Missing In Iceland: Aspirin In Grocery Stores Or Corner Shops - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Missing In Iceland: Aspirin In Grocery Stores Or Corner Shops

Missing In Iceland: Aspirin In Grocery Stores Or Corner Shops

Published May 3, 2017

Photos by
ParentingPatch/Wikimedia Commons

It’s Sunday, you’re hungover, and your head is killing you. Time to pop down to the shops and buy some Paracetamol, right? Tough luck, buster! You’re going to need to find a pharmacy, and good luck finding one open on a Sunday.

Fact is, the only thing close to medicine you will ever found sold in regular shops in Iceland are vitamins, and they don’t really count. Painkillers are only sold in pharmacies. This is due to Icelandic law, which classifies painkillers as medicine, which only pharmacies are allowed to sell.

All is not lost, however. Some shops sell “hangover remedies,” albeit with dubious ingredients. If all you want are general painkillers, there are some pharmacies open after hours, including some that are open 24 hours. They’re just not really easy to find.

As such, no, you’re not completely out of options if you happen to need a painkiller outside of business hours. And you could always stock up ahead of time. But the ability to trundle down to the corner store and get some Bayer is yet another thing missing in Iceland.


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