By: Leena Thomas, RPh, PharmD

Have you ever suffered from an eye infection or acid reflux and have been unable to get a quick appointment with your family doctor? What if you don’t even have a doctor? Ontario pharmacists are now authorized to prescribe medications for 13 minor ailments.

Minor ailments are ones that can be quickly resolved and present low risk to a person’s overall health. They can be easily managed with basic treatment and self-care strategies and usually do not require lab tests. Pharmacists are well-trained to assess the patients’ needs and to refer them to their primary care provider if necessary.

The 13 minor ailments are:

  • Allergic rhinitis – stuffy nasal passages due to exposure to allergens.
  • Candidal stomatitis (oral thrush) – sores and white patches in your mouth and throat.
  • Conjunctivitis (bacterial, allergic, and viral) – eye infections.
  • Dermatitis (atopic, eczema, allergic and contact) – painful, itchy red patches on your skin.
  • Dysmenorrhea – painful menstruation.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – acid reflux or heartburn.
  • Hemorrhoids or piles.
  • Herpes labialis (cold sores) – tiny, painful blisters near the mouth or other areas of the face.
  • Impetigo – red, itchy sores around the mouth and nose or possibly on the arms or legs.
  • Insect bites and urticaria (hives) – raised itchy skin rash.
  • Tick bites, post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent Lyme disease – possible medication after high-risk tick bite.
  • Musculoskeletal sprains and strains – injuries of joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
  • Urinary tract infections (uncomplicated) – simple bladder infections.

Speak with your pharmacist to see whether they provide the healthcare services that you require, how to access these services and whether they are appropriate for you and your family.