Prescribing a medication when no diagnosis is required

Your pharmacist can prescribe medication for the following situations and conditions:

  • Smoking cessation.
  • Emergency oral contraceptive and hormonal contraception.
  • Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
  • Prenatal vitamins and folic acid, if you're trying to conceive or you're at the start of your pregnancy.
  • Travel health (to prevent traveller's diarrhea, malaria or acute mountain sickness).
  • Lice treatment (only when lice have been found and not for prevention).

As a responsible health care professional, your pharmacist will talk to you before writing a prescription to recommend the best treatment for your situation and health condition and based on your medication record. In some cases, your pharmacist will advise you to consult your doctor if this is the best solution for you.

Once your prescription is filled, your pharmacist will tell you how to use it properly and give you other tips to prevent the problem  from coming back. Your pharmacist may also follow up with you a few days later.

Smoking cessation

Do you want to stop smoking? Your pharmacist can give you advice and help you get the support you need. While talking with you, your pharmacist will determine how dependent you are on nicotine, understand your main smoking habits, help you identify what triggers your urge to smoke, and ask you about your previous attempts to quit. This information will help your pharmacist give you a prescription for nicotine replacement therapy that is right for you. You'll also get good advice to help you quit.

Smoking is considered a chronic disease because of how hard it is to quit and the constant risk of starting again. Beyond the physical dependency on nicotine, smoking also causes a psychological dependence, and people also have many reasons for smoking. This is why a pharmacological aid should be combined with personalized advice and follow-up.

When prescribed by a pharmacist, these medications are covered by your drug insurance plan. When you meet with your pharmacist when you pick up your prescription, you’ll get ongoing follow-up from a professional who cares about your health.

Emergency oral contraception and hormonal contraception

If you've had unprotected or at-risk sex (e.g., the condom broke or you forgot to take your birth control pill), see your pharmacist right away for a prescription of an emergency oral contraception (EOC) that is right for you. Since pharmacists are more available than other health care professionals, they can make emergency contraception more accessible to more women who could otherwise face an unwanted pregnancy.

A detailed protocol must be followed to get an EOC prescription, and you need to see your pharmacist before you get one. Your pharmacist will ensure that you can safely take the drug and will tell you about side effects of the medication and when you should expect your next period. Your pharmacist may also suggest  that you get a medical consultation, a pregnancy test, or screening for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI).

After prescribing an EOC, your pharmacist may give you a prescription for a hormonal contraceptive depending on your health condition. Your pharmacist will tell you how to use it and follow up with you in the months following your consultation to make sure you are tolerating the contraceptive. This prescription will be valid for 3 to 6 months to give you time to see your doctor.

Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy

Nausea and vomiting are common at the start of pregnancy. These symptoms are very disruptive for pregnant women and in some cases can affect their diets or cause dehydration.

You have many options to relieve nausea or vomiting during pregnancy. If none of these remedies work, your pharmacist can prescribe a medication to relieve your symptoms. First, your pharmacist will make sure that you don't need to see a doctor immediately. If not, he or she will explain how to take  the medication when your nausea is most severe. Your pharmacist can also answer your questions about over-the-counter medications during your pregnancy.

Prenatal vitamins and folic acid

Are you pregnant or trying to get pregnant? Your pharmacist can talk to you about the vitamins and nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. In addition to a good  diet, supplements are also recommended during pregnancy.

Your pharmacist can also give you a prescription for specific vitamin supplements to meet your increased needs. You'll need folic acid in particular to prevent serious deformities. You can start taking folic acid up to 3 months before conception and you need to take it throughout your pregnancy. You’ll also need to take iron and calcium in a multivitamin throughout your pregnancy and for 1 to 2 months following childbirth.

Your pharmacist will take the time to review your situation and recommend the best vitamins for your needs.

Travel health

Are you planning to travel out of the country? Make a quick trip to your pharmacy first! Your pharmacist can help you put together a first aid kit and, more importantly, let you know which medications to bring with you.

Your pharmacist can prescribe drugs to prevent malaria or treat traveller's diarrhea. These health problems happen frequently, even when people travel to common destinations. Your pharmacist can also tell you if your destination has these risks and prescribe the recommended drugs if these are appropriate for you. He or she may also give you a prescription to prevent acute mountain sickness (also called altitude sickness) if you're going to a mountainous region. This medical condition is serious and can even be deadly.

Of course, these health problems don't affect everyone who travels, but you should still take precautions before you go. When travelling in a foreign country, it isn’t always easy to make yourself understood. Drug names can change from country to country, which can be confusing and put you at risk of getting the wrong medication. Taking your own medication will let you quickly deal with a potential health problem. Your pharmacist is there to help you travel with peace of mind.

Head lice

Have you gotten the bad news that your child has lice? Your pharmacist can prescribe the right treatment for your child’s age to help you get rid of these pesky bugs. Your pharmacist can also tell you how to use the product correctly, how to prevent lice, and how to clean items that may have come into contact with lice.

Once you have a treatment, you need to follow all instructions to the letter when it comes to both applying the product and waiting the appropriate amount of time between applications. If you don’t follow all the steps, the product may not be effective or you may expose your little one to side effects .
Many people immediately think that when one family member gets lice, the whole family should be treated for lice too. But lice treatment won’t prevent infestation and can only be used when head lice has actually been found.