Pharmacies, prescriptions and medication

Peruvian pharmacies and the most common illnesses

Pharmacies, prescriptions and medication

It is very easy to get most medicines in pharmacies in cities or to get a prescription from a doctor. When going to Peru, make sure you are prepared in case of diarrhea, malaria or altitude sickness.

In Peru, pharmacies that are located throughout the cities normally distribute medicines over the counter and fill prescriptions. Common medicines can be purchased in pharmacies at cheap prices. Always check whether the drugs are within their expiration dates.

Big supermarkets such as Santa Isabel and Wong also have decent pharmacies.

The listed pharmacies in Lima are usually well supplied and preferred by visitors:

  • Pharmax (Av. La Encalada 1541, Monterrico; 24/7 delivery service; tel. number: 434 1460)
  • Pharmax (Av. Salaverry 3100, San Isidro; 24/7 delivery service; tel. number 264 2282)
  • Farmacia Deza (Av. Conquistadores 1140, San Isidro; 24/7 delivery service; tel. number:440 3798)
  • Las Colonias (Santa Elena Norte 102 - 104 Street, Monterrico, 21st block of Primavera Av.)

The so-called “traveler’s diarrhea” is very common among newly arrived expats and tourists. It is highly advisable that movers to Peru bring along antibiotics and anti-diarrhea medication in case severe diarrhea occurs. Medical assistance should be sought if diarrhea continues for more than 72 hours.  

In order to avoid malaria, if going to regions below 2,000m (6,561ft), a prophylaxis with Lariam (mefloquine), Malarone (atovaquone/proguanil), or doxycycline are recommended. In particular such areas include cities like Loreto, Iquitos and Puerto Maldonado, excluding the cities of Ica, Nazca, Lima, and the coast south of Lima. The risk of malaria has sharply increased recently, due to the spread of floods on rice and cotton fields and internal migration.

Visitors who climb altitudes higher than 2,500 m (8,202ft) quickly, may experience altitude sickness. Peru has some of the highest cities in the world so travellers and expats alike may experience altitude sickness at some point if they don’t take precautions. Such popular high-altitude places in Peru are Lake Titicaca which is 4,000 m (13,123ft) above sea level and Cusco which is at 3,000m (9,842ft). If you have a history of lung disease, heart disease or sickle cell disease then you should avoid travelling to high altitudes.

Further reading

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