirin?

hard core

Now that's hard core, doing it old style.