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Pharmacists Can Do So Much More: What Are Common Ailments?

Browsing the Mint Health+Drugs website, one term you’ve likely seen again and again is ‘common ailments.’ This is a term referring to common illnesses and issues that do not require lab or blood tests and are often too minor for medical clinics to handle.

Why are they so important to us? Our Mint pharmacists have additional prescribing authority by the Alberta College of Pharmacy, meaning they’re capable of recognizing, treating and prescribing treatments for common ailments and illnesses. When treating a minor ailment, the sooner you can be seen and attended to, the better. So skip the lines at the doctor’s and come to a Mint Health+Drugs – we truly mean it when we say no issue is too small to deal with! Here is everything you need to know about minor ailments and what we can do.

The Mint Plus on Minor Ailments

Recently, the scope of practice for pharmacists across Canada has been expanded to better meet the challenges in Canadian health care.  Now they’re taking on bigger roles, serving as the medication management experts in practices across the country, helping making health care more accessible for patients.. Canadian pharmacists today can administer flu shots and vaccinations, provide counselling about prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, natural health solutions and prescribe and treat common ailments.   

Every pharmacist at a Mint Health+Drugs pharmacy is APA-designated, capable of doing so much! Whether it’s over-the-counter medication, treatments you can administer yourself or support and advice we can provide, visiting a Mint pharmacy helps hospitals and medical clinics elsewhere with their workloads and reduces strain on their resources.

So what is a minor ailment, you may ask? Well, they tend to check off several of the following conditions:

  • It can be possibly be self-diagnosed.
  • No lab or blood tests needed.
  • Treatments should not be hiding any underlying conditions. 
  • Your follow-ups won’t be extensive.


So with that in mind, a sore throat would qualify as a minor ailment; it’s not complicated to self-identify and a pharmacist can provide treatment right away. But what about something like strep throat, something we test for at pharmacies and shares similar symptoms with sore throat but is far more serious? A pharmacist that’s APA-designated can do a strep test with no external lab tests needed and you’ll be able to receive immediate treatment. 

The following below is a list of possible common ailments you can have assessed and treated at a Mint Health+Drugs pharmacy. 

  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (acid reflux)
  • Nausea
  • Dyspepsia (indigestion)
  • Non-infectious Diarrhea
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Allergic Rhinitis
  • Cough
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Sore Throat
  • Mild Headache
  • Minor Muscle Pain
  • Minor Joint Pain
  • Minor Sleep Disorders
  • Dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps)
  • Emergency Contraception
  • Xerophthalmia (dry eyes)
  • Oral Ulcers
  • Oral Fungal Infection (thrush)
  • Fungal Infections of the Skin (such as Athlete’s Foot)
  • Vaginal Candidiasis (yeast infection)
  • Threadworms and Pinworms
  • Herpes Simplex (cold sores)
  • Contact Allergic Dermatitis (skin reaction from coming into contact with an allergen)
  • Mild Acne
  • Mild to Moderate Eczema
  • Mild Urticaria (including bites and stings) (hives)
  • Impetigo
  • Dandruff
  • Calluses and Corns
  • Warts (excluding facial and genital)
  • Smoking Cessation

So what happens when you walk into a Mint Health+Drugs pharmacy?

It goes like this: you’ll have a conversation with a pharmacist to best determine your ailment. They’ll ask about your current medical condition, the medications you’re taking and the symptoms you’re dealing with and how long you’ve had them for. 

At that point, you’re likely to receive a recommendation for over-the-counter medication or prescription medication intended to alleviate your condition, but if the pharmacist you’re speaking with believes your condition may need more attention, they can refer you to a doctor or elsewhere. If a medication is prescribed and prepared, you can have it filled at the same Mint Health+Drugs pharmacy you’re visiting while a note gets sent to your family doctor for their records. 

You’ll get a call from the pharmacist a few days checking up to see how you’re feeling. The purposes of the call are twofold – our pharmacists get to see if you’re on the right path with your current treatment plan and it ensures they are following everything to procedure.

From that point on, you may be told to continue your treatment if improvements have been noted or your pharmacist may make a different recommendation or advise you to see your doctor. From start to finish, that’s how treating a common ailment at a Mint pharmacy goes! We hope you feel more emboldened to walk into one of our locations when you’re feeling unwell – trust us when we say it’s something we’re more than happy to tackle!

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