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

The services listed in the text below may vary from province to province.
However, even if your pharmacist cannot prescribe or extend a prescription, he or she will certainly be able to advise you and help you choose the best product for your situation.

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

The holiday season and health

The holiday season is a time to rejoice. However, during this time, our diet often changes. We eat more frequently and sometimes indulge in larger servings or in foods we don’t normally eat. We drink more alcohol or other beverages that irritate the digestive system (e.g. soft drinks).

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

This is one of the reasons why we often experience minor discomforts during this time of the year. Your pharmacist is there to help you.

Your pharmacist, always there

Throughout the year, you know that you can count on your pharmacist's presence and expertise in health matters. Fortunately, most of the pharmacies in the Jean Coutu network will maintain their normal opening hours during the holidays.

Rest assured that you will be able to purchase medication and benefit from your pharmacist's valuable advice during the holiday season, even if the opening hours of your local pharmacy vary slightly.

Here’s how to check for changes to the opening hours of your pharmacy, if any:

  • Locate your Jean Coutu pharmacy-branch on our website and consult the opening hours during the holiday season.
  • Call to check if the pharmacy-branch is open before going there in person. The automated telephone system helps you obtain the opening hours.

Holiday “classics” for your health…

Some situations may warrant a consultation with your pharmacist during the holidays—for instance if you experience:

  • digestive issues such as stomach upset, 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)
  • allergies

Whatever your problem or the symptoms you are experiencing, ask your pharmacist if they can help you. If not, they can direct you to the appropriate resources. In certain specific cases, your pharmacist may even be able to prescribe the medication that you need, if authorized to do so (e.g. in the case of digestive problems, yeast vaginitis or cold sores).

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 period of time, 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 one of the lucky ones who are flying 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, or 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 when severe, unusual, persistent or alarming symptoms are present, go to a medical clinic or the nearest emergency department, depending on the context. Here are some examples of symptoms that could require prompt medical attention:

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

If in doubt, see a doctor as soon as possible. Additionally, remember that you can call Info-Santé at any time by dialling 8-1-1.

There’s really nothing to be happy about when illness strikes when it’s time to celebrate and enjoy spending precious moments with family and friends. However, it’s good to know that Santa isn’t the only one working hard during the holidays—your pharmacist is too! Pharmacists are undoubtedly glad to offer the gift of their time, knowledge, and skills—whether you’ve been naughty or nice this 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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