Pharmacy medicine is not always vegan! In fact, most of the salves, creams, antibiotics and all vaccines are all made with animals or animal by-products. Many of the capsules are made with gelatin. And many more of the medicines can contain lactose, which they use as a stabilizer. This can be challenging to figure out in your own country and even more so in a foreign one.
Italy has made things easier for vegans. There is an organization called PharmaVegana and the doctors that make up that group are specifically certified to identify vegan medicines. If you are in Italy and your are looking for medicine, you can check to see if that pharmacy has the Punto PharmaVegana logo. You can find them all over Italy.
Of course, you can skip the pharmacy altogether and go to the erboristeria. This is where you can find herbs, teas and alternative options to commercial medicine. herbal shop. The people that work there are very informative about different herbs and herbal medicines and they should be able to help you with your vegan needs.
You can often find vegan products too, like tofu, seitan and baked goods at the erboristeria. They usually have health products for diabetics, lactose or gluten intolerant people and foods for people with allergies.
Most of the times you can find herbal solutions.
You can read more on their website (in Italian) http://www.pharmavegana.it/