Minor Ailments

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
  • Medications and medical histories can reliably differentiate more serious conditions
  • Only minimal or short-term follow-up is required

The proposed list of minor ailments that pharmacists may be authorized to treat was developed by the Minor Ailments Advisory Group (MAAG), comprising patient advisors as well as experts in pharmacy, medicine, public health, antimicrobial stewardship, and health systems research. The list of minor ailments and the approved American Hospital Formulary Service (AHFS) Pharmacologic-Therapeutic Classification system categories for treating each condition includes:

 

CONDITION AHFS CLASSIFICATION
1. Urinary tract infection (uncomplicated)
  • Anti-infective Agents: Antibacterials. Sulfonamides (8:12.20)
  • Anti-infective Agents: Urinary Anti-infectives (8:36
2. Dermatitis (atopic/eczema, allergic and contact skin rashes)
  • Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents: Anti-inflammatory Agents. Corticosteroids (84:06.08)
3. Insect bites (including tick bites) and urticaria (hives)
  • Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents: Anti-inflammatory Agents. Corticosteroids (84:06.08)
  • Antibiotic Tetracyclines (8:12:24)
4. Conjunctivitis (bacterial, allergic, viral)
  • Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat Preparations: Anti-infectives. Antibacterials (52:04.04)
  • Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat Preparations: Antiallergic Agents (52:02)
5. Allergic rhinitis (nasal symptoms from allergies)
  • Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Preparations: Anti-inflammatory Agents. Corticosteroids (52:08.08)
  • Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat Preparations: Antiallergic Agents (52:02)
6. Candidal stomatitis (oral thrush)
  • Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents: Anti-infectives. Antifungals. Polyenes (84:04.08.28)
7. Herpes labialis (cold sores)
  • Anti-infective Agents: Antivirals. Nucleosides and Nucleotides (8:18.32)
  • Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents: Anti-infectives. Antivirals (84:04.06)
  • Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents: Anti-inflammatory Agents. Corticosteroids (84:06.08)
8. Hemorrhoids
  • Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents: Anti-inflammatory Agents. Corticosteroids (84:06.08)
  • Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents: Antipruritics and Local Anesthetics (84:08)
  • Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents: Miscellaneous Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents (84:36)
9. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Gastrointestinal Drugs: Antiulcer Agents and Acid Suppressants. Histamine H2-Antagonists (56:28.12)
10. Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps)
  • Central Nervous System Agents: Analgesics and Antipyretics. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Agents. Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Agents (28:08.04.92)
11. Musculosketelal sprains and strains
  • Central Nervous System agents: Analgesics and Antipyretics. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Agents. COX-2 inhibitors (28:08.04.08)
  • Central Nervous System agents: Analgesics and Antipyretics. Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Agents. Other Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Agents (28:08.04.92)
12. Impetigo (bacterial skin infection common in children)
  • Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents: Anti-infectives. Antibacterials (84:04.04)
  • Skin and Mucous Membrane Agents: Anti-inflammatory Agents. Corticosteroids (84:06.08)

The draft regulations authorizing pharmacists to prescribe for minor ailments are pending government approval before coming into effect.

For registrants:

The College is committed to supporting the profession in implementing scope of practice changes safely and with confidence by providing the necessary guidance and tools. While prescribing for minor ailments has not yet been approved by government, the College is collaborating with stakeholders, including pharmacy associations, to develop supports to help registrants meet and apply the proposed regulatory requirements, and to describe a pharmacist’s professional and ethical responsibilities. The support material will be shared with registrants in the Resources for Pharmacy Professionals section, as well as linked from e-Connect and social media posts.