Pharmacists in Ontario play a crucial role in providing accessible healthcare services to the public. With expanded prescribing authority, they can now prescribe medications for certain minor ailments. In this article, we will explore 13 common minor ailments that pharmacists in Ontario are approved to prescribe medications. This information is based on the Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP) website and aims to help you understand the conditions that can be treated by pharmacists. We will also touch upon additional services like smoking cessation, travel-related care, and contraception. Remember, for personalized guidance, please contact Earthy Apothecary to speak with a knowledgeable pharmacist or book an appointment.
Allergic rhinitis: Pharmacists may prescribe antihistamines or nasal sprays (like fluticasone or budesonide) to relieve symptoms of sneezing, itching, and nasal congestion caused by allergies.
Candidal stomatitis (oral thrush): Antifungal medications such as nystatin can be prescribed to treat oral thrush, caused by an overgrowth of candida yeast in the mouth.
Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye): Pharmacists can prescribe antibiotic eye drops (e.g., tobramycin, erythromycin, polymyxin B) for bacterial conjunctivitis, antihistamine eye drops (e.g., ketotifen) for allergic conjunctivitis, and lubricating eye drops for viral conjunctivitis.
Dermatitis: Depending on the type of dermatitis, pharmacists may prescribe corticosteroid creams (e.g., hydrocortisone) or ointments, moisturizers, or antihistamines to manage itching, inflammation, and dryness associated with atopic, eczema, allergic, or contact dermatitis.
Dysmenorrhea: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or naproxen can be prescribed by pharmacists to alleviate menstrual cramps and pain associated with dysmenorrhea.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD – Acid Reflux): Pharmacists may prescribe antacids (e.g., calcium carbonate) or acid-reducing medications like H2 blockers (e.g., ranitidine) or proton pump inhibitors (e.g., omeprazole) to relieve symptoms of GERD, such as heartburn and acid reflux.
Hemorrhoids: Pharmacists can prescribe creams, ointments, or suppositories containing ingredients like hydrocortisone, zinc sulfate, etc. to relieve itching, pain, and inflammation caused by hemorrhoids.
Herpes labialis (cold sores): Antiviral creams (e.g., docosanol) or oral medications (e.g., acyclovir, valacyclovir) can be prescribed by pharmacists to reduce the duration and severity of cold sores caused by the herpes simplex virus.
Impetigo: Pharmacists may prescribe topical antibiotics like mupirocin to treat localized impetigo, a contagious bacterial skin infection characterized by red sores and crusts.
Insect bites and urticaria (hives): Pharmacists can recommend over-the-counter antihistamines (e.g., diphenhydramine, cetirizine) or topical corticosteroids to relieve itching, redness, and swelling caused by insect bites or hives.
Tick bites, post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent Lyme disease: In cases of recent tick bites, pharmacists may provide prescriptions for prophylactic antibiotics like doxycycline to prevent Lyme disease transmission.
Musculoskeletal sprains and strains: Pharmacists can prescribe pain relievers (e.g., acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen) or topical analgesics (e.g., menthol-based creams) to manage pain and inflammation associated with musculoskeletal sprains and strains.
Urinary tract infections (uncomplicated): Pharmacists can advise on urinary analgesics for symptom relief and prescribe antibiotics for uncomplicated urinary tract infections.
Aside from minor ailment management, pharmacists can assist with other healthcare needs:
Smoking Cessation: Pharmacists can provide counseling and prescribe nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products like patches, gum, and inhalers to help individuals quit smoking.
Travel Medications: Pharmacists can prescribe medications for travel-related conditions such as motion sickness, traveler’s diarrhea, and malaria prevention.
Contraception: Pharmacists can provide emergency contraception (morning-after pill) to ensure timely access for individuals needing it.
Pharmacists in Ontario have expanded prescribing authority for managing a range of minor ailments, providing accessible healthcare services to the general population. See our highly trained and compassionate pharmacist today!
The information provided in this blog post is for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any medical condition. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any decisions regarding your health. The author of this blog post is a healthcare professional and does not assume any responsibility for any actions taken based on the information provided. Reliance on any information in this blog post is solely at your own risk.