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In the Netherlands, there are two types of stores where medications are available. A drugstore (drogisterij or drogist) such as Kruidvat, DA, Etos and Trekpleister, supplies non-prescription medications as well as homeopathic agents, general toiletries, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, vitamins and baby items. A pharmacy (apotheek) provides prescription and non-prescription drugs, as well as vitamins, homeopathic remedies, and hypoallergenic skin care items. Pharmacists are very knowledgeable and can give advice on over-the-counter medications, drug interactions, and side effects. You may find that you need prescriptions for things you were able to buy over the counter at home.
After signing on with a doctor, it is a good idea to find a pharmacy in your area that you can use on a regular basis. A pharmacy will provide medicines on prescription. You can find a list of local pharmacies on the internet under “Apotheken.” You do not have to register with a specific pharmacy, but it makes it easier for one pharmacy to have a history of your medical prescriptions.
On weekends, holidays, and at night, there is a pharmacy on duty in your area. You can find a list of on-duty pharmacies as well as their hours and phone numbers in the window of your pharmacy. If you call a pharmacy during off hours, you will get a message (in Dutch) giving you the name and number of the pharmacy on duty.