This service is free with a valid Nova Scotia Health Card at your local Community Pharmacy Primary Care Clinic. Click Here to book an appointment.
Pharmacists in Nova Scotia can assess and prescribe for minor ailments.
WHAT IS A MINOR AILMENT?
A minor ailment is:
- A condition that can be managed with minimal treatment and/or self care strategies
- Usually a short term condition
- Does not require any blood work or lab tests
- Can be managed by your pharmacist at the pharmacy
- Not intended to replace regular visits with your pharmacy care provider
A minor ailment can be treated with:
- “At-home” or self-care treatments
- Over-the-counter medication treatments
- Prescription medications
MINOR AILMENTS THAT PHARMACISTS CAN ASSESS & PRESCRIBE FOR:
- Diarrhea (non-infectious)
HEAD/ NOSE/ THROAT
- Allergic Rhinitis
- Headache (mild)
- Nasal Congestion
- Oral Thrush
- Oral Ulcers
- Sore Throat
- Treatment of Shingles (click for more information)
- Uncomplicated Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)/Bladder Infections (click for more information)
- Lyme Disease Prevention
- Hormonal Contraception/Birth Control (click for more information)
- Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps, not hormonal contraception)
- Emergency Contraception
- Vaginal Candidiasis
- Acne (mild)
- Calluses and Corns
- Contact Allergic Dermatitis
- Eczema (mild to moderate)
- Fungal Infections of the Skin
- Urticaria (mild)
- Warts (excluding facial and genital)
- Herpes Simplex (infrequent)
- Joint Pain (minor)
- Muscle Pain (minor)
- Sleep Disorders (minor)
- Smoking Cessation
- Threadworms and Pinworms
OTHER ITEMS NOT COVERED BY NS HEALTH CARD
- Vaccines that are not currently publicly funded (ex. Shingles vaccine, High dose flu, hepatitis A and B)
- Malaria prevention medication
WHAT HAPPENS DURING AN ASSESSMENT?
- The pharmacist will explain the process and obtain your consent to complete an assessment
- You will meet with the pharmacist in a private counselling room, usually next to the pharmacy
- Some pharmacies may require an appointment
- The pharmacist will have a detailed discussion with you to assess your ailment
- The pharmacist will ask what medical conditions you have, what medications you take, what kind of symptoms you are having, and how long have you had them
- At this point, the pharmacist will make a recommendation for an over-the-counter medication or a prescription medication
- If the pharmacist believes your condition is more serious they will refer you to your doctor.
- Prescriptions written by a pharmacist are paid for by both provincial and private drug plans, as long as that medication would normally be a benefit
- There is a fee for the assessment, whether or not the pharmacist prescribes something. This service is not yet covered by any provincial or private drug plans.
- There was a pilot program in 2015 for people with provincial drug coverage, to have the cost of the assessment paid for, for certain minor ailments – check with your pharmacist for more information
What happens after the assessment?
- If a medication is prescribed during the assessment, the pharmacist will prepare your prescription or you can take the prescription to another pharmacy to be filled
- The pharmacist then sends notification to your doctor for their records
- If you do not have a doctor you can be given a copy of the doctor’s notice to keep until you have a doctor
- The pharmacist will call you a few days later to see how you feel. Depending on how you are doing, the pharmacist will tell you to continue your treatment, they will make a different recommendation, or tell you if you need to see your doctor
Do all pharmacies in Nova Scotia offer minor ailment assessment and prescribing services?
- Most, but not all, pharmacies in Nova Scotia provide minor ailment assessment and prescribing services.*
Will I need to pay to have a minor ailment assessed?
- Fees may vary by pharmacy*
* Please contact your pharmacy for more information