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약국에 갈 때 (A Visit to the Pharmacy)

Posted by on July 16, 2011
I thought it might be helpful for everyone if I shared some useful vocab for use when visiting the pharmacy.


First off, if you’ve been in Korea for more than a few weeks, you’ve probably already noticed that Koreans are a little more strict about adhering to the “take this on a full stomach” rules that come with certain medicines. To me, “Take one capsule after meals” always seemed like more of a suggestion than a concrete rule, but in Korea it’s a different story. People seem to follow directions related to medicine a little more closely. Here are some expressions on the topic.

식전: Before meals
식후: After meals
식사 시: At mealtime

In terms of dosage the pharmacist will probably say something similar to the following sentences:

  • 하루에 두 번 두 알씩 드세요.
  • Take two capsules twice daily.
  • 하루에 세 번 식사할 때마다 한 알씩 드세요.
  • Take one tablet three times daily with meals.

Here are some words related to pharmaceuticals:

Beginner Level

약사: pharmacist
감기약: cold medicine
두통약: a headache remedy
두통: a headache
열: a fever
몸살: body aches, body fatigue
기침: a cough
주사를 맞다: to get an injection/shot


약품: pharmaceuticals
한약: Oriental medicine
양약: Western medicine
소화제: a digestion aid, a digestive
진통제: a painkiller
항생제: an antibiotic
연고: ointment
상처: an injury
흉터: a scar
치료: medical treatment
보약: a restorative, a tonic
처방전: a prescription


제약회사: a pharmaceutical company
거대 제약회사: Big Pharma
수면제: a sleep aid, sleeping pill
신경안정제: a tranquilizer
부작용: side effect
금단 현상: withdrawal symptoms
약물중독: drug dependency/addiction
조제: to fill a prescription; to dispense a medication
접종: a vaccination
예방주사: a prophylactic (preventative) injection
건강보조식품: health supplements

Symptoms 증세

Elementary Level

  • I have a fever
  • 열이 나요.
  • I have a very severe cough
  • 기침이 너무 심해요.

Middle Level

  • I keep getting the chills.
  • 계속 오한이 나요.
  • I’m completely over the cold.
  • 감기가 다 나았어요.
  • My cold is still lingering on; I still haven’t gotten over my cold.
  • 아직 감기 기운이 있어요.
  • I have a rash on my thigh.
  • 허벅지에 두드러기가 났어요.
  • Do I need a prescription for this?
  • 처방전 받아 와야 돼요?

Advanced Level

  • 이 약은 장기적으로 복용하면 중독될 수 있어요?
  • Can long-term use of this medication lead to addiction?
  • 마이클 잭슨은 펩시 광고를 찍을 때 불꽃이 튀어서 두피에 화상을 입은 후부터 진통제를 복용하기 시작했어요. 그것이 본격적인 약물 중독으로 이어졌다고 해요.
  • Michael Jackson began taking prescription painkillers following a burn injury sustained in a pyrotechnic accident during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. It is thought that this led to his full-fledged drug dependency later on.


2 Responses to 약국에 갈 때 (A Visit to the Pharmacy)

  1. seoulinme

    Oh! you have a typo in the last line “Michael Jackson began taking prescription painkillers following an burn injury” you put “an” instead of “a” and thanks for the lesson 😀

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