When you are on your pleasant Istanbul trip, you might need to buy anything from a pharmacy. I hope you wouldn’t, so I am going to tell about pharmacies in Istanbul.
In other countries drugs may be bought from different places such as markets, supermarkets but in whole Turkiye, you can buy medicine only from pharmacies. Pharmacy (drugstore, chemist’s, chemist’s shop) is a shop that only sells medicines and health related products. Also, keep in mind that there are pharmacy shops in the shopping malls too, in their own shops. Pharmacies have easy to recognize visions and all nice, clean and decent shops. All drug stores have a sign “E” as a standard, like the image on the left, that can be seen from afar and “ECZANE” or/and “pharmacy” words are written on their shop windows. “Eczane” means pharmacy in turkish (it may be pronunced like “ajzuna” or “ajzanah” by english speakers). In Turkey, pharmacy is widely accepted to name drugstores, “chemist” or “drugstore” names are used very less. In Istanbul, you can easily find a drug store in the city centers. Also, you can see lots of them in the same area if you are close to a hospital. Pharmacies are open from 9:00 to 19:00 on weekdays and Saturdays. None of pharmacies is non-stop. But there is always one open pharmacy, which is called as “nöbetçi eczane” in turkish or “pharmacy on duty” after that day-time shift, Sundays, and holidays in each neighbourhood for emergency needs. Furthermore, there is always one lighted plate on front window of the pharmacy shops that shows which pharmacy will stay on duty after day-time shift and Sunday. The plate shows name, adress and phone numbers of that pharmacy. As a solution, I can advise you that, if you need anything from a pharmacy at midnight or Sunday, you can go to closest pharmacy and learn where is the pharmacy on duty by checking the pharmacy on duty plate and go there. As a second way, you can call 118 unknown numbers service by phone and learn that pharmacy’s phone number then go there.
Pharmacies are run by pharmacists in Turkiye so you can ask for advice of pharmacist about your needs. Language may be a problem but in touristic areas or city centers it wouldn’t, such as Sultanahmet, Taksim, Beyazit, Eminonu, and some others that I am not be able to know surely
You can buy some kinds of drugs without prescription and find many other things you may need. Many pain-killers like aspirin, cough syrups, vitamin pills, bandage might be bought without prescription. Also, many other personal care poducts, cosmetics and stuff may be needed for your babies can be found in pharmacies such as tooth brush, toothpaste, shampoos, antibacterial soaps, cologne, nail clipper, after-shave, moisturizing cream, sunblock cream, band-aid, diaper, baby formula, baby’s bottle, sanitary pad and so on.
I hope you find those informations are helpful to you and I wish you wouldn’t need to go to a pharmacy in any health emergency.
Please share your pharmacy experiences in Istanbul which may be helpful to others, Take care!
10.10.210 Update: Also, you can buy antibiotics from pharmacies in Istanbul and whole Turkey without prescription. Moreover, my some guests from Australia and England found the price pretty cheaper than it is in their countries. And, 118 unknown phone numbers service has been privatized. So there is 11880, 11833, and 11818 services for the same thing. But they are too expensive.