Major help for minor ailments

Major help for minor ailments

Your pharmacist is an important resource in caring for your overall health. When you're struck with a minor ailment, a visit to the pharmacy can be a convenient alternative to making an appointment with your doctor.

What is a minor ailment?

A minor ailment is a condition that you can look after yourself and that you may not need to see a doctor for. They can be self-limiting, meaning they only last for a short period of time. They can also be a condition that was diagnosed in the past by your doctor now you can generally identify them.

These conditions might qualify for minor ailment prescribing:

  • superficial fungal and bacterial skin infections
  • allergies that show themselves on the skin or in your nose
  • diaper rashes
  • cold sores and canker sores
  • mild eye infections
  • seasonal insect bites
  • birth control and emergency contraception
  • pain from menstrual cramps, migraines or muscles
  • bladder infections
  • smoking cessation
  • heartburn
  • hemorrhoids
  • shingles

How will my pharmacist help?

Your pharmacist can determine whether you have a treatable minor ailment or something more serious by asking you questions from a standardized form about signs and symptoms you're experiencing. Then, they may be able to provide a limited course of treatment with a prescription drug that may be more effective than an over-the-counter medication.

Pharmacists are only able to prescribe drugs that are safe and considered useful and effective in treating the condition it is prescribed for. The drugs must also have a simple dosing regimen and not be abusable.

An assessment can take several minutes to complete. During the assessment, certain measurements, such as blood pressure or height and weight, may be taken. The pharmacist may want to know what non-drug measures or other prescription medications you have tried to treat this same condition.

What happens after the minor ailment assessment?

Your health is the pharmacist’s top priority, and the minor ailment assessment must meet their criteria.

If, after the assessment, the pharmacist determines that the condition you have does not meet the criteria of a minor ailment, they may decide that the best and safest option for you is to be seen by your doctor.

If you meet the criteria, your prescription will be written and filled. If you have more questions about the medication, your pharmacist can answer them when the prescription is picked up. They will also arrange a follow-up with you to discuss the effectiveness of the treatment.

In addition, pharmacists are required to inform your doctor when they write a minor ailment prescription. If the prescribed medication is not working or the condition is getting worse, see your doctor and let them know what you've been using to treat your condition.

Your Co-op pharmacist is a valuable health care professional. As always, if you have questions about your health or medications, don’t hesitate to contact your pharmacist.

You may also enjoy
More Pharmacy
There are no featured stories at this time.

Complementary Content