As of January 1, 2023, pharmacists in Ontario are authorized to prescribe medications for 13 minor ailments including:
- Allergic rhinitis
- Candidal stomatitis (oral thrush)
- Conjunctivitis (bacterial, allergic and viral)
- Dermatitis (atopic, eczema, allergic and contact)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Herpes labialis (cold sores)
- Insect bites and urticaria (hives)
- Tick bites, post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent Lyme disease
- Musculoskeletal sprains and strains
- Urinary tract infections (uncomplicated)
Minor ailments are described as health conditions that can be managed with minimal treatment and/or self-care strategies. Additional criteria include:
- Usually a short-term condition
- Lab results aren’t usually required
- Low risk of treatment masking underlying conditions
- No medication or medical history red flags that could suggest a more serious condition
- Only minimal or short-term follow-up is required
Patients are encouraged to speak to their pharmacist to find out what healthcare services they offer and whether they are right for their needs. Having the legislated authority to prescribe for minor ailments does not mean all pharmacists must offer or provide this service.
For further information, the College has posted answers to some commonly asked questions from patients.
Pharmacists may refer to the Minor Ailments web page for additional information and resources to help them prescribe for minor ailments safely and with confidence.