What's a Minor Ailment and how can my pharmacist help?

Pharmacists have the option to provide prescriptions for birth control and bladder infections. Pharmacists who have taken the specific training are authorized by the Saskatchewan government to prescribe for birth control and bladder infections. 

Birth Control

Access to self-care has become easier since  pharmacists have been authorized to prescribe birth control. 

If patients are low risk and do not have any health concerns which may cause complications, visit your local pharmacist. If you are unsure or have  questions, ask your pharmacist to find out if they can provide your prescription for you.

For patients who do have risks or concerns, it is advisable they ask their  family doctor or provider for their prescription. 

Birth Control FAQ - Final.pdf

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Bladder Infections

Pharmacists can now prescribe relief for your bladder infection. 

If you are a healthy, young woman experiencing a discrete episode and standard bladder infection with no  complications, see your local pharmacist. Not sure? Ask your pharmacist and they can determine if they can provide the prescription for you.

For those who are experiencing a bladder infection with complications, or there are concerns, see your family doctor or provider.

Bladder Infection FAQ - Final.docx

docx, 297.2kb


Your Pharmacist is the most accessible and trusted health care professionals and that accessibility means you can get help for minor health issues that require timely treatment.

Saskatchewan pharmacists can advise and are trained to prescribe medications for a growing list of minor health issues. In 2011, the laws in Saskatchewan were changed to allow pharmacists to issue prescriptions under certain circumstances where they are trained to do so. You can find more questions and answers specific to this subject in our page My Pharmacist can prescribe?

What is a minor ailment?

A minor ailment is generally a condition that is less serious for which you can look after yourself and may not need to see your doctor. For some ailments, your pharmacist can provide you with a limited course of treatment with a prescription drug that may be more effective than an over-the-counter medication.

Minor ailments, besides being less serious, can also be self-limiting meaning that they only last for a short period of time. Many medications and remedies are available to you over-the-counter without a doctor’s prescription to help you treat these ailments yourself. Your pharmacist can continue to help you with selecting the most appropriate remedy or medication and is able to provide prescription drugs for some ailments such as:

  • mild acne
  • hay fever, seasonal allergies
  • cold sores
  • diaper rash
  • insect bites
  • canker sores
  • oral thrush
  • painful periods
  • acid reflux
  • headaches
  • hemorrhoids
  • muscle strains and sprains
  • bacterial skin infections
  • athlete's foot, ringworm, groin itch
  • emergency contraception
  • birth control (hormonal contraception)
  • bladder infections (urinary tract infections)
  • Shingles
  • Eye infection (conjunctivitis)
  • Influenza (in epidemic or pandemic situations)
  • Nail Fungus (onychomycosis)

Over-the-counter remedies you have tried do not help. Your pharmacist will help you assess your need for relief and may be able to provide a prescription drug that is a better option for you.

Is my doctor informed?

When your pharmacist prescribes a drug for a minor ailment for you, s/he will let your doctor know. 

What if I don't have a doctor?

For minor health issues, if the condition and treatment required is within pharmacists' prescribing limits, your pharmacist can prescribe medications if you do not have a family doctor.

This service is intended to improve access to health care.

What happens if the minor ailment turns out to be more serious?

Your pharmacist will work with you to determine the success of the treatment. If for example the drug does not work as well as it is supposed to or your condition is more serious, your pharmacist will refer you to your doctor.