How to get medication in Oman


Omani pharmacies are marked by green crosses.

Many medicines are available over the counter, including some that require a prescription in western countries. On the other hand, some medicines that can be bought without prescriptions in other countries require them in Oman. Check with a doctor to find out if you´ll need one.

Most pharmacies also carry non-medical items, such as cosmetics and perfumes. This is convenient, but most of these items are more expensive in pharamcies than in other shops. General medicines such as painkillers, cough medicine and eye drops are widely available in supermarkets and large stores.

The Omani Health Ministry has banned the use of tranquillisers, anti-depressants and in some instances sleeping pills, except for extreme cases associated with certain types of mental illness (Ministers are eager to avoid the overuse that is endemic in the west).

If you take any psychotropic medications regularly, you must be able to present a doctor´s prescription upon request. You should also get a letter from your doctor verifying your reasons for taking the medication. Keep both of these with you wherever you bring yoru medicine.

You will probably not be able to refill prescriptions for psychotropics while living in Oman, so make sure to bring enough with you to last the duration of your stay. If you will be working in Oman for several years, maintaining your supply may require occasional trips home or to other countries for additional medications.

You don´t want to bring so much medication into the country at one time that the authorities suspect you of drug trafficking!

Know your medications´ contents and formula (not just the brand name) since brand names vary between countries and manufacturers. In some cases, you might have to renew your prescription from a doctor - pharmacists aren’t authorised to accept foreign prescriptions.

Most pharmacies are open from 9:30 to 13:00 from 16:30 to 20:30, Saturdays through Thursdays, and local newspapers list special "duty pharmacies" that are open 24 hours a day. Hospitals usually have 24-hour pharmacies where you can obtain both prescription and non-prescription medicines.

You need a receipt if you want to claim from your insurance, which you will certainly want to do. Medication is quite expensive in Oman, and some pharmacists are fond of over-prescribing medications from pharmaceutical companies that offer generous sales incentives.

Further reading

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