So you got sick in China but you’re not ready to try Traditional Chinese Medicine yet? That’s ok, we got you covered! Here’s a useful list of the most common western medicines with Chinese translations that you can take to the pharmacy so you can find what you need.

Below you will find medicine labels for the most common illnesses such as:
Pain & Fever [疼痛 发烧] téng tòng fā shāo
Cough [咳嗽] ké sòu
Head & Sinus Congestion [耳鼻喉炎] ěr bí hóu yán
Sore Throat, Headache, Earache & Body Aches (Infections) [喉咙痛、头痛 耳痛、浑身疼 感染] hóu lóng tòng, tóu tòng, ěr tòng, hún shēn téng (gǎn rǎn)
Sneezing, Runny Nose, Watery Eyes [打喷嚏, 流鼻涕, 眼睛流泪] dǎ pēn tì,liú bí tì, yǎn jīng liú lèi
Upset Stomach [胃不舒服]wèi bú shū fú
Constipation [便秘]biàn mì
Diarrhea [腹泻](拉肚子)fù xiè(lā dù zǐ)
Sleep Issues [睡眠问题]shuì mián wèn tí
Skin Allergy & Itching [皮肤过敏和瘙痒] pí fū guòmǐn sào yang
Nasal Allergy [鼻过敏]bí guò mǐn

Remember that all medications may cause side effects, therefore make sure to read the labels carefully and don’t forget to ask for clear instructions regarding dosage.

 

Pain and Fever:

疼痛 发烧
téng tòng fā shāo

 

Acetaminaphen[əˌsiːtəˈmɪnəfən]
对乙酰氨基酚duìyǐxiānānjīfēn
(ex. Tylenol, Panadol)

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs):
非类固醇性消炎药
fēi lèi gù chún xìng xiāo yán yào

Ibuprofen[.aɪbju’proʊfən]
布洛芬bù luò fēn
(ex. Motrin, Advil)

Naproxen[nə’prɒksən]
萘普生nài pǔ shēng
(ex. Aleve)

Aspirin[‘æsprɪn]
阿司匹林ā sī pǐ lín
(ex. Bayer, St. Joseph’s)

Cough
咳嗽
ké sòu

 

Dextromethorphan[dɛkstroʊmi’θɔrfn]
美沙芬měi shā fēn
(ex. Theraflu, Vicks)

Guaifenesin[ɡjʊrɪf’nezɪn]
愈创甘油醚yù chuàng gān yóu mí
(ex. Robitussin, Mucinex)

Throat Lozenges[θroʊt’lɑzəndʒ]
咳嗽糖ké sòu táng
(ex. Halls, Ricola, Golden Throat 金嗓子 jīn sǎng zǐ)
English teachers everywhere swear by this stuff!

Other useful terms:
Benzocaine[benzəʊ’keɪn]
苯佐卡因běn zuǒ kǎ yīn

Menthol[ˈmenθɔ:l]
薄荷醇bò hé chún

Head and Sinus Congestion
耳鼻喉炎
ěr bí hóu yán

 

Decongestants:[.dikən’dʒestənt]
减充血剂jiǎn chōng xuè jì

Pseudoephedrine[sjuːdoʊ.ᵻˈfɛdrɪn]
假麻黄碱jiǎ má huáng jiǎn
(ex. Sudafed)

Oxymetazoline[ɒksɪmɛtəzə’lin]
羟甲唑啉qiǎng jiǎ zuò lín
(ex.Sinex, Telnase)

Sore Throat, Headache, Earache & Body Aches (Infections)
[喉咙痛、头痛、耳朵&身体疼痛 (感染)]
hóu lóng tòng, tóu tòng,
ěr tòng, hún shēn téng
(gǎn rǎn)

Acetaminaphen[əˌsiːtəˈmɪnəfən]
对乙酰氨基酚duìyǐxiānānjīfēn
(ex. Sore throat lozenges, Cepacol, Strepsils)
(see above)

General Antibiotics[.æntaɪbaɪ’ɑtɪk]
抗生素kàng shēng sù

 

Sneezing, Runny Nose, Watery Eyes
打喷嚏,流鼻涕,
眼睛流泪
dǎ pēn tì, liú bí tì,
yǎn jīng liú lèi

Antihistamine[.æntɪ’hɪstə.min]
抗组胺药kàng zǔ àn yào
(ex. Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra)

 

Upset Stomach
胃不舒服
wèi bù shū fú

Bismuth subsalicylate[‘bɪzməθsʌb’sæləsɪˌleɪt]
碱式水杨酸铋jiǎn shì shuǐ yáng suān bì
(ex.Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate)

Bicarbonate Tablets[ˌbaɪ’kɑ:bənət]
碳酸氢钠片tàn suān qīng nà piàn
(ex. Alka Seltzer)

Simethicone[‘saɪmθɪkəʊn]
西甲硅油xī jiǎ guī yóu
(ex. Gas-X)

Antacids[ænt’æsɪd]
解酸药jiě suān yào
(ex.Rolaids, Tums)

Dimenhydrinate [ˌdaɪmen’haɪdrəˌneɪt]
茶苯海明chá běn hǎi míng
(ex. Dramamine)

 

Constipation
便秘
biàn mì

Senna glycoside[‘senə’glaɪkəˌsaɪd]
番泻叶fān xiè yè
(ex. Ex-Lax)

Other useful terms:
Glycerin[‘ɡlɪsərɪn]
甘油gān yóu

Bisacodyl[‘bɪzəkədɪl]
比沙可啶bǐ shā kě dìng

 

Diarrhea
腹泻(拉肚子)
fù xiè (lā dù zǐ )

Attapulgite[ətæ’pʌldʒɪt]
凹凸棒石āo tū bàng shí
(ex. Diocalm, Diatrol)


Loperamide[‘ləʊpərəmɪd]
洛哌丁胺luò pài dīng àn
(ex. Imodium A-D)

Bismuth subsalicylate[‘bɪzməθsʌb’sæləsɪˌleɪt]
碱式水杨酸铋jiǎn shì shuǐ yáng suān bì
(ex.Pepto-Bismol, Kaopectate)
(see above)

 

Sleep Issues
睡眠问题
shuì mián wèn tí

Antihistamine[.æntɪ’hɪstə.min]
抗组胺药kàng zǔ àn yào
(see above)

Diphenhydramine[dɪfen’hɪdrʌmən]
苯海拉明běn hǎi lā míng
(ex. Benadryl,Tylenol PM)

Melatonin[.melə’toʊnɪn]
褪黑素tuì hēi sù

Skin Allergy & Itching
皮肤过敏和瘙痒
pí fū guòmǐn, sāo yǎng

Antihistamine[.æntɪ’hɪstə.min]
抗组胺药kàng zǔ àn yào
(see above)

Diphenhydramine[dɪfen’hɪdrʌmən]
苯海拉明běn hǎi lā míng
(see above)

 

Nasal Allergy
鼻过敏
bí guò mǐn

Cromolyn sodium[k’rɒməʊlɪn’soʊdiəm]
色甘酸钠sè gān suān nà
(ex. Nasalcrom)

We hope this was helpful! Is there anything we missed?
Have you tried Chinese Traditional Medicine?
Leave a comment or question below.

Disclaimer: we are not licensed, medical professionals. We just care about you and want to you adapt to life in China – Although we consulted medical professionals and pharmacists for this post, if you are uncertain of any medication, we advise you to please visit the nearest hospital and ask a qualified doctor.

CDIS China Chengdu