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Saudi Arabia – Prescriptions and Medications

If you are planning to visit or move to Saudi Arabia, it is important to be familiar with the local practices when it comes to medications. In this article, we will answer the following questions:

  • What are pharmacies called in the local language in Saudi Arabia? What does the sign outside pharmacies look like in Saudi Arabia?
  • What are pharmacy opening times in Saudi Arabia?
  • Can common medicines be bought over the counter or do they require a prescription in Saudi Arabia? Can medicines be ordered online?
  • How are prescriptions paid for in Saudi Arabia?

Pharmacies in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, pharmacies are commonly known as “صيدلية” or “saydaliyah” in the local language. The sign outside a pharmacy is usually a green cross on a white background, which is recognized globally as the symbol for a pharmacy.

Pharmacy Opening Times

Pharmacy opening times in Saudi Arabia vary depending on the location and day of the week. Most pharmacies are open from Saturday to Thursday between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. On Fridays, pharmacies are usually closed until mid-afternoon, as Friday is the weekly day off in Saudi Arabia.

Medications in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, some medications can be bought over the counter without a prescription, while others require a prescription from a doctor. Common medications such as painkillers, cough syrup, and allergy medication can be bought over the counter in most pharmacies. However, medications that are considered to be more potent or that have a higher risk of abuse, such as sleeping pills or strong painkillers, require a prescription.

It is important to note that the rules regarding over-the-counter medication in Saudi Arabia may differ from those in your home country. Therefore, it is always advisable to check with a pharmacist before purchasing any medication, especially if you are unsure about the dosage or potential side effects.

In addition, it is also possible to order medications online in Saudi Arabia. There are several online pharmacies that offer home delivery of medication, but it is important to be cautious when ordering medication online. Always ensure that the online pharmacy is legitimate and that the medication you are ordering is safe and legal.


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Prescription Medications

If you require a prescription medication in Saudi Arabia, you will need to visit a doctor who will write you a prescription. Once you have the prescription, you can take it to a pharmacy to have it filled.

When you go to a pharmacy to have a prescription filled, you will need to provide your health insurance details. If you have Saudi Arabian health insurance, you may only need to pay a small co-payment for prescription medication. The amount of the co-payment will depend on the medication and your health insurance policy.

If you do not have Saudi Arabian health insurance, you will need to pay the full cost of the medication. It is advisable to check with the pharmacy beforehand to get an idea of the cost of the medication, as prescription medications in Saudi Arabia can be quite expensive.

Payment for Prescriptions

As mentioned earlier, if you have Saudi Arabian health insurance, you may only need to pay a small co-payment for prescription medication. The amount of the co-payment will depend on the medication and your health insurance policy.

It is important to note that the cost of prescription medication in Saudi Arabia can vary widely depending on the type of medication, the dosage, and the pharmacy. Some pharmacies may offer discounts or promotions on certain medications, so it is advisable to shop around before filling a prescription.

If you do not have Saudi Arabian health insurance, you will need to pay the full cost of the medication. Payment for medication in Saudi Arabia can be made in cash or by credit card, and some pharmacies may also accept payment by mobile phone.

Traditional Medicine

Traditional medicine is still widely practiced in Saudi Arabia, particularly in rural areas. Traditional medicine in Saudi Arabia includes herbal remedies, acupuncture, and other alternative therapies.

It is important to note that traditional medicine in Saudi Arabia is not regulated in the same way as Western medicine, and there may be potential risks and side effects associated with these treatments. Therefore, it is advisable to exercise caution when seeking alternative treatments and to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any traditional remedies.

In conclusion, if you require medication while in Saudi Arabia, it is important to be familiar with the local practices when it comes to prescriptions and medications. Pharmacies in Saudi Arabia are commonly known as “صيدلية” or “saydaliyah” in the local language, and the sign outside a pharmacy is usually a green cross on a white background.

Pharmacy opening times in Saudi Arabia vary depending on the location and day of the week, but most pharmacies are open during regular business hours. In Saudi Arabia, some medications can be bought over the counter without a prescription, while others require a prescription from a doctor.

When filling a prescription in Saudi Arabia, you will need to provide your health insurance details. If you have Saudi Arabian health insurance, you may only need to pay a small co-payment for prescription medication. The amount of the co-payment will depend on the medication and your health insurance policy. If you do not have Saudi Arabian health insurance, you will need to pay the full cost of the medication.

Finally, it is important to exercise caution when seeking alternative treatments such as traditional medicine and to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any traditional remedies.


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