Home Features History Letters from Spain New Arrivals Profiles Recipes Sightseeing Vocabulary Weather

At the Chemist - La Farmacía

Chemists in Spain are identified by a neon green cross at the entrance.

They are generally open from 9.30-1.30 pm Mondays to Saturdays and from 4.30-8.30pm Mondays to Fridays, although some may open straight through from 9.30am-9.30pm.

The system of duty chemists guarantees service to the public 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. Each chemist will display a list in the window of the rota for duty chemists in the area for that week.

You can only use prescriptions issued by a Spanish doctor at a chemist’s in Spain. If you need a repeat prescription for medicaments you regularly take while you’re here, bring the prescription which was issued by your own doctor with you, plus the patient information leaflet for the medicine.

It’s also a good idea to take the patient information leaflet to a Spanish chemist for non-prescription drugs, as brand names may differ in Spain. Some are very similar, although the pronunciation will be different, in which case write down what you want on a slip of paper and hand it over the counter.

Some useful words for your trip to the chemist:

Anti-histamine – antihistamínico
Blister – ampolla
A cold - resfriado
Cough syrup – jarabe para la tos
Headache – dolor de cabeza
Insect bite – picadura de insecto
Plasters – tiritas
Prescription – receta
Sore throat – dolor de garganta
Sunburn – quemadura de sol
Sun cream – crema solar