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Your pharmacist may prescribe over-the-counter medicines.

Did you know that your pharmacist can prescribe over-the-counter medicines to treat simple health problems? Purpose: to facilitate access to certain health care services and, in some cases, reduce the cost of treatment.

During your visit, your pharmacist will ask you some questions to determine your needs. These questions will allow him to choose the best medicine for you, while making sure that your condition complies with the requirements of Law 31, as amended in March 2020, that is, it does not require consultation with a doctor. A prescription issued by your pharmacist will be valid for a maximum period of 24 months.

For example, constipation is a common side effect of taking morphine. If you are taking it for chronic pain, your pharmacist may prescribe an over-the-counter constipation medicine. Then he will check the effectiveness of the recommended treatment.

Another example: if you are a diabetic and are being treated with insulin, you are more at risk of severe hypoglycemia, that is, a significant drop in blood sugar levels. As a preventative measure, your pharmacist may prescribe glucagon (Baqsimi), a drug that can be taken in an emergency.

Easier and safer access

Do you think your child has impetigo, a bacterial infection common in young people between the ages of 4 and 8? After a simple visual inspection, the pharmacist can determine if these are indeed signs of impetigo. They may then prescribe mupirocin (Bactroban), an antibiotic cream, to treat the infection.

According to the Regulation on Educational Childcare Services, kindergarten teachers can only give prescription drugs (the label on the product indicates that it was prescribed by a healthcare professional). Thanks to changes in the law, if your child has a fever or needs polysporin drops for conjunctivitis, daycare staff can give them acetaminophen (Tylenol, Tempra) or prescribe drops prescribed by a doctor or pharmacist.

Covered drugs

Prescribing over-the-counter drugs by a pharmacist also makes them more affordable. In fact, thanks to a pharmacist’s prescription, their cost can be fully or partially covered by the patient’s insurance, whether it be private insurance or RAMQ insurance.

In some cases, it is necessary to treat not only the patient, but also all the people living under one roof, which can be relatively expensive. For example, if a child has intestinal worms, the pharmacist may need to prescribe pyrantel pamoate (combanthrin) for the entire family. Prescription costs can be covered by insurance, making treatment much more affordable.

The same goes for topical hydrocortisone 1% used to treat atopic dermatitis (eczema) and allergy pills such as loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Reactin), desloratadine (Aerius) or corticosteroid nasal spray. If you have vaginitis, your pharmacist may prescribe fluconazole (Diflucan) by mouth or a cream, such as clotrimazole (Canesten), depending on your symptoms.

Although these drugs are available without a prescription, having a prescription will allow you to claim the cost of their purchase from your insurance company, if the latter covers the drugs in question, or, if not, from your insurance company. taxes.

Complete information available to other healthcare professionals

The prescription of certain over-the-counter drugs allows you to add them to the patient record and see them in the Quebec Medical Book or Quebec Medical Record (DSQ), which includes drugs, laboratory results, certain examinations. This data is available to doctors and pharmacists.

Prescribing certain over-the-counter drugs by pharmacists also allows for the compilation of a medication list, called a FADM. This tool, for example, allows caregivers in nursing homes to legally and safely give their medications to patients.

>> Read also: Telemedicine: pharmacists, doctors, dentists and other specialists answer your questions online

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