What Can a Pharmacist Help With in Canada?

3 elderly women laughing and hugging



While most people think of pharmacies as a place to fill prescriptions from their doctor, pharmacists can actually help with much more than you think!


Pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals who can listen to concerns about minor ailments you or your children are experiencing.


A pharmacy near you can often save you a trip to your family doctor or help relieve discomfort while you wait for your next appointment. In other cases, your pharmacist can advise when it may be time to seek more extensive treatment or talk to your physician about adjusting or changing your existing medications.


In addition to filling prescriptions, don’t be shy to talk to a pharmacy near you about:


  • General health concerns
  • Diabetic counselling
  • Medication compounding
  • Weight loss management
  • Compression stockings
  • Travel health consultations
  • Respiratory counselling
  • INR management
  • Flu shots and vaccines


Read on below to learn more about what pharmacies in Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding areas can help you with!



General Health Concerns

From body odours and bad breath to hemorrhoids and heartburn, a pharmacy near you can help with general health concerns – even things you may think are awkward or embarrassing. Pharmacists are asked all types of questions each day, and they are not shy to chat with you about any medical condition you are experiencing.


Ask about rash creams, acne washes, feminine hygiene products, extra strong antiperspirants, and laxatives – just to name a few things. Indeed, your pharmacist has been asked about it all before and recognizes that uncomfortable bodily functions are normal for everyone.


At the end of the day, the primary goal of all medical professionals is to ensure that you or your loved one receive advice or medication to help you feel better quickly.


So, ask away and don't be embarrassed!



Diabetic Counselling

If you are at risk of diabetes or have recently been diagnosed, your local pharmacist can play a key part in helping you take control of your health.


Man using glucose meter outside


Pharmacists can provide information on nutrition and exercise and refer you to other health care professionals if needed. They can also help you understand your diabetes medications and show you how to check your blood glucose levels.

Managing diabetes can initially seem overwhelming, but you do not need to feel alone. Simply talk to your pharmacist about diabetic counselling to see which services or advice they can offer you.



Medication Compounding

If you or your children take many medications daily, or you/your loved one struggle with the taste, texture, size, or amount of drugs prescribed, medication compounding may be a great option for you to explore.


Medication compounding is the process of altering or safely combining your medications to make them align with your unique needs. For example, perhaps smaller pills or capsules would work better for you. Or maybe a syrup or cream would make consuming your prescribed drugs much more effortless.

Talk to your pharmacist about how they can reduce any stress you are feeling around your/your loved one's medication consumption challenges. You can also learn more in our medication compounding blog post.



Weight Loss Management

Maintaining an ideal weight is an important part of overall health and wellness.


Woman in workout class smiling


However, living as an individual who is overweight or obese can put you at risk for various other health concerns. These concerns include (but are not limited to) high blood pressure, elevated blood glucose levels, and high cholesterol – all factors which also increase your chances of heart disease and diabetes.

If you feel you would like to take charge of your weight and begin working toward a lifestyle change that will improve your overall health, consider asking your pharmacist how they can support you. Likely, your pharmacist can provide nutrition and physical activity guidance, suggest medications, or refer you to other health professionals.



Compression Stockings

If you suffer from swelling or achiness in your legs, varicose, or spider veins, you have likely heard of compression stockings. Compression stockings may have also been recommended to you if you recently underwent surgery or if you are at increased risk of blood clots.

Compression stockings are fitted socks that help improve blood flow by gently squeezing your legs. They are available in different pressures, lengths, and colours. Your local pharmacist may be able to help you choose the best options for you. In addition, they can teach you to put them on correctly and explain how to keep them clean.



Travel Health Consultation

Are you planning a trip to another country? If so, it is highly recommended that you work with your local pharmacist to complete a pre-travel health check/consultation before you go.


Woman smiling in airport


Chatting with your pharmacist before you travel can help you conduct a risk assessment and build a plan for managing any risks relevant to the country or your unique personal health situation. For example, your pharmacist can help ensure that you are adequately vaccinated and have medications for your trip – whether prescription or over-the-counter.


Nothing spoils a trip faster than being denied at security or falling ill when you are away from the comforts of home. Don’t risk it! Plan to visit your pharmacy before you leave!



Respiratory Counselling

Struggling to breathe due to a common cold, COPD, asthma, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, or other respiratory diseases can range from being an inconvenience to significantly limiting your ability to work or complete daily tasks. Of course, you want to do everything you can to improve your quality of life so you can enjoy spending time with loved ones and doing things that bring you joy.

A pharmacy near you can help you avoid common triggers for respiratory challenges and discuss lifestyle changes and exercises that can help improve your lung function. They can also teach you how to use an inhaler and other medications your family doctor may have prescribed you.



INR Management

If you have a clotting disorder, irregular heartbeat, or a valve replacement, monitoring your international normalized ratio (INR) is an essential part of your overall health and well-being.


Elderly couple laughing together


Your pharmacist can help with that too! Due to technological advancements, you no longer need to have your blood evaluated at a lab. Instead, your results can be ready in minutes at your local pharmacy, making it a much more convenient option for many people.

If your INR levels are beyond the target range when evaluated, your pharmacist can adjust your warfarin dose and update your family doctor about your most recent reading. They can also schedule your next appointment to help ensure you stay on top of consistent INR management.



Flu Shots and Immunizations

With many people eager to get their annual flu shot and other immunizations to protect themselves and their families, pharmacists play a key role in ensuring everyone has access to vaccinations when they need them.

Whether you would like to protect yourself from the flu, keep on top of your COVID-19 boosters, or get ready to travel internationally, your pharmacist can help! Check with a pharmacy near you to confirm whether you can drop in or if you must schedule an appointment for flu shots and vaccinations.




As waiting lists for family doctors grow, pharmacists are becoming a better-utilized resource for common health concerns. Pharmacies are often centrally located in towns and cities, and many people visit them frequently to pick up prescriptions and purchase over-the-counter medications. Therefore, pharmacies are a convenient place to receive support for non-urgent health matters.

In addition to helping you seek relief for minor ailments, your local pharmacist can provide diabetic counselling, medication compounding, weight loss management advice, compression stockings, travel health consultations, respiratory counselling, and INR management screenings. They can also administer flu shots and ensure you have adequate immunizations for international travel.

Pharmacists are highly trained medical professionals who want to ensure that you and your family are healthy and well. They are happy to take time to discuss any medical concerns you have and can suggest treatment or refer you to someone who can assist you.

No question is ever too awkward for a pharmacist, so don't be shy to provide details about any health concerns you are experiencing. Likely, they have heard it all before, see it as a normal part of being human, and can suggest ways to provide relief.


There is no reason to suffer in silence when you have someone who can help you nearby!



Reach Out to Cook’s Pharmacy

Do you have a common health concern that you don’t feel requires a trip to the doctor or hospital? Do you have questions or concerns about your medications? Would you like support losing weight, managing diabetes, or breathing more freely? Are you planning to travel, or do you want to protect yourself and others from the flu?


Then consider contacting Cook’s Pharmacy!

For your convenience, Cook's Pharmacy has several locations, including Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Wellesley, and New Hamburg. Our skilled pharmacists are happy to support you and your family with all of your health needs.



Any medical or pharmaceutical information on this site is provided as an information resource only and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information does not create any patient-pharmacist relationship, and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.


Please consult your healthcare provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.


Cook’s Pharmacy and its subsidiaries expressly disclaim responsibility and shall have no liability, for any damages, loss, injury, or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on the information contained in this site.




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