On-line Guide: Pharmacies
The French are proud of their pharmacies. Though they don’t offer glitzy eyeshadow or sell super-cheap meal deals à la Boots, French pharmacies have well trained pharmacists (quasi-doctors for simple maladies) and are well-stocked with all manner of pills and potions for every conceivable ailment. Many speak very good English, and most will try to help you overcome any language barrier.
Pharmacies are more than just places to pick up your prescription (ordonnance). Many pharmacies in France sell skincare and beauty products from big brands, as well as essential oils; homeopathy is extremely well-recognised in France, with more than a third of French people regularly using homeopathic treatments. What’s more, all pharmacists in France are trained in fungi identification and will happily check any mushrooms you bring to them, free of charge. Bargain!
As pharmaceuticals in France are heavily regulated, and even over-the-counter medicines such as paracetamol/Tylenol/Panadol) can only be bought through a pharmacy, be very mindful of opening hours.
Most pharmacies are open from 9am-7pm (with a two-hour lunch break at midday). However, every town is required to have a pharmacie de garde - a 24h hour pharmacy. There are two 24h pharmacies in Nice:
66 Avenue Jean Médecin 06000 Nice
7 Rue Masséna 06000 Nice
Both the Pharmacie Riviera and the Pharmacie Masséna are closed on Sundays from 8am-7pm, but they stay open Sunday night.
If you are in desperate need of a pharmacy on a Sunday, the airport pharmacy (inside Terminal 2) stays open from 8:30am-8pm.
The last thing you need when you’re under the weather is to grapple with a foreign language too. Here’s some vocab to help.
an infection - une infection
to have a fever - avoir de la fièvre
the flu - la grippe sick malade
a cold - un rhume
le médecin - the doctor
an allergy - une allergie
a prescription - une ordonnance
to cough - tousser
a medicine - un medicament
to have a headache - avoir mal à la tête
hayfever - un rhume des foins
to have an ear ache - avoir mal aux oreilles
sunburnt - brûlé par le soleil