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Think you need a prescription? Just ask our pharmacists.

Pharmacists can assess and prescribe medication, where appropriate, for many minor illnesses. We can provide advice, options and prevention tips so you can find relief.

Our pharmacists can treat, where appropriate, the minor illnesses below:

Urinary Tract Infection (uncomplicated UTI)

A UTI is a bacterial infection affecting the lower part of the urinary tract, most commonly the bladder.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Painful or difficulty with urination
  • Feelings of an urgent need to urinate
  • Frequent urination
  • May experience pain in the bladder/abdominal area
  • Some people notice foul smelling or cloudy urine

Pharmacists can assess and prescribe, where appropriate, for UTIs in female individuals. Since bladder infections are less common in males, males with symptoms should be assessed by a physician or nurse practitioner.

Cold sores* (Herpes Labialis)

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Red skin surrounding fluid filled blisters on one side of the border of the lip
  • Blisters that can break and contain a sticky clear fluid which crusts over before the healing process begins
  • In the day before it is visible, some people notice an itchy, tingly or burning feeling in the area of the blister

*Prescribing service not available in MB.

Nasal allergies (Allergic Rhinitis)

Allergic rhinitis occurs when the surface of the nasal passages is exposed to and becomes sensitized to the presence of allergens. Common allergens include grass, pollen, trees, outdoor or indoor mold, dust mites, pets, etc.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Nasal itching
  • Runny nose (clear, watery discharge)
  • Sneezing
  • Mild to major congestion
  • Some people notice post-nasal drip, coughing, fatigue or feeling irritable

Skin infection* (Impetigo)

This is a very common bacterial infection of the skin that is very contagious and is usually (although not always) seen in children. The symptoms are seen most often on the face, usually around the nose or mouth, or on the arms and/or legs.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Bumps on the skin that turn to blisters surrounded by red skin
  • When the blisters break they discharge a yellowish fluid
  • The fluid dries to a crust that is golden or honey coloured
  • The sores may be itchy

*Prescribing service not available in MB.

Skin rash (Dermatitis)

Skin rashes can be caused by a variety of reasons including contact with irritating substances, family history, stress, low humidity or other environmental factors. Dermatitis is generally chronic or keeps occurring repeatedly.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Very itchy skin
  • Rash that appears after repeatedly scratching the skin
  • Dry skin

Hives, bug bites or stings (Urticaria)

Urticaria is skin irritation most commonly appearing as itchy, red welts usually stemming from insect bites or stings.

The most common symptoms are:

  • Pain and/or itching
  • Redness and/or swelling (welts or hives)

Note: Severe reactions to insect stings are a medical emergency and immediate treatment should be sought or administered. People who know they have severe reactions should carry an epinephrine auto-injector. Severe symptoms include:

  • Trouble breathing, shortness of breath, wheezing
  • Tingling, numbness or swelling of lips, mouth, or tongue
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heartbeat, low blood pressure


These occur when tissue in the anal canal becomes swollen, filled with blood clots, moves downward, or starts bleeding.

The most common symptoms in the rectal area include:

  • Itching and/or burning
  • Pain and/or swelling
  • Noticing bright red bleeding during or right after having a bowel movement

Menstrual Cramps* (Dysmenorrhea)

Pain shortly before or during the start of menstruation.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Cramping pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area lasting for 2-3 days
  • Pain in the lower back and upper thighs
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Feeling tired or weak

*Prescribing service not available in MB.

Muscle Pain*

Can occur due to overuse or an injury such as pulling, twisting, or stretching a muscle or associated tissues like tendons or ligaments.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising (may be present in some cases)

*Prescribing service not available in MB.

Heartburn* (GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease)

Occurs when contents from the stomach such as food or acid come back up the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach).

Common symptoms include:

  • A burning feeling in the middle of the chest
  • A sour taste in the mouth or the feeling of fluid moving up and down in the chest (regurgitation)

*Prescribing service not available in MB.

Oral Thrush (Fungal infection in the mouth)

Occurs when the Candida fungus that is normally present in the mouth in small quantities starts to overgrow.

Common symptoms in the mouth include:

  • White patches on the lips, cheeks, tongue or back of the throat
  • Patches can be scraped off but leave behind reddened areas or some bleeding
  • Unpleasant taste or fuzzy feeling in the mouth
  • Cracked or dry corners of the lips or mouth


The swelling of veins in and around the anal/rectal area.

Symptoms may include:

  • Bright red blood found in stool or on toilet paper during bowel movements
  • Intense itchiness around the affected area
  • Pain around the affected area, especially when sitting

Menstrual Cramps (Dysmenorrhea)

Mild to severe cramping pain in the abdomen, which can spread to the back and legs, and usually occurs before and during a menstrual period.

Symptoms may include:

  • Dull to intense throbbing pain in the lower abdomen
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea
  • Pain that spreads to the thigh and lower back
  • Headache
  • Tiredness and weakness

Muscle Aches and Pains
(Musculoskeletal sprains and strains)

An injury of a muscle or tendon as a result of pulling, twisting or stretching.

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the joint and/or muscles which worsens during movement
  • Limited range of motion of the joint and muscle weakness
  • Sudden and uncontrollable muscle spasms

Heartburn/Acid Reflux (Gastroesophageal reflux disease - GERD)

A condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach) and causes repeated irritation.

Symptoms may include:

  • Burning sensation in the middle of the chest (heartburn)
  • Rising of food and sour liquid from the stomach back into the mouth and/or throat
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Trouble swallowing or feeling a lump in the throat

Oral Fungal Infection (Oral Thrush)

A yeast/fungal infection of the mouth or throat.

Symptoms may include:

  • White patches on the inner cheeks, tongue, gums, lips, throat, tonsils, and/or roof of mouth
  • Slight bleeding when white patches are scraped off
  • Painful, burning sensation of the mouth
  • Trouble eating and swallowing
  • Loss of taste or bad taste in the mouth
  • Dry, cracked corners of the mouth

Additional minor illnesses our pharmacists can treat in each province:

British Columbia
  • Acne (mild)
  • Diaper rash
  • Shingles
  • Fungal nail infection
  • Dandruff
  • Indigestion
  • Threadworms and pinworms
  • Emergency contraception
  • Hormonal contraception
  • Yeast infection
  • Pink eye
  • Headache (mild)
  • Smoking cessation
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