As in any other country that experiences very cold weather, winter-time Japan is likely to have you coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, sounding hoarse and seeking relief.
Japanese people commonly wear disposable surgical masks when they have caught a cold, as a courtesy measure to prevent spreading contagion on public transport and at the workplace.
Much more than is typical in Western countries, Japanese people are very likely to visit the doctor when they have a cold. However, there is a booming trade in over the counter cold medicines.
The popular cold and flu remedies in Japan are all-in-one cold and flu capsules. The top three cold and flu symptom drugs on one of Japan's most popular online shopping sites, Kakaku.com, are as follows:
1. LuluAttack EX made by Daiichi Sankyo Healthcare. It is indicated for throat soreness, fever, runny and blocked nose, coughing and phlegm. It contains (in order of greater volume) tranexamic acid, ibuprofen, dl-methylephedrine hydrochloride, thiamine nitrate, dihydrocodeine phosphate, riboflavin, bromhexine hydrochloride, and clemastine fumarate.
2. Pablon Gold A made by Taisho Pharmaceuticals. It is indicated for throat soreness, fever, runny and blocked nose, coughing, phlegm, sneezing, chills, headache, joint pain, and muscle pain.. It contains (in order of greater volume) acetaminophen USAN, guaifenesin, anhydrous caffeine, dl-methylephedrine hydrochloride, lysozyme hydrochloride, dihydrocodeine phosphate, bisibuthiamine, riboflavin, and carbinoxamine maleate.
3. SS Bronn made by SSP (short for "SS Pharmaceuticals") Co., Ltd. It is indicated for severe coughing and phlegm. It contains (in order of greater volume) L-carbocisteine, dl-methylephedrine hydrochloride, dihydrocodeine phosphate, and chlorpheniramine maleate.
These three are to be found in every drugstore throughout Japan, and considering (1) the coldness of winter in Japan (2) the huge amount of advertising of medicines there is on TV and other media (3) the number of old people in Japan, more likely to catch colds than the younger generation, the annual sales figures for such cures/reliefs are nothing to be sneezed at.
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