Kanji Cheat Sheets
Kanji Cheat Sheet: Buying Hay Fever Medication in Japan
Achoo! Hay fever season is back with a vengeance. Get rid of your sniffles with this seasonal vocabulary.
My favorite season in Japan is definitely spring. You’ve got cherry blossoms, fair weather, and the official end of winter. The only problem is that with spring comes hay fever. You know the deal, constant sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes that that can only come from an overabundance of pollen.
After using this guide you’ll be able to enjoy all the good things about spring minus that nasty hay fever.
So with hay fever hell just around the corner, it’s time to stay ahead of the curve with some potent hay fever medicine. The only problem? Navigating through all those labels. After all, drugstores literally have entire sections dedicated to fighting off that pesky pollen.
Know the basic language surrounding hay fever
Here are some kanji found on over-the-counter medicine to look for depending on your symptoms.
|Cedar-tree pollen||スギ花粉||sugi kafun|
|Itchy eyes||目がかゆい||me ga kayui|
|A general word for anti-allergy treatments||抗アレルギー薬||kouarerugiyaku|
|Medicine for itchy eyes||花粉症目薬||kafunshoumegusuri|
|Medicine for stuffed nose||鼻炎薬||bienyaku|
Should OTC not be enough to relieve your symptoms, Japan has a whole host of hay fever products that help with those itchy eyes.
Looking at the package
One thing that I never appreciated before coming to Japan is that there are many different ways to take your medicine. After all, not all of us are okay swallowing pills the size of a reasonably big beetle. Here are a few different types.
|For internal use only||内服||naifuku|
|Containing fexofenadine hydrochloride||フェキソフェナジン塩酸塩||fekisofenajin ensanen|
|Containing epinastine hydrochloride||エピナスチン塩酸塩||epinasuchin ensanen|
Medicines that contain fexofenadine, are mainly used to alleviate allergies related to skin conditions like dermatitis or eczema. Those with epinastine hydrochloride are used to treat bronchial asthma or food allergies.
These may be joined with the kanji 入り, meaning inside the packet, so don’t be confused if you see this mark next to any of these.
Paying attention to dosage
While it can be tempting to take as much of the medicine as possible to get rid of the symptoms, it’s wiser to know your dosage and take accordingly. On the package, 日 indicates how many times per day to take the medicine while 日分 shows how many days’ worth are included.
A dosage of three pills a day, one in the morning, noon, and night will look like this on the package: 1日3回1錠ずつ. Also, look out for 朝夕which means that you take one in the morning then one in the evening.
Parents out there should also be aware of whether the dosage is suitable for an adult (成人), or a particular age range. Often these ranges are written with 以上for the youngest age that can take it and 未満for the maximum age.
For example, 7歳以上15歳未満 means children from 7 to 14 years old can take the medication and 4歳以上7歳未満 means the medicine is suitable for children from 4 to 6 years old.
|How many days worth of medicine you have||～日分||～nichibun|
|Take one pill three times a day||1日3回1錠ずつ||ichinichi sankai ichijyou zutsu|
|Take one in the morning then one in the evening||朝夕||asayuu|
Hopefully, after using this guide you’ll be able to enjoy all the good things about spring minus that nasty hay fever. Just remember that few suffer alone in this season, so don’t be afraid to ask your coworkers for their recommendations. Get out there and enjoy the season! If you have any recommendations for fighting the fever, let us know in the comments.