Everything you need to get through Swedish winter

Back home you always know what to buy to address common winter ailments. But how do you know what to buy abroad? We asked Sweden's largest pharmacy chain for help.

Everything you need to get through Swedish winter
Photo: Pixabay

The holidays have come and gone…but Swedish winter is here to stay for at least another two months.

And with winter comes darkness, slippery sidewalks, dry skin, chapped lips, coughing and runny noses… but also serene, snow-covered landscapes; fresh, frosty air; ice-skating and skiing galore.

As any Swede will tell you, the key to enjoying winter is being prepared.

Luckily, a charming Swedish pharmacy has your best interests at heart. Literally…Apotek Hjärtat (“the heart apothecary”) has everything it takes to help you see the light in these dark times, so you can get out there and enjoy the winter wonderland.

So stop stuffing your bags full of remedies from back home on each trip – you can get it all right here in the midst of Swedish winter.

Photo: Apotek Hjärtat/Flickr

1. You don't need a thick skin  

One of the worst parts of winter is the havoc it wreaks on your skin. But you don’t need a thick skin to make it through – you just need a hydrated one!  

The L300 series is specifically designed to help skin handle Nordic winters, from the biting cold outdoors to the dry warm air indoors. Try the Intensive Moisture Day Cream or Night Cream to keep your skin happy.

Apotek Hjärtat also carries classic, quality French brands like Avène and La Roche-Posay, so those with sensitive skin will never be left out in the cold (pun intended).

Avène's Cold Cream can protect your skin from winter winds while still letting it breathe, and their thermal spring water spray can help keep skin calm no matter what the trouble.

There are also products which help with eczema, rosacea, and basically any problem you have.

2. Lip service

Speaking of dryness, don’t get us started on lips. Winter weather can leave them chapped and cracked, both unsightly and painful.

Luckily there's Hjärtats hudsalva, Apotek Hjärtat's very own balm which can help rescue your lips for less than the cost of a latte.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Lips will repair cracks, Aco Stay Soft Lips moisturizes for 24 hours with a little shine and shimmer, and Decubal lips and dry spots balm can even protect your cuticles and elbows. Take care of those lips so you can still engage in stimulating Swedish small talk while waiting for the bus, even when it’s -10C outside.

3. Stand your ground

Or, you know, sit. Photo: Pixabay

And while you're waiting for the bus, don't slip and fall. There's no such thing as bad weather after all, just bad clothing. Which is why Swedes use a handy little invention they call “broddar” or “halkskydd” – clips on your shoes which will help you grip the ice. You might know them as ice creepers or cleats.

It’s worth not having to fall on your bum 317 times before spring arrives, right? And don’t worry, they come in multiple colours! (Though a true Stockholmer would choose black.)

4. Sun supplements

Three to five hours of sunlight doesn’t get you much Vitamin D. It’s no wonder that about half of Swedes are deficient by the time spring rolls around.

Luckily, Apotek Hjärtat has a plethora of Vitamin D, whether you want to swallow, sip, or even chew it. 

5. Let go of Lemsip…

Yes, we know the Brits out there miss Lemsip.

“But you can get similar stuff here, no matter what the Brits say,” says Emma, a Swede who lived in the UK for many years.

The only thing is, Swedes aren't as in to lemon as you are. But if you're up for trying black currant flavour, Panodil has just the thing – a powdered hot drink with paracetamol that relieves pain and fever.

There are plenty of other products to manage colds, too, like various nose sprays (nässpray) and lozenges (sugtabletter). For sore throatsStrepsils and Bafucin are popular choices, and Zyx is said to have a numbing effect.

6. The flu and you

Got the flu? Not much to do but wait it out with plenty of painkillers and hand sanitizer.

If you're looking for paracetamol (known as Tylenol to many Americans), you'll find it in brands like Alvedon, Pamol, Panodil, and Pinex. If you need ibuprofen, try Ipren or Ibumetin.

Missing Anadin/Anacin with aspirin and caffeine? You can get something similar in fizzy drink form, such as Bamyl and Treo.

7. Brush off the cough

Even when a nasty cold has passed, that pesky cough can last for weeks.

In Sweden the most common solutions are Bisolvon – which comes in cough syrup and pill form – as well as Nipaxon and Bromhex. Nipaxon is intended to relieve dry coughs (rethosta), whereas Bisolvon and Bromhex are designed to help get rid of phlegm-filled coughs (slemhosta) and clear the airways.

8. Prevention is key

Photo: Apotek Hjärtat/Flickr

Of course, the best way to make it through Swedish winter is just to stay healthy in the first place. Many Swedes take Echinacea supplements or a root extract called KanJang as soon as they feel a cold coming on.

9. Get away

If all else fails…leave Swedish winter for a while. That's what the Swedes do.

And Apotek Hjärtat has everything you need to prepare for your flight to warmer latitudes, too, from sleeping masks and ear plugs to pillows, ponchos, fanny packs, travel-size bottles, luggage tags, electric adapters, and more.

How to shop at

Click on the image to visit the Apotek Hjärtat's website

Alright, so now you know what to get. But how? Just take a stroll to your nearest Apotek Hjärtat – you can find it by entering your street address or postal code here – and an employee will be happy to help you with whatever you need – and speaking English is no problem. You can also choose to join their loyalty programme, which gives you access to great special offers.

Sick on the couch? Shop online! Apotek Hjärtat's website is currently only available in Swedish – but it's still simple to navigate!

You can browse by category under Sortiment, or look for specific brands under Varumärken.

To add a product to your cart, just click the green button that says “köp” – buy. When you're ready to check out, click the blue “till kassan” button in the upper right-hand corner.

The site might recommend some other products you might like – just click the blue button again, “vidare till kassan“, if you want to go straight to your cart.

You will then be able to fill out your delivery information – and most of the delivery options are free, and take 1-3 days.

Once you enter your email address and area code, your registered address should appear and then you should be able to choose between receiving a bill (faktura), paying at the end of the month (betala i slutet av the next month), credit card (kort), a direct bank payment (banköverföring), or Klarna.

When you’re ready just click “slutför köp”, and you’re done! Now go out and enjoy winter, the Swedish way!

Photo: Pixabay

Remember that, as with any medicine, it's important that you always read the patient information leaflet before using prescription-free medicine. That includes products such as Panodil, Bafucin, Strepsil, Zyx, any other ibuprofen and paracetamol products, KanJang Echinacea supplements, Bamyl, Treo, Bisolvon, Nipaxon, and Bromhex. See below for more information about each prescription-free medicine listed in this article.

Call 0771-405 405 for help in English.

This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by Apotek Hjärtat.


Tillägg plikttexter

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Panodil Pulver till oral lösning i dospåse 500 mg
Receptfritt läkemedel med paracetamol mot värk och feber. Från 12 år.

Strepsils sugtablett, flera smaker
Receptfritt läkemedel använt vid lindriga infektioner i munhåla och svalg tex ont i halsen. Mint från 12 år, övriga smaker från 6 år.

Bafucin sugtablett original/mint
Receptfritt läkemedel som används vid halsont och svalgrodnad i samband med lindriga infektioner i munhåla och svalg. Från 5 år.

Zyx sugtablett 3mg, flera smaker
Receptfritt läkemedel med benzydamin för lindring av smärta och irritation i mun och svalg. Från 6 år.

Bamyl koffein Brustablett 500mg/50mg
Receptfritt läkemedel med acetylsalicylsyra och koffein vid tillfälliga lätta till måttliga smärttillstånd, t ex huvudvärk, migrän, muskel- och ledvärk samt vid feber vid förkylningssjukdomar. Ska inte ges till personer under 18 år med feber utan läkarkontakt. Från 14 år.

Treo Brustablett 500mg/50mg original/citrus
Receptfritt läkemedel med acetylsalicylsyra och koffein vid tillfälliga lätta till måttliga smärttillstånd, t ex huvudvärk, migrän, muskel- och ledvärk samt vid feber vid förkylningssjukdomar. Ska inte ges till personer under 18 år med feber utan läkarkontakt. Från 14 år.

Kan Jan oral lösning
Traditionellt växtbaserat läkemedel använt för att lindra symtom vid förkylning. Används inte mer än 10 dagar per behandlingstillfälle. Indikationerna för ett traditionellt växtbaserat läkemedel grundar sig enbart på erfarenhet av långvarig användning. Från 12 år.

Bisolvon och Bromhex är receptfria läkemedel med bromhexin mot tillfällig, kortvarig hosta med segt slem. Läs bipacksedeln på för mer specifik information om t ex åldersgränser.

Nipaxon är ett receptfritt läkemedel med noskapin för behandling av tillfällig kortvarig rethosta. Läs bipacksedeln på för mer specifik information om t ex åldersgränser.

Ipren och Ibumetin är receptfria läkemedel med ibuprofen som är smärtlindrande, febernedsättande och inflammationshämmande. Läs bipacksedeln på för mer specifik information om t ex åldersgränser.

Alvedon, Pamol, Panodil och Pinex är receptfria läkemedel med paracetamol mot värk och feber.
Läs bipacksedeln på för mer specifik information om t ex åldersgränser.

För utförlig information om receptfria läkemedel se bipacksedeln på




New Year’s Eve injury rate bounces back to normal in Denmark

The number of people treated for fireworks-related injuries on New Year's Eve in Denmark has bounced back to normal levels, with 16 people treated for eye injuries after the celebrations.

New Year's Eve injury rate bounces back to normal in Denmark
Fireworks led to 16 eye injuries on New Year's Eve. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

This is up from the unusually low 12 people who were treated for eye injuries during and after the celebrations last year. Two of this year’s injuries are sufficiently severe that the injured are expected to lose their sight completely or partially.

“After a very quiet evening last year, it is back to a normal, average level,” Ulrik Correll Christensen, head doctor at the ophthalmology department at Rigshospitalet, told the country’s Ritzau newswire. “It is a completely extraordinary situation at the eye departments on New Year’s Eve. It is not at all something we see on a daily basis.” 

Christensen has tallied up reports from all of Denmark’s eye units, including the major ones in Copenhagen, Aalborg, Aarhus, Odense and Næstved. 

He said that 15 out of the 16 cases had not worn safety goggles, two thirds were between ten and thirty years old. 

“The most important thing is to follow the advice when firing fireworks. Wear safety goggles and keep a good distance,” he said. 

The number of ambulance call outs on New Year’s Eve is also back to normal, with 1,188 emergency vehicles sent out, compared to 875 last year. 

In the Capital Region of Copenhagen, there were 44 call-outs were related to fireworks, of which 16 were for hand injuries and 14 for eye injuries.