Antibiotics are available without prescription. Narcotics are not dispensed by pharmacies in Cancun even with a prescription. They are available only for in-patients in authorized hospitals.Some tranquilizers and synthetic painkillers are controlled substances that require that you leave the prescription with the pharmacy, but in the case of almost all other medicines, you do not leave the prescription with the pharmacy when you buy medicine, but retain it for future use, saving the cost of often unnecessary repeat visits to your doctor when you run out of medicine. Aspirin is called aspirina and comes in 500 mg. tablets rather than the 250 mg. standard American size.
All medicines used to be price-controlled, but they have gone up a lot since being liberated. Some items are now more expensive here than in the United States. Despite the low prices, the Mexican pharmaceutical industry was eminently profitable, supposedly because of lack of research costs and failure to pay royalties to the European and American originators of many of the medicines. Most of the important medicines are manufactured by subsidiaries of foreign firms or under license, however, so this argument seems a little suspect. Generally speaking, however, most common medicines such as penicillin will be much lower than their counterparts in the United States.
The prices do make you think about American health charges. Given the current American anti-drug hysteria, it does not seem like a good idea to bring any significant quantity of Mexican prescription drugs back. Be sure to have a current prescription when clearing US Customs. Please do not write to ask me where you can obtain drugs in Mexico. I have no further information to offer.
Downtown, Av. Tulum, across from Banamex
Completely stocked professional pharmacy
We have been getting our medicines here for since 1983. Very friendly and helpful staff.
Plaza Caracol, facing central atrium
Central and quite complete pharmacy in hotel zone
Helpful personnel in this very busy tourist-zone pharmacy usually speak some English.
Downtown, Yaxchilán, across from Hotel Caribe Internacional
Large, busy, fast-service drugstore
If the medicine you need is available at all, Farmacia Paris will have it. Large selection of shampoos, baby supplies, cosmetics in self-service section.
Downtown, Calle Viento, one block east of Av. Tulum, near Plaza México Price-controlled
24-hour medicines-only pharmacy
Cancun has the same system of rotating emergency prescription service among pharmacies as in the United States, but this medicines-only pharmacy should be your first stop if you have a night-time problem and want to avoid searching.
Fruits & Vegetables
Hotels Ice Cream
Zona de Tolerancia
Words to live by.