Need urgent care during the holidays? Speak to your pharmacist!

When health issues strike during the holidays, it’s reassuring to know that your pharmacist’s door remains open.

The holiday season and health

The holidays are a time to rejoice. However, during the holiday period, our diet often changes. We eat more frequently and we are sometimes tempted by bigger portions or foods we don’t normally eat. We drink more alcohol or other beverages that are irritating to the digestive system (for example, soft drinks).

Our routine often changes and we sleep less. Lastly, we are in close contact with others, exchanging kisses and warm handshakes, which increases the risk of catching infections such as a cold, the flu or gastroenteritis.

All of this partially explains why we often experience minor discomforts during this time of the year. Your pharmacist is there to help you.

Your pharmacist, a trusted professional

You know that you can count on your pharmacist’s presence and health-related skills throughout the year. Fortunately, most Jean Coutu network pharmacists maintain their usual opening hours during the holidays.

So, rest assured, you will be able to purchase medication and benefit from their valuable advice during the holiday period, even if the opening hours of your local pharmacy vary slightly.

This is how you can check if there are any changes to the opening hours of your pharmacy:

  • Find your Jean Coutu pharmacy on our internet site and consult the opening hours during the holidays.
  • Phone ahead of time to ensure that the pharmacy is open before going there in person. The automated telephone system also allows you to obtain the opening hours.

Holiday “classics” in terms of health…

Some situations may justify consulting your pharmacist during the holidays—for instance if you experience:

  • digestive issues such as sore stomach, acid reflux, nausea, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea
  • a cold or the flu
  • headaches
  • musculoskeletal pain (sore back, stiff neck, a sprain, etc.)
  • a vaginal yeast infection (vaginitis), and
  • allergies

Regardless of the problem or symptoms you are experiencing, ask your pharmacist if he/she can help you. If not, your pharmacist will direct you to the appropriate resources. In certain specific cases, your pharmacist may be able to prescribe medication that you need, if he/she is authorized to do so (such as in the case of lice, for instance).

Prescription refills

To avoid interrupting your treatment before your next doctor’s appointment, your pharmacist is authorized to extend certain medical prescriptions for a limited duration, but only under certain conditions and after a thorough analysis of the situation. Additionally, in a similar context, your pharmacist can adjust a drug treatment to ensure its effectiveness, safety, or to reach therapeutic targets.

If you are among those lucky ones who get to fly south for the holidays, speak to your pharmacist, who will help you think of everything you will need for a healthy and worry-free trip.

In the case of a more serious medical emergency

Your pharmacist is a frontline resource who can help you in various situations as mentioned earlier. However, keep in mind that it is often advisable, even necessary, to see a doctor. We repeat—the role of a pharmacist is not to replace a doctor.

When a diagnosis is necessary or if serious, unusual or persistent or alarming symptoms are present, depending on the context, go to the nearest medical clinic or emergency room. Here are some examples of symptoms that could require prompt medical attention:

  • high fever lasting more than 48 hours
  • breathing problems (breathlessness, wheezing, etc.)
  • severe vomiting
  • loss of vision or speech, or a balance problem
  • chest, neck, jaw or arm pain
  • significant bleeding or that lasts for more than a few minutes
  • intense headaches or severe pain from an unknown source

If you have any doubts, see a doctor as soon as possible. In addition, remember that you can call Info-Santé at any time by dialling 8-1-1.

There’s really nothing to rejoice about when sickness hits during a time to celebrate and enjoy spending precious moments with family and friends. However, it is good to know that Santa Claus isn’t the only one working hard during the holidays—your pharmacist is too! Pharmacist are undoubtedly glad to offer the gift of their time, knowledge, and skills—even if you’ve been naughty and nice during the year!

We wish you health and happiness for the holidays!

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Need urgent care during the holidays? Speak to your pharmacist!

When health issues strike during the holidays, it’s reassuring to know that your pharmacist’s door remains open.
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