If you have spent hours wandering the shelves of a CVS looking for a box of Doliprane, this article is for you. It is sometimes difficult to reconstitute a basic pharmacy without knowing the brands of US drugs or the active ingredient given by the International Nonproprietary Name (INN).

To help guide expatriates in this pharmacy, Isabelle Guglielmi, Ph.D. in Pharmacy and Aromatherapist created the website AmérikSanté and signed three books: Eat well in the USA, Understanding the Health System in the United States and the Health and Travel Guide in the United States. For these ten drugs common and without French prescription, the expert advises American correspondences:


As the Dafalgan and theEfferalganit has the active ingredient paracetamol. It is found in the United States under another brand name: Tylenol. In general, drugs all share the same ICD. In this case, the Americans have adopted another name: acetaminophen. There are no effervescent forms in the United States. Attention, it is necessary to respect scrupulously the indicated daily dose because the overdoses lead to insufficiencies hepatic in a few days.


It is an anti-spasmodic. There is no equivalent in the US market. We will reduce the pain with Tylenol.


Acetylsalicylic acid salicylic or "aspirin", simply, is found on the shelves of pharmacies but in the form of tablets and not powder. We find under the brand Bayer. It reduces fever and pain but beware, it is very aggressive for the wall of the intestines. Do not take it in case of flu. Effective in case of migraine, we also find aspirin in theExcedrin which is a mixture of aspirin, paracetamol (acetaminophen) and caffeine because it stimulates the action of the other two.


As'Advil, whose DCI is ibuprofen (or ibuprofen), it is found in the United States under the brand name Advil or Motrim. There are different forms.


It is a mineral digestive dressing used for diarrhea. We do not find this kind of medicine in the United States. We will find something that approaches: the simethicone is a silicone digestive bandage that is found under the brand Gas-X or Phazyme. These drugs work more in the production of intestinal gases.


It is found without problem over-the-counter. It is a powerful antidiarrheal but it is always necessary to associate an intestinal antibiotic in case of infection.


It is an antitussive antihistamine. We will not find the equivalent here at all. The only antitussive found is dextromethorphan (or "dextromethorphan" in English), a morphine derivative, under the name Delsym. Attention, it is often sold in combination with other drugs.


As the Rhinathiolit is a fluidizer. We will find here only a drug that is expectorant: guaifenesin ("guafenesin" in English), under the brand name Mucinex. It is useful in case of cough fat especially.


It is a mixture of several molecules to treat colds with a vasoconstrictor and an antihistamine to decrease secretions. In the US market, there are many combinations of this type of drug at Vicks: DayQuil and NyQuil (the first formula to take rather in the morning and the second in the evening), Alka Seltzer (composed of paracetamol, chlorpheniramine, phenylephrine and dextrometorphan against dry cough) or the brand Sudafed. It is always preferable to use simple formulas to avoid overdose, especially paracetamol (acetaminophen), the consequences of which are potentially serious.


Homeopathy in the United States is not necessarily found in pharmacy. But the French pharmaceutical company Boiron, specialized in homeopathic preparations, is well established here and Arnica gel is easily found at Target, CVS or Walgreens.


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