Italian medical words

You may need to visit a drugstore, a doctor or a hospital in Italy, so it’s important to learn some basic Italian medical words. We hope you never need to use them, but check out this free audio lesson just in case.

You’ll learn to describe your symptoms in Italian, and what to say in an emergency if necessary. In the unlikely event that you need to access health care if you’re feeling sick or get injured, let’s be prepared…

Resources for further reading:

Italian medical words

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Ho dolori.

I'm in pain.

Ho mal di testa.

I have a headache.

Ho mal di stomaco.

I have a stomach ache.

Ho mal di gola.

I have a sore throat.

Ho mal d'orecchie.

I have sore ears.

Ho mal di denti.

I have a tooth ache.

Sono malato/a.

I'm sick.

Ho la nausea.

I'm feeling sick.

I need some pain killers.

The following phrases are useful when describing where it hurts…

Mi fa male il braccio.

My arm hurts.

Mi fa male la gamba.

My leg hurts.

Mi fa male la testa.

My head hurts.

Mi fa male il ginocchio.

My knee hurts.

Mi fa male il sedere.

My bum hurts.

Mi fanno male le gengive.

My gums hurt.

Mi fa male il piede.

My foot hurts.

Mi fa male il dito.

My finger hurts.

Mi fa male il dito del piede.

My toe hurts.

Mi fa male l'occhio.

My eye hurts.

Mi fa male la spalla.

My shoulder hurts.

Mi fa male la schiena.

My back hurts.

When you go to the doctor he or she will ask you about your symptoms…

Che sintomi ha?

What symptoms do you have?

Ha dolori?

Do you have pain?

Dove ha dolori?

Where do you have pain?

Ha febbre?

Do you have a fever?

Maybe you have an idea what's wrong with you. You could say…

Ho il raffreddore.

I have a cold.

Ho l'influenza.

I have the flu.

Ho un'infezione

I have an infection.

Ho un virus.

I have a virus.

Ho un'allergia.

I have an allergy.

Ho la febbre da fieno.

I have hay fever.

Ho dolori da mestruazioni.

I have period pain (cramps).

I have a cold.

Maybe you cut yourself and all you need is a bandage, you might need some sleeping pills for a long haul flight or cough syrup. Here is what you have to say…

Ho bisogno di una benda.

I need a bandage.

Ho bisogno di un cerotto.

I need a Band-Aid.

Ho bisogno di antidolorifici.

I need some pain killers.

Ho bisogno di sonniferi.

I need some sleeping pills.

Ho bisogno di sciroppo per la tosse.

I need some cough syrup.

Ho bisogno di pasticche per la gola.

I need some cough drops (throat lozenges).

Ho bisogno di una ricetta.

I need a prescription.

Ho bisogno di contraccettivi.

I need some contraception.

Here are some more general phrases and words…

La farmacia

The pharmacy

La medicina

The medicine


The ambulance

Chiami l'ambulanza!

Call an ambulance!


The hospital

If you need to call an ambulance you need to know the number. In Italy you need to call 118, it's a free call number available throughout the country.

Here are a few recommended Italian lessons to try next! - How do you describe yourself in Italian? It's easy with this lesson!

A presto!

Maria DiLorenzi and the Rocket Italian Team

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