Every year, back-to-school can be an exciting, as well as stressful, period for both parents and children. Kids will see their friends again after a couple of months of summer vacation and are about to spend a lot of time together back in the classroom. It remains important to understand how the common back-to-school illnesses that can be transmitted and prevented. Head lice, pink eye and the common cold are some of those common illnesses. What are they? What are the symptoms? How do we treat them? Here is what you need to know.
Fortunately, they are multiple products to treat head lice. There is a broad range of treatments available. It is always recommended to consult your Walmart Pharmacist prior to starting a treatment. Remember to always read and follow the product label carefully for an effective treatment.
Pink eye is a common eye condition. Pink eye can be contagious if it is caused by a virus or bacteria, and this is one of the reasons why children can be infected at school or any other place where direct contact with another infected person can occur. Conjunctivitis can also be spread through indirect contact – such as when children share items together like towels and washcloths. However, it is rarely dangerous for the vision of the person to be affected when treated and diagnosed properly.
Allergies often occur in the spring. And in the summer, fall, and winter. In your home or outdoors. In other words, anywhere and anytime you encounter one of your allergy triggers. Fortunately, there are a number of effective ways to manage allergies, and relief may be just a pharmacy away.
Allergy is an immune reaction to a substance your body views as a threat (called an allergen), even though it’s usually something harmless like dust or tree pollen.1 Your immune system overreacts to such allergens and produces histamine, a chemical that causes the allergy symptoms familiar to so many of us.1 In a sense, allergy means your immune system is being too careful.
Allergy affects about 30% of adults and 40% of children, so there’s a good chance that you or someone close to you lives with at least one allergy.1 And while they often begin in childhood, allergies can pop up at any point in life.2 One day you hug your cat without any problem, and the next month your eyes start watering when the cat enters the room. To make things even more confusing, a food allergy may disappear as you step out of your teens, only to resurface two decades later.2
Of all the different types of allergies, seasonal allergies affect the greatest number of people—up to a quarter of all Canadians.3 Known as “hay fever” to most people and as “seasonal allergic rhinitis” to doctors, these allergies come and go with each change of season.
April brings not only showers but pollen from trees and flowers. An extremely common allergen, pollen has millions sneezing and sniffling until the end of May.4 (Pollen is a fine powder produced by plants to fertilize other plants of the same species.5) Next comes grass pollen, which peaks in June and July.4 Sneeze season doesn’t end there: between August and October, ragweed fills the air and tickles allergic noses.4 Depending on your specific triggers, your own allergic symptoms may come and go throughout these months.
It’s no surprise that hay fever symptoms peak in April and May, when tree pollen reaches the highest levels.1 Trees that can trigger allergies include maple, elm, pine, willow, and birch, among many others.6,7 The pollen can travel for several kilometres, so you may find yourself sneezing even if you live in a concrete jungle or towering condo.6
While rarely an emergency, spring allergies can put a serious dent in your quality of life. Anyone who’s sniffled through a spring allergy season will recognize the symptoms, which include sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, scratchy throat, cough, watery eyes, itching, and swollen sinuses.8
This year, prepare for the season by talking to your Walmart Pharmacist, who can suggest treatments that work and steer you away from those that don’t.9 Your pharmacist can also point out behaviours that could be making your symptoms worse, such as using aerosol sprays or perfume.9
Watch that weather report
Your allergy symptoms don’t just depend on the time of year: daily weather conditions also play a role. Warm, dry days tend to have the highest pollen counts, especially in the mornings.8 Pollen travels by air, so it’s no surprise that wind can make symptoms worse.8 Damp, rainy days, which tend to have a lower pollen count, may give you a break.8 A local allergy forecast (available online) will tell you which types of pollen are running high that day.
Not all allergies depend on the season. Allergens from pets, dust, mould, chemicals, and foods can cross your path at any time of year. About one in 10 people has an allergy to household pets, more often cats than dogs.10 Contrary to popular belief, most people with cat allergies react not to the fur, but to a protein on the animal’s skin.10 Over 2.6 million Canadians, meanwhile, live with food allergies that need to be managed every day—including a half a million children.11 Allergies to some foods and chemicals can turn serious, requiring the use of an epinephrine injector (such as EpiPen®) to treat emergencies.
If you have year-round allergies, your Walmart Pharmacist can advise you on how to avoid triggers, prevent anaphylaxis (life-threatening allergic reactions), and use epinephrine injectors correctly.12,13
Allergy symptoms look a lot like cold symptoms, so you may wonder if your runny nose comes from allergies or a simple cold. It’s probably due to allergies if:14
Symptoms can give you clues, but not proof. Even if you know for sure that budding elm trees make you sneeze, other allergens may fly under your radar. Indeed, more than two-thirds of spring allergy sufferers have symptoms that persist year-round—proof that their misery comes from more than tree pollen.15 In some people, substances that trigger allergies may also bring on an asthma attack.16
The only way to diagnose allergies is through medical testing. A blood test can measure your overall immune response, while skin prick tests can reveal how your body reacts to specific allergens such as pollen, tree nuts, or cats.1 While you’ll need to see an allergist to get tested, your Walmart Pharmacist can help you prepare—for instance, by stopping certain medications a few days in advance.17
Allergic or just sensitive?
If a food gives you “a pain in the gut,” you may have an intolerance (or sensitivity) to that food, rather than an allergy. This happens when your body can’t properly digest the food, either because you lack an enzyme or react to certain chemicals in the food.18 Lactose intolerance falls under this umbrella. Perhaps you can get away with eating a teaspoon of the food, but larger quantities bring on symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea.18 A true food allergy, on the other hand, tends to cause skin symptoms such as hives, itchiness and swelling.18
Pharmacies stock a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medicines that can provide relief to seasonal allergy sufferers. Here’s the breakdown:
Your Walmart Pharmacist can help you choose the right products and advise you on how to use them properly. Patients who select products on their own, without advice from the pharmacist, tend to make poorer choices and get less relief.20 [Note: before starting any new medical treatment, always check with a healthcare provider.]
One of the best ways to minimize allergic reactions is to reduce contact with allergens. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, the tips below can help you reduce your exposure to pollen:8
While the measures discussed above may relieve your allergy symptoms, they won’t make you less allergic. Immune therapy offers this possibility. You’ll need to take a series of shots or tablets, with each dose slightly larger than the previous one.8 This helps your body adapt to the allergen so your immune system no longer seeks to fight it off.8 The process can take up to five years,8 but your patience will likely pay off: immune therapy helps reduce symptoms in about 85% of people with hay fever.21
Have questions about immune therapy? Your Walmart Pharmacist can fill you in on the details. In the meantime, keep tissues at hand and stock up on strategies to keep you comfortable.
Many Canadians suffer from allergies and asthma. Both conditions affect the respiratory system – the breathing airways and lungs. Asthma and allergy can be related, but they are not the same thing.
Incidence of allergy1,5
Incidence of asthma6
Incidence of and relationship between allergies AND asthma1,2,4,6,7,8,9
There is a relationship between asthma and allergy, and there are similarities between asthma and allergy symptoms. They both affect the airways. Asthma and allergies both cause problems with breathing that begin with breathing in air through the nose (where allergy symptoms are often present) and continue along the airway to the lungs (where asthma symptoms are present).
An allergy is caused by your body mistaking a normally harmless thing (allergen) – such as pet hair or pollen – in the environment as something that is “attacking” the body and the body overreacts. This results in an allergic response. Allergens can be inhaled, swallowed, touched, or injected. Your Walmart Pharmacist can answer any questions you may have about allergies.
Type of allergies
Seasonal allergies are more common than other allergies and usually occur during certain times of the year – often spring, summer, and fall – in northern climates.10
With hay fever (allergic rhinitis), symptoms may include:10
Perennial allergies are present all year. These are often caused by things such as:10
A food allergy may occur with any food, but some food allergies are more common than others. Health Canada considers the following foods “priority allergens”.8
The most dangerous allergies are anaphylactic allergies, including serious food allergies. Anaphylactic allergies cause very serious symptoms:8
These very serious symptoms may lead to death if not treated right away. It is important to always carry an epinephrine auto-injector (such as EpiPen®) with you if you suffer from anaphylaxis.
Your Walmart Pharmacist can provide information about allergies including avoiding your allergens and advice for managing your symptoms. Ask your Walmart Pharmacist about allergy medications and how to use them correctly and safely – including prescribed epinephrine auto-injectors.
Asthma is a chronic condition that affects the way air moves through the airway and makes breathing harder. This happens when you are exposed to an asthma trigger and either the lining of the airway becomes swollen and/or the muscles around the airway become sensitive and narrow. Remember that your Walmart Pharmacist can answer any questions you may have about asthma!
Symptoms of asthma may include:7,11
Symptoms will be different from person-to-person and will also differ in how serious they are – from mild to moderate to severe – and in how often they happen. Different episodes of asthma may also be different in how serious they are.
Types of asthma
There are two types of asthma:11
Is asthma an allergy?11
While asthma and allergy can be related, they are NOT the same thing. An allergy is a reaction to an allergen that causes swelling and irritation in a certain part of the body, for example the nose, eyes, lungs, or skin. An allergic reaction in the lungs produces symptoms of asthma. Allergens are common asthma triggers.
Asthma is diagnosed by a doctor. A medical history will be taken. The nose, throat and upper airway will be checked. And the doctor will listen to the chest for wheezing in the lungs. The doctor will also look for signs of allergic conditions like eczema of the skin.
Spirometry is a test used to measure how well the lungs work and is used to test for asthma. Allergy testing may also be done to look for allergen triggers.
Just ask your Walmart Pharmacist for help if you think you or someone you know may have asthma.
Asthma triggers lead to asthma attacks by causing swelling of the airways. Triggers are different from person-to-person. It is very important to avoid triggers and to keep airways from the swelling that causes asthma symptoms.
Allergic triggers cause airway swelling and include many of the allergy triggers mentioned above:12,13
Symptom triggers are nonallergic triggers that do not cause swelling but do cause the muscles around the airway to become sensitive and narrow. These triggers include:14
An important way to manage asthma is to avoid asthma triggers. Since each person’s triggers may be different, try to avoid those triggers that affect you.
Indoor/outdoor trigger management12,13,14,15,16
Here are some recommendations:
Viral illness and allergic rhinitis14
Avoid catching viral illnesses, such as the cold or flu, that may worsen asthma symptoms. Wash your hands often. Get the flu shot. If you have allergies and asthma, treat your allergies to reduce symptoms that may worsen asthma symptoms. Talk to your Walmart Pharmacist about the best way to manage your cold, flu, and allergy symptoms and about getting your flu shot each year.
Food and/or other anaphylactic allergy management8,17
Anyone with asthma who also has food and/or other anaphylactic allergies must be very careful to avoid allergens that cause this reaction and may be prescribed emergency medications. If you have been prescribed emergency medicine for allergy and/ or asthma, you should always carry it with you. This medicine may include an epinephrine auto-injector (such as EpiPen®) to manage anaphylaxis and your rescue asthma medicine.
Asthma action plan18
An asthma action plan can help you and your doctor ensure you are managing your asthma effectively. By keeping track of when and why your asthma control changes, you and your doctor and pharmacist can develop ways to manage these changes for better asthma control.
The action plan from Asthma Canada will give you an idea of how to create a plan that you can share with your doctor, your pharmacist and other healthcare providers. Visit https://asthma.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/AAP-FINAL.pdf for more information.
Your doctor may ask you to monitor your asthma using a peak flow meter. The meter measures how quickly you can breathe out all the air from your lungs, after breathing in a big breath. The measurement will show how well air is moving through your airways. Higher readings mean better asthma control; lower readings mean poorer control. Good control will be different for each person. There are both mechanical and digital peak flow meters available. Your Walmart Pharmacist can help you decide which meter may be best for you.
People with asthma usually use two types of medicine; one to manage swelling and one to relieve symptoms like wheezing and shortness of breath, when they happen.
Always take your asthma medication(s) exactly the way your doctor and/or pharmacist told you to take it/them. Ask your Walmart Pharmacist if you are not sure which medication to use when. Remember to tell your doctor and your pharmacist about any new medications you may be using, including over-the-counter and natural health products to be sure they are safe to use with your asthma medication(s).
Your Walmart Pharmacist can provide information about managing asthma and allergies, avoiding triggers, managing symptoms, and asthma and allergy medications and how to use them correctly and safely. To learn more about allergies and asthma, please visit Asthma Canada: https://asthma.ca/.
It’s not Alzheimer’s disease, it’s just normal forgetfulness. Everyone misplaces their keys once in a while. Sounds like a senior moment. While we often make light of our memory problems, the brain changes of Alzheimer’s disease are no joke. So how do you know if the disease may be sneaking up on a loved one—or on you?
Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging. First identified in 1906, it is a brain disorder that causes problems with memory and thinking. People with Alzheimer’s disease have protein deposits called plaques and fibrous clumps called tangles scattered throughout the brain.1 Over time, these plaques and tangles shrink the brain and cause brain cells to die.
Many people do not know the difference between the terms “dementia” and “Alzheimer’s disease.” Dementia is a general word that means decreased brain function, while Alzheimer’s disease is one type of dementia (the most common type).1
The older you are, the more likely you are to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. In Canada, more than 400,000 people over 65 (7.1% of the older adult population) live with dementia,2 and a quarter of people over 85 are affected.3 More women than men get the disease, and the gender gap increases with age.3
But age doesn’t tell the whole story: obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes all increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.4 If you smoke, your risk goes up by 45%.4 (The good news: quitting brings the risk down again.) With alcohol, the risk is more complicated: drinking moderate amounts actually brings the risk down a little, but heavy drinkers face the highest risk.4 While Alzheimer’s disease doesn’t usually “run in families,”4 having a parent or sibling with the disease does put you at slightly higher risk.5 Ask your Walmart Pharmacist if you have any questions about possible risk factors.
Nobody has a perfect memory—even young, healthy people misplace their keys or forget what someone just told them—but a pattern of forgetfulness may signal a drop in brain function.6 Perhaps you (or your loved one) misplace things more often, or stumble over words that used to come easily. Perhaps other people have begun noticing such changes.
Below is a table that discusses some of the differences between normal aging and Alzheimer’s disease.
|Normal Aging vs. Alzheimer’s Disease7|
|Normal age-related changes||Possible signs of Alzheimer’s disease|
Sometimes forgetting names or appointments, but remembering them later
A pattern of forgetting names, dates, and recently learned information
Occasionally needing help to use a familiar appliance
Difficulty completing daily tasks such as driving to work or using a familiar electronic appliance
Mistaking the day of the week but figuring it out later
Losing track of dates, seasons, and the passage of time
Sometimes having trouble finding the right word
Trouble remembering words and following conversations
Vision changes related to cataracts
Trouble understanding visual and spatial information (reading, how far things are)
The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease generally get worse over time, though each person progresses at a different pace. In the early stage of the disease, people can still work, drive, and live independently.8 In the moderate stage, which can last for years, people may have more trouble performing daily tasks, but still remember important details about their lives.8 In the final stage, people lose the ability to carry out daily activities, to communicate, to recognize family or friends, and eventually to control movement.7 Their personalities may also change.
If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may be developing Alzheimer’s disease, don’t wait: the earlier you detect it, the better you can treat it. Start by talking to your Walmart Pharmacist, who can help you find specialists and clinics that diagnose the condition. Some pharmacists may even be able to conduct quick screening tests and recommend a visit with a doctor if they suspect a problem.9
To diagnose Alzheimer’s disease, doctors evaluate memory, thinking, and ability to function. During the appointment, the doctor will likely:10
The doctor may also order lab tests to find out if other medical conditions could be causing the symptoms.10
Health Canada has approved several medications for Alzheimer’s disease. Most of them improve the ability of brain cells to “talk to each other” and can make a noticeable difference in quality of life, sometimes for years.11 While none of these medications stop the disease from progressing, this may soon change. Researchers are now studying treatments that reduce the amount of plaque formed in the brain, direct the immune system to attack plaques, and prevent the formation of tangles.12
Before getting approved, a new medication needs to prove its value in clinical trials—studies that examine how a treatment works on a group of people. Participating in a clinical trial gives you the opportunity to try brand-new treatments and to contribute to medical research.13 Your Walmart Pharmacist can help you understand what a clinical trial involves and may know about clinical trials going on in your part of the country.
Overall, research doesn’t support the use of “alternative” health products to treat Alzheimer’s disease, though a few studies have found that coconut oil and omega-3 fatty acids can give brain power a boost.14 And what about cannabis? For the time being, it’s not recommended for Alzheimer’s disease because of limited evidence that it can improve symptoms.15 If anything, research suggests a link between long-term cannabis use and memory problems.15
Finally, don’t discount good old-fashioned physical activity. Not only does exercise preserve mental function in healthy people, but regular exercise can improve memory and thinking skills in people with early Alzheimer’s disease.16 Aim for 30 to 60 minutes, several times a week. Finally, there’s the direct approach: exercising the brain. Games, puzzles, or challenging yourself with a new language or musical instrument can help slow down memory loss and other mental problems.17
As you begin the journey toward treatment, look to your Walmart Pharmacist for guidance and support. Alzheimer’s disease researchers are making new discoveries every day, and the pharmacist may know about new treatments that could help you or your loved one.
Once treatment has begun, your Walmart Pharmacist can monitor the side effects of medications and make sure you aren’t taking any drugs that interfere with each other.17 Staying in regular touch with your Walmart Pharmacist during treatment will help ensure that problems are caught early.
As further support, your Walmart Pharmacist may suggest ways to make Alzheimer’s disease more manageable, such as written schedules and other memory aids.18 Finally, the pharmacist can steer you toward resources in your community, including support for caregivers.
Below are some strategies that can help people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers cope with the condition.
|For people with Alzheimer’s disease19||For caregivers20|
Develop a daily routine
Modify the home environment to limit exposure to potential dangers
Approach one task at a time
Write down the steps for challenging tasks
Make a list of tasks that have become more challenging
Recognize that the person you are caring for may misinterpret your words or actions
Simplify the tasks when possible (such as easier recipes for meals)
Encourage the person to talk about familiar people and events
Identify people who can help you (for instance, to pay bills)
Enjoy the good times
Alzheimer’s disease is nobody’s fault—and is nothing to hide. A conversation with your Walmart Pharmacist can get you started on solutions. And keep talking to your family, friends, doctor, and pharmacist as the disease progresses. As key members of your support team, these team members can help lighten your load.
Over 75% of Canadians have been touched by cancer, whether it is through their own personal diagnosis or that of a close loved one.1 With the latest research suggesting almost 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer during their life, those numbers will increase.2 Although cancer mainly affects Canadians over the age of 50, it can occur at any age so it’s important for everyone to understand what they can do to reduce their risk and know the common signs and symptoms.3
Lifestyle choices can impact your chance of developing cancer. Follow these tips to reduce your overall risk:
The signs and symptoms (below) on their own are not enough to diagnose cancer but can help your doctor determine what’s wrong.9 Some of these symptoms can be caused by other medical issues, but still should be checked out by your doctor.
For more information on the different types of cancer and resources to help you or a loved one with a cancer diagnosis, visit the Canadian Cancer Society website at www.cancer.ca.
Fever. Chills. Aching joints. Monster cough. Everyone agrees that influenza (“the flu”) is one big nuisance. But the illness does more than annoy: for some people, the flu can lead to serious and even life-threatening complications. Fortunately, you can take steps to avoid it this season.
A contagious upper airway disease caused by Influenza viruses, the flu affects between five and 20 percent of the general population every year.1 Although it is possible to get aflu in the summer (especially if you have been travelling),2 you have a far greater chance of catching it during “flu season”—from late fall to early spring.3
The flu spreads from person to person through droplets that are coughed or sneezed out by affected individuals.4 You can catch the flu if you inhale or touch a droplet—which can live on hard surfaces for up to 48 hours5—and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.4 The illness is thought to be most contagious during the first three to fourdays, when people tend to cough and sneeze the most, but patients can remain contagious for up to a week.5
Young or old, healthy or sick—the illnessdoesn’t spare any group of people. Not surprisingly, your risk goes up if you have been in recent contact with an affected family member.6Having a child under 18 living in your house also bumps up your own risk.6
Flu symptoms may include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny eyes and stuffy nose, headache and muscle aches, extreme weakness and fatigue, and loss of appetite.7The flu may also lead to diarrhea or vomiting, though this happens more often in children than in adults.7
Here’s a tell-tale difference: cold symptoms tend to sneak up on you over several hours or days, while the flu often comes on abruptly: one minute you feel well, and the next minute you want nothing more than to dive into bed. More clues:
|Weakness & fatigue||Sometimes||Usual|
|Sneezing & stuffy nose||Common||Sometimes|
|Chest discomfort, cough||Mild to moderate||Common|
While most healthy people recover from the flu without any problems, typically within seven to 10 days,7 certain groups have higher odds of developing flu complications. These include:9,10
Common flu complications include ear and sinus infections, dehydration, and pneumonia.9 In vulnerable people, the flu may also lead to muscle inflammation, heart problems, and problems with your central nervous system.10 All told, the flu leads to over 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada every year.11 Such figures leave no doubt: the disease needs to be taken seriously.
If you want to avoid the flu this season (and who doesn’t?), start with the most powerful weapon against the illness: vaccination.12 Recommended by Health Canada for everyone aged six months or older,12 the vaccine lowers your seasonal risk of getting the flu by up to 60 percent—and also protects the people around you.13 Even if you do end up catching a flu, your symptoms will likely be milder.13 And don’t forget to vaccinate your children: a 2017 study showed that the flu shot can significantly reduce a child’s risk of dying from the flu.13
Best of all, you don’t need a doctor’s appointment to get the vaccine: in most parts of the country, trained pharmacists offer it free of charge to walk-in clients14 and can also give advice about immunization. Along with standard injections, a spray form of the vaccine is now available in Canada—a welcome piece of news for people who dislike needles.15 Your Walmart Pharmacist can tell you more about this option.
Remember: last year’s shot won’t protect you against this year’s flu. Flu viruses come in several varieties and keep changing over time, so every year experts develop a new vaccine to deal with the upcoming season’s new “crop.” Unsure about the vaccine’s safety for you or your child? Talk to your doctor and your Walmart Pharmacist.
Shots on the rise16
If you decide to get vaccinated, you will join the increasing number of Canadians who take this annual step. Between the 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons, the rates of flu vaccination have risen slowly and steadily in all groups of adults, including healthy people between 18 and 64 years, seniors (age 65+), and people with chronic conditions. In total, 38% of Canadian adults got vaccinated in 2017-18; about a third of them in pharmacies.
Along with the vaccine, you can reduce your risk of catching or spreading the flu with these simple behaviours17,18:
If you end up getting the flu, a range of over-the-counter pharmacy products can help make the experience less miserable. Pain relief medications can help reduce fever and headache, cough suppressants can help make you cough less, and decongestants can help clear up congested sinuses and ear tubes.19 These products come in a variety of brands, formats, and doses. If you find yourself confused or overwhelmed by all the choices, your Walmart Pharmacist can point you in the right direction.
You also have the option of taking prescription antiviral medications. By slowing down the replication of the flu virus in your body, these medications allow your immune system to fight the virus more effectively.20 Beginning antiviral treatment within 48 hours of the start of flu symptoms will give you the greatest relief—and may also help shorten the duration of the illness.20 Your Walmart Pharmacist can advise you on whether these medications are right for you.
Finally, don’t ignore the old-fashioned counsel to “rest and drink a lot of fluids,” as sleep helps your immune system fight infection and fluids prevent dehydration.21
A word about antibiotics22,23
Antibiotics kill bacteria, not viruses, so they won’t do anything for the flu. And why risk experiencing such antibiotic side effects as nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and stomach pain if the medication doesn’t make you feel better? Something else to consider: unneeded antibiotics increase your risk of getting a future infection that may not respond to antibiotic treatment.
Make this the year you develop a flu shot habit. If you have any doubts about how the vaccine works or how safe it is, your Walmart Pharmacist can address your concerns. Here’s to a cough- and sneeze-free flu season!
The flu season runs from late fall to early spring and causes about 12,200 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths in Canada each year.1 Although a cold is a milder respiratory infection, it can still leave you feeling sick for a few days and can occur year round.2,3
Use this chart to help determine whether you have the cold or flu.2
|Fever||Sometimes, usually mild||Common, usually for 3-4 days and is usually higher (100-102°F or 37.8-38.9°C)|
|Aches and pains||Slight||Common, can be severe|
|Fatigue||Sometimes||Common, can last 2 to 3 weeks|
|Cough||Mild to moderate; hacking cough||Common, can be severe|
Regardless of whether you are suffering from the cold or flu, the key to staying healthy is prevention. Follow these tips to keep yourself protected and to prevent spreading viruses to others:
If you do end up getting sick, always talk to your Walmart Pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter medications. They can advise you on what is the best product for your symptoms, ensure it does not interact with any other medications you may be taking or cause any issues with any medical conditions you may have. Children less than 6 years of age should not be given any over-the-counter cough and cold medicines8If they have a fever and/or aches and pains, you can give acetaminophen or ibuprofen (as long as they are over 6 months old).8 Do not give acetylsalicylic acid (e.g. Aspirin) or any medicine containing it to children or teenagers.8Ask you Walmart Pharmacist for help!
Use the following measures to help yourself or your child be more comfortable while sick:
You should see your doctor if your symptoms get worse or you don’t start to feel a better in a few days.1
Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which your body does not effectively use the insulin it produces or does not produce enough insulin. Insulin is used by your body to turn the sugar (glucose) in your blood into energy. Type 2 diabetes occurs when this system doesn’t work properly and sugar levels in your blood are too high.1,2Sugar in your blood comes from consuming foods that contain carbohydrates such as breads, rice, pasta, fruit, and milk.
Two blood tests are typically used to diagnose type 2 diabetes:
For more information about meal planning and food choices, visit: https://www.diabetes.ca/diabetes-and-you/healthy-living-resources/diet-nutrition/basic-meal-planning
|A1C||Fasting blood sugar/blood sugar before eating (mmol/L)||Blood sugar 2 hours after eating (mmol/L)|
|Target for most people with diabetes*||7.0% or less||4.0 to 7.0|| 5.0 to 10.0 |
5.0 to 8.0 if A1C targets are not being met
Brain cells communicate using electrical signals. Epilepsy is a condition in which abnormal electrical activity in the brain changes the way the brain works, for short periods of time. These changes may affect consciousness, movement, and/or actions. When this happens, a person experiences a seizure.
In Canada, epilepsy affects about 300,000 people. New cases of epilepsy are diagnosed in about 1 in 2,000 people each year. About 75% to 80% of people with epilepsy are diagnosed before the age of 18.
In more than 50% of cases, the cause of epilepsy is unknown. In other cases, causes may include:
If you or your child experience(s) a seizure, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor will take a medical history, ask questions about what happened during the seizure, and do a physical examination to see if:
In addition, the doctor may order:
It is important to remember that a single seizure does not mean a person has epilepsy.
What are the different types of seizures?1,6,10
There are many different types of seizures. Most seizures can be categorized as “focal” also known as “partial,” or “generalized.”
Focal/partial seizure activity happens in a limited area of the brain. There are two types of focal seizures:
Generalized seizure involves the entire brain. There are six types of generalized seizures:
As a person ages, the frequency, intensity, and duration of seizures may change. In some people seizures may disappear over time. Your doctor and Walmart pharmacist can help you understand what type of seizures you or your child may be experiencing and help you manage them.
Common seizure triggers3
There are some seizure triggers that are more common, but each person’s triggers may be different. Common triggers may include:
Epilepsy cannot be cured, but medication can help control and/or prevent seizures. In the majority of cases medication is helpful in controlling seizures. It may be necessary to take more than one medication for treatment to be successful.
It is very important to take antiepileptic medications (also known as antiseizure or anticonvulsant medications) exactly as they have been prescribed by your doctor.
Common side effects from antiepileptic medications may include:
All side effects, including those that are not on this list, should be discussed with your doctor and/or Walmart Pharmacist as soon as they occur.
Surgery is a treatment that may be considered if seizures do not respond to medication.
Ask your questions1,5,19
Your doctor and your Walmart Pharmacist are important members of your healthcare team. They can help you better understand epilepsy and how to carefully manage the condition. If you have questions about any aspect of this condition, ask your doctor or Walmart Pharmacist.
Journalling20Journalling is a helpful way to keep track of the nature, frequency, and intensity of seizures, possible seizure triggers, medication(s) and side effects, and any other information that may be helpful to you and your healthcare team.
Your relationships with your family, friends, colleagues, and teachers are an important part of your life.
You may have questions about many things including: watching television and playing video games (the light may be a trigger), alcohol consumption, smoking (cigarettes, cannabis), street drugs, sex, travel tips, driving, safety in your home and in your workplace, and more.
First aid23The following information about how best to help during and after a seizure should be shared with loved ones, friends, caregivers, colleagues, and teachers.
Emotional wellnes is important for everyone. This means paying attention to feelings, behaviours, and moods, and finding ways to enjoy life even when faced with challenges, like epilepsy. Reach out to your healthcare team if you or your child are/is having trouble managing your emotional health and wellness.
Physical activity is important for overall health. When participating in any physical activity be sure that there is someone with you who is able to recognize your seizure pattern and knows what to do to keep you safe. If you or your child participate(s) in team sports, make sure the coach knows about your/your child’s epilepsy and how to take care of you/your child. Wear a helmet when appropriate and wear a life vest when in or on the water.
It is important to know your family’s health history in order to be aware of your predisposition to having certain diseases. Diabetes is one of many diseases that could be passed down from generation to generation. Your risk of having type 2 diabetes or prediabetes increases if a member of your family has the diagnosis, if you have a sedentary lifestyle or if you have an unhealthy eating regimen1.
It is important to inform your doctor if you have a family history or a relative who has diabetes, as you are more likely to have prediabetes and develop diabetes. Your doctor can recommend earlier screening for diabetes for you4.
Parents can help their kids prevent type 2 diabetes by setting healthy habits for the whole family. It is easier to transform healthy changes into habits if the whole family does the changes together. Here are some tips to help your kids with healthier habits11;
Physical activities are also another component to a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips11;
Uncontrolled diabetes can cause the baby’s blood sugar to be high and may cause the baby to grow extra-large. This can cause complications during the delivery and a C-section could be needed to deliver the baby2.
To prevent complications during the pregnancy, women with diabetes should first consult their physician to get and keep control of their blood sugar before and during their pregnancy5.
For teenagers, diabetes can be even more difficult to live with at times due to the hormonal changes that affect behavior and blood sugar. If the teenager has a rebellious period, it can be difficult to maintain a good control of their diabetes and may extend into early adulthood3.
Therefore, it is very important that those with diabetes have a better understanding of the disease as this is a vital step in the journey towards acceptance of the disease. Having the right information on diabetes will help individuals take concrete and positive actions to live long, active, healthy and satisfying lives5.
Sometimes a spouse or caregiver may ask the diabetic to check their blood sugar level because they suspect there may be an instance of low blood sugar. This involvement could cause the person with diabetes to become angry or show signs of irritability. It is important to note that low blood glucose levels can cause a person to be irritable and argumentative3. It is these types of situations that can bring frustration to both the patient and the spouse/caregiver. Therefore, both sides need to understand each other’s circumstance3.
When a parent learns that their child is diagnosed with diabetes, it can bring fear, confusion and sometimes anger. Here are three key elements if your child has diabetes3;
You can help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes by making lasting lifestyle changes9:
If you have a relative with diabetes, you should seek to learn more about diabetes and its implications. Remember that not everyone with diabetes will have the same needs or disease management requirements, therefore, it is important to ask questions and listen to what they say8.
For more information about diabetes, risk factors or managing your medications, ask your Walmart pharmacist.
SMART is an acronym often used for goal setting. It may help you decide if you can and will achieve and maintain each of the healthy lifestyle goals you set.
Your healthcare team, including your Walmart Pharmacist, can help you choose a few lifestyle goals to start with. You may find the SMART goals worksheet helpful in keeping you on track. It can be found at: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Alberta/AlbertaDocuments/smart-goal-worksheet.pdf.
It is helpful to know how many calories you may need each day, based on your activity level.
|Estimated energy (calories) requirements3^|
|Male||Age 19 to 30||Age 31 to 50||Age 51 to 70||Age 71+|
|Female||Age 19 to 30||Age 31 to 50||Age 51 to 70||Age 71+|
^ The calories calculations are estimated based on median height and weight, age and activity level.
*Sedentary: little daily physical activity even during leisure time (e.g., sitting for long periods, relying mostly on motorized transportation).
**Low active: some physical activity daily (e.g., walking to the bus, shovelling snow, mowing the lawn).
***Active: at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (you breathe harder and your heart beats faster; you will sweat during vigorous activity) each week.
You’ll find more information in Canada’s Food Guide and at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/canada-food-guide/food-guide-basics/estimated-energy-requirements.html.
Diets that may be more helpful for you in achieving your weight loss goals and maintaining your healthy weight include those that encourage healthy eating – making healthy choices from the four food groups – teach portion control, and recommend physical activity.
Your healthcare team, including your Walmart Pharmacist, can help you with a nutrition plan that will help you achieve and maintain your healthy eating/healthy weight goals.
In all cases, before you start a new physical activity routine, check with your doctor. You should first learn the proper technique to perform the activity to avoid injury, and if you feel excessively breathless or tired, or if you are in pain, stop the activity.
For adults aged 18 to 64, it is recommended to get 150 minutes of moderate (e.g., brisk walking, bike riding) to vigorous (e.g., jogging, cross country skiing) physical activity each week. This may be achieved in sessions of 10 minutes or more throughout the week. Try to include activities that target your muscles and bones (strength and weight-bearing activities) at least two times per week.
To reduce health risks, injury and/or harm:
Plan “no alcohol” days every week to reduce the risk of developing a habit. Drink slowly and have no more than two drinks in a three-hour period. On special occasions, you may add one drink, based on the limits above.
Drink responsibly to avoid injury and/or harm:
For more information, see:http://www.ccdus.ca/Resource%20Library/2012-Canada-Low-Risk-Alcohol-Drinking-Guidelines-Brochure-en.pdf.
Be safe and avoid injury and/or harm
For information about the affects of cannabis on cognitive functioning and mental health, see: http://www.ccdus.ca/Resource%20Library/CCSA-Clearing-the-Smoke-on-Cannabis-Highlights-2016-en.pdf.
Note:There is evidence that suggests that the use of alcohol and cannabis together will have a more harmful effect than the use of either alone, including effect on cognitive, psychomotor, and impaired driving.
The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends two hours or less of screen time per day for children, and that those under the age of two have as little exposure as possible. Be a good role model. Children will learn from what they see of your own screen time habits.
Your healthcare team, including your Walmart Pharmacist, can provide information and strategies to help you to manage your stress. They may also be able to suggest other health professionals who can help you.
It’s the holidays! Time for celebrating, reconnecting with relatives, and eating. And eating. And eating.
For many of us, the holidays mean a chance to relax our usual dietary habits. There’s nothing wrong with a special day of indulgence, of course, but in today’s world the holiday season starts weeks before the big day (think holiday parties) and takes an extra week or two to wind down (think leftovers and boxes of chocolates).
How then to handle the challenge of eating healthily over the holidays without feeling like you’re missing all the fun?
The connection between celebration and food is stitched deep into most cultures. Many of us carry memories of long tables heaped with holiday foods, and we all have that well-meaning relative who insists you need another cookie.
While a bite of an oven-fresh cookie counts as one of life’s purest pleasures, we rarely stop at just one bite—or five, for that matter. As a result, the average North American adult gains a pound or more between November and January.1,2 This may not sound like a lot, but research has shown that people don’t shed the weight after the holidays.3 The long-term outcome? Weight creep.
The consequences of holiday binging don’t stop at the scale. After just five days of eating a high-fat diet, according to one study, the muscles change the way they process nutrients, which can derail the body’s response to insulin and raise the risk of diabetes and other diseases over time.4 Another study found that an unusually heavy meal quadruples the risk of a heart attack within two hours of consuming the food—an especially important tip-off for people with heart disease or previous heart attacks.5
So how do you resist that sixth bite of the cookie?
If you haven’t yet turned to your Walmart Pharmacist for holiday eating support, now is your chance to tap into this resource. For one thing, the pharmacist can introduce you to products (such as supplements) that support healthy holiday eating. If you are taking medications, the pharmacist can warn you about foods that could weaken the effectiveness of these drugs.
Along with advice on products, your Walmart Pharmacist can suggest strategies to help you manage your eating over the holidays, explain the recommendations from Canada’s Food Guide, and refer you to a dietitian if needed.
If you have a health condition
While healthy holiday eating benefits everyone, people with health conditions need to make it a priority. If you have diabetes, for example, binging on holiday cookies or skipping a meal in preparation for a big dinner could throw your blood sugar off balance.7 Eating sugar also increases inflammation—an important consideration for people with arthritis.8 Same goes for alcohol, which is why experts advise people with arthritis to drink moderately or not at all.8
Many of us approach the holiday season with the healthiest of intentions, but good intentions rarely survive without a strategy. The following tips can help you manage the buffet tables and cookie trays you’ll face this holiday season.9,10
Once the holidays have begun, let your Walmart Pharmacist know how they’re going, as support from a trusted health professional will help you stay motivated.
How to refuse offers of food – politely12,13
There’s a term for that dear old aunt who insists you try her home-baked cookies: food pusher. Although food pushers may have the best of intentions, they can weaken your resolve in an instant. While a polite “no, thanks” is all you need to tell a food pusher, it may feel kinder and more polite to say something like, “I’m full right now, but I’d love to take one of your cookies home with me and try it later” or “I’m trying to save my appetite for all the other wonderful food at this party.”
Most pharmacies carry numerous dietary supplements that, when paired with healthy behaviours, may assist with weight management. If you are interested in trying one, talk to your Walmart Pharmacist first. Be open about your health status so the pharmacist can make sure the supplement doesn’t interfere with any of your medical conditions or medications. Your Walmart Pharmacist can also help you manage side effects (such as nervousness, bloating, or gas) from these products.14
Dieting during the holidays?
Think again. Many doctors advise against starting a diet right before the holidays, which can lead to excess hunger at a time when temptation is greatest.15 Also, humans are biologically wired to eat a little more during the colder months.16 Instead of “going on a diet” this holiday season, keep your focus on balanced nutrition and avoid skipping meals.15
Don’t wait until the holiday cookie swap is upon you: advance planning will help you walk a healthier line this season. Get a jump on smart holiday eating by talking to your Walmart Pharmacist at your next visit.
Hypertension affects 7.5 million Canadians1 and is among the leading cause of death and disability worldwide2. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a chronic disease that affects many people, not just the elderly. Approximately 2% of children and adolescents4, 7% of pregnant women4, and 25% of adults have hypertension.4 The number of people with high blood pressure continues to rise, as there are better screening tools, increased awareness, increased obesity and an aging population. High blood pressure control in Canada is estimated to be nearly 70%. However, this still means that approximately 30% of Canadians with hypertension still do not have adequate blood pressure control. As well, nearly 20% of Canadian adults are either unaware of their high blood pressure or are aware but are not being treated with high blood pressure medication.2 Your Walmart Pharmacist can help you check your blood pressure and partner with you to help keep your blood pressure under control.
If you suspect your blood pressure is high, your doctor will likely determine if you have high blood pressure based on the average of two or more blood pressure readings, at two or more visits. The evaluation should also include one reading taken outside of your doctor’s office5 – for example with your Walmart Pharmacist, at home, or by wearing a device. Your Walmart Pharmacist can advise you what is the best blood pressure monitoring device and method for you.
|Systolic mm Hg (upper number)||Diastolic mm Hg (lower number)||Blood Pressure Category|
|Below 120||Below 80||Normal|
|130-139||80-89||High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 1|
|140 or higher or||90 or higher||High Blood Pressure (Hypertension) Stage 2|
|Higher than 180 and/or||Higher than 120||Hypertension Crisis - Consult your doctor immediately|
Blood pressure target ranges may be lower for children and teenagers.4 (520) Always talk with your health care professional for more information.
When you first start a high blood pressure medication, it may take several weeks before showing optimal effects. And it may take some time for you and your doctor to find the best dose and combination of medications to help control your blood pressure.12
Let’s face it: kidneys aren’t sexy. They don’t make headlines as often as hearts, lungs, or brains. When they work well, we don’t talk or even think about them. It’s only when they stop doing their job that they get our attention. But we can do better: by knowing our risk of kidney disease and taking better care of our kidneys today, we can prevent or delay serious problems in the years to come.
You have two kidneys, located on either side of your spine at the bottom of your ribcage. These fist-sized organs have a filtering function, meaning they flush out excess water and waste products, which leave your body through urine.1 They work nonstop, filtering a half-cup of blood every minute to maintain the right balance of salt, potassium, and other minerals in your body.1,2
But healthy kidneys do a lot more than balance your chemicals: they release a hormone that helps the body make red blood cells and other hormones that keep blood pressure under control.3 As if that weren’t enough, kidneys produce a form of vitamin D that keeps your bones strong and healthy.2,3
With such a complicated job description, it’s hardly surprising that kidneys sometimes trip up. When they become damaged and no longer filter blood properly, wastes build up in your body, which causes other problems that can interfere with your health.4
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is by no means rare: about 1 in 10 Canadians has CKD.5 And the worst part? Most people don’t even know they have it.6
Kidneys do their job so well that you may not realize you have CKD until the disease is quite advanced. Even if you do have symptoms, you may not suspect kidney disease, because CKD symptoms tend to be “nonspecific,” meaning that other diseases can cause the same signs and symptoms.7 Watch for nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, sleep problems, changes in how much you urinate, muscle twitches or cramps, swollen ankles or feet, and persistent itching.7
As the disease progresses, your kidneys lose the ability to flush out excess fluids. This could cause your arms and legs to swell up as well as raise your blood pressure.7 That’s right: high blood pressure can lead to kidney disease, and kidney disease can lead to high blood pressure. A sudden rise in potassium levels, which the damaged kidneys can no longer handle, could affect your heart’s ability to function.
Chronic kidney disease may also affect other parts of your body, which could lead to anemia (low iron in the blood), weak bones that fracture more easily, or nerve damage that makes it harder to concentrate.7 Your immune system may be weakened and struggle to fight infections.7 If you’re pregnant, kidney disease may increase the risk of complications.7
Some good news: if you identify kidney disease early enough, you can prevent or delay its progression.8 If you have any questions or concerns about your kidneys, start by talking to your doctor or Walmart Pharmacist.
If CKD continues unchecked, the kidneys eventually fail — what’s known as end-stage kidney disease.9 The two treatment options at this stage — dialysis or kidney transplant — allow many people to live long lives.9 Dialysis is a treatment that balances the minerals in your blood and gets rid of waste and extra fluids.10 Kidney transplant has a high success rate, and you only need to receive one healthy kidney.11
Kidneys never come with a lifetime guarantee, but some people have a higher risk of problems than others. Let’s start with the major risk factors: diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.12 About one out of three people with diabetes and one out of five people with high blood pressure may have CKD.13 Having a family member with one of these conditions — or with actual kidney disease — also bumps up your risk.12
Age 60 or over? That alone will boost your risk.12 Obesity also carries extra risk, as does low birth weight.12 Your risk also creeps up if you’ve had bladder infections or kidney stones.12 Unfortunately, kidney disease doesn’t play fair when it comes to ethnic origins: the risk is higher in people of African, Hispanic, Asian, and First Nations heritage.12 While you can’t change your heritage or birth weight, knowing about such risk factors can motivate you to take better care of your kidneys.
Any medication you take ends up traveling through your kidneys. This usually doesn’t pose a problem, but heavy or long-term use of pain medications such as ASA (Aspirin®), naproxen (e.g., Aleve®), and ibuprofen (e.g., Advil®) can lead to kidney damage.14 This holds especially true for older people and those with health problems, but a large study has found that high doses of these medications can boost CKD risk even in young, healthy people.15
The warning labels on pain medications tell you how long you can safely use them. If you have pain or fever for a longer time, don’t keep taking them — see your doctor.14 If your doctor has prescribed a pain medication, be sure to follow the doctor’s instructions. In case you’re wondering about “baby aspirin” (81 to 162 mg daily), you don’t need to worry: research has found no added risk of CKD with regular use.14 Unsure about the over-the-counter pain medications you’re using? Your Walmart Pharmacist can help you choose a suitable product and use it safely.
Quick kidney check
Because kidney disease often goes unnoticed, the BC Renal Agency has developed an online quiz to help you assess your risk.16 This quiz lets you know if you should see a doctor about your kidneys. While no online tool can replace a medical visit, the test gives you a starting point. Take the test at http://www.bcrenalagency.ca/health-info/kidney-health-self-assessment.
Having a high risk of kidney disease doesn’t mean you actually have it or will develop it. To find out for sure, you need to get tested. Here’s what to expect:17
Whether or not you have any signs of kidney disease, it pays to take good care of your kidneys. Fortunately, a lot of the recommended strategies line up with general advice for getting and staying healthier. No doubt you’ve heard it before, but the message is worth repeating: maintain as healthy a weight as you can — if overweight, even a small weight loss can help you control blood pressure and blood sugar.19 If you have diabetes, the best way to protect your kidneys is to control your blood sugar (high blood sugar clogs up the filters in kidneys19) and take all your medications as prescribed.20 Some blood pressure medications may even help protect your kidneys20 — talk to your Walmart Pharmacist to find out more. If you smoke, make this the time to quit.19 And you have one more reason to stay active: preserving your kidneys.19
A kidney-friendly diet can help your kidneys work properly and prevent them from wearing out. Start with water — your kidneys’ fuel. Drink it throughout the day.21 Limit your salt intake to avoid raising your blood pressure.22 The omega-3 fats in salmon and other fatty fish can slightly reduce blood pressure, while the pectin in apples may help reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels.21
If your blood pressure runs high, don’t hesitate to enlist your Walmart Pharmacist’s help. The pharmacist can show you how to use the blood pressure machines at the pharmacy, recommend home-use devices, give you tips on how to bring your numbers down — and cheer you on as you take steps to protect your kidneys.
If you already have kidney disease
If you already have CKD, you’ll need to modify your lifestyle a little. Choosing low-potassium foods such as berries, broccoli, salmon, white rice, and white bread will prevent potassium from building up in your bloodstream.23 A dietitian can help you design an eating plan that meets your needs. To keep your creatinine levels down low, avoid vigorous exercise and supplements containing creatine.24 Review your supplements with your Walmart Pharmacist to make sure they are all safe. Your healthcare provider may also recommend calcium, iron, and/or vitamin D supplements,25 and your Walmart Pharmacist can help you select the right product for you.
How is your mental health today? Are you relaxed or tense? Do you wake up with a smile or drag yourself out of bed? Do you feel like your usual self, or do things seem not quite right? If you’re concerned about your mental health, remember this: you’re not alone, and help is available.
What’s more, the problem appears to be increasing, especially in young people. Some research has blamed social media2(think of those beaming smiles on Facebook photos, which make other people’s lives seem picture perfect), while other researchers have pointed to “the rising stress of living.”3
On a more encouraging note, people today are more likely to talk about their mental health struggles than even five years ago. That said, shame and embarrassment continue to keep some people from getting the help they need. Many employees still keep their managers in the dark about their mental health issues, and 4 out of 10 respondents to a 2016 survey reported feeling depressed or anxious—but were not seeking help.4
In the table below, you’ll see a list of common mental health conditions. While it takes a trained health professional to make a diagnosis, the list can help you start a conversation.
|Common Mental Health Conditions 5-8|
|Mood issues|| |
Loss of enjoyment, low mood, fatigue or agitation, changes in appetite
Chronic mild depression
Same as above, but longer-lasting and not as intense
Dramatic swings in mood, from extreme highs to crushing lows
Excessive anxiety and worry about many things in everyday life.
Excessive anxiety about specific things (such as flying, spiders, public speaking, etc.)
Panic attacks in response to specific situations or for no clear reason.
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Distressing memories of, or “reliving,” a traumatic event.
Obsessive compulsive disorder
Unwanted thoughts and/or behaviours you feel compelled to carry out (e.g., worrying about germs, excessive hand-washing)
Mental health conditions also interfere with your day-to-day functioning. It’s normal to get “stressed out” from time to time, but not to avoid cars, elevators or shopping malls because of fear. It’s normal to feel sad, but not to feel so hopeless you can’t get your work done—or get to your workplace at all. Bottom line: if your symptoms lead you to avoid activities you want or need to do, you may need professional help.
|Normal life challenges||Mental Health Conditions|
|Everyday anxiety||Anxiety disorder10|
Your Walmart Pharmacist knows not only about drugs but about diseases and how they affect you. In some cases, they may use tools, such as the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ),12 to help screen for common mental health conditions. If your responses raise a red flag, your pharmacist can help steer you toward the right health services so you can get the treatment you need.
Your Walmart Pharmacist also knows if you are taking other medications or supplements that could interfere with your mental health treatment—or actually worsen your mental state. For example, some prescription pain medications can cause changes in mood.14 In such a case, your Walmart Pharmacist can warn you to look out for mood changes and to see your doctor if your mood does worsen.14 The pharmacist can also share any concerns about your prescriptions with your doctor.
If you are juggling several medications, you may have trouble remembering when to take what. Your Walmart Pharmacist can make the process easier for you—for example, by providing you with compliance packaging (often called blister packs) to organize your medications and help you remember to take them. The pharmacist may also conduct a medication review to make sure the drugs you are taking work well together and to suggest changes if they don’t.15
Did you know?
Research has shown that pharmacists can improve mental health care. In one study, team meetings (arranged by pharmacists) to discuss patients’ medications led to more appropriate use of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications—and the positive change lasted for three years.16 In another study, over half of patients whose pharmacists provided “comprehensive medication management” (reviewing drugs, monitoring patient status, and reinforcing treatment goals) saw an improvement in their mental health condition.17
Here are some questions you can ask your Walmart Pharmacist to start a conversation about your mental health treatment:19,20
At the same time, be sure to tell your Walmart Pharmacist about all other medicines, vitamins, and other supplements you use.20 Also, let your Walmart Pharmacist know about any challenges that could affect your ability to take your medication as prescribed, such as trouble swallowing or memory problems.20 Are you pregnant or breastfeeding? Your Walmart Pharmacist needs to know that too, to make sure that none of the medications you take put the child at risk.20
Walmart Pharmacists are here to help you and have the expertise to support your mental health treatment. Take that first step toward better mental health: just ask your Walmart Pharmacist.
For many people, the words New Year’s resolutions bring up memories of past struggles. Perhaps you vowed to lose 20 pounds, but gained five instead. Perhaps you signed up for a gym membership in January—and let it expire in April. If that’s the case, you’re in good company. Fewer than 25 per cent of people stick with their New Year’s resolutions for more than 30 days, and just eight per cent actually accomplish what they set out to do.1
If you want to be part of that eight per cent, try something different this year. For starters, trade the harsh, intimidating word “resolution” for something friendlier, such as “goal” or “better self.” Next, aim for goals you can actually achieve. But how?
The secret to making lasting changes is to keep them small and specific. If the couch has been your best friend all year, “exercise for an hour every day” sets the bar too high. It’s neither small nor specific. “Walk around the block three times a week” gives you a much better shot at success. If you’re completely out of practice with exercise, consider starting with an even smaller goal, like climbing a flight of stairs after lunch.
Success with each small change gives you the confidence to manage more difficult tasks later on.2 For example, once you’ve mastered walking around the block, you can increase the distance or progress to a slow jog.
You may also want to stagger your goals: healthier eating in January, physical activity in March, and so on. It takes too much attention and energy to tackle several goals at the same time, which is why those long New Year’s lists so rarely work out.3 Once a new behaviour becomes a habit—which could take up to two months, according to new research4—you’ll have the energy to tackle the next one.
There’s no need to do all this alone: buddying up with people who share your goals can keep you motivated.3 Invite a friend or neighbour to go to the gym with you, and consider joining—or creating—a more formal support system, such as a group of co-workers with an interest in healthy eating. Your cheering squad also includes your Walmart Pharmacist, who can share strategies and tools (such as healthy eating tips) to help you make positive changes.
Want goals that stick? Make sure they’re S.M.A.R.T. Here’s how:
Make this the year to treat your body as well as your car: tuned up and powered up. Screening tests can help detect health problems early on, allowing you to take action before they get worse. For your convenience, many Walmart pharmacies offer screening tests right on-site. Ask your Walmart Pharmacist which tests make sense for you. If you’re a 50-year-old woman, for example, Canadian guidelines recommend a cholesterol and blood pressure screen, as well as a colon cancer screen every two years.8
Your Walmart Pharmacist can also help you bring your immunizations up to date. Along with booster shots for some vaccines, the guidelines recommend vaccination against herpes zoster (shingles) for those 50 and over.8 As for the flu shot, your best bet is to get one every year. In fact, annual flu shots are recommended for everyone aged six months or older.9
While you’re at it, ask your Walmart Pharmacist to review your medications. Especially important for people taking several drugs at the same time, a medication review can uncover harmful interactions, dosing problems, or medications you no longer need.10 If you’re finding it hard to manage your medication schedule, your Walmart Pharmacist can suggest tips and tools (such as checklists, alarms, and pill boxes)11 to make the job easier.
“Spend more time with loved ones” consistently shows up on New Year’s resolution lists.12 If you play it smart, you can combine this goal with your personal health goals. Instead of chopping vegetables by yourself on the cutting board, invite the rest of your family to join you: involving your kids in healthy meal preparation can increase their interest in eating the foods.13
The same goes for physical activity. When you make it a family affair, it becomes easier and more enjoyable for all of you.13 Build a snowman together, take the dog on a group walk after dinner, or put on some upbeat music and have a “silly dance” contest.
Family time also includes talking time, and you can’t go wrong if you make this a goal. Along with dinnertime debates and car-ride confessions, consider engaging your kids in “dialogic reading,” which simply means having two-way conversations with children during reading time.14 Such conversations stimulate young brains and increase the whole family’s well-being.14
The Short List12
Ever wonder what other people’s lists of New Year’s resolutions look like? Here are the 10 most popular items:
Notice how broad and vague these goals are? Fortunately, you now know how to convert them to specific, achievable SMART goals.
If your body deserves a New Year’s tune-up, why not your home? Start by checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors (you should have one on every floor) and replacing dead batteries.15,16 Take the time to read the labels on cleaning products and follow directions for safe use. To make handwashing less of a bother, install hand sanitizer or soap pumps in strategic locations throughout your home.
And don’t forget your medicine cabinet. Bring a list of its contents to your Walmart Pharmacist, who can refresh your memory if you’ve forgotten what a product is for and advise you on products that may not be right for you.17 Finally, check the expiry dates on all medications and safely dispose of expired products.17
I had a doughnut, may as well have five more. Who among us hasn’t given in to such sabotaging thoughts? Rather than abandoning your goals, take setbacks as an opportunity to learn. If you have one cigarette after going smoke-free for a month, ask yourself what triggered the behaviour and make a plan for a healthier response next time.18
Whatever you do, be kind to yourself. Far from motivating you to do better, self-blame and focusing on your “failure” drains your motivation and willpower.18 Instead, forgive yourself for your imperfections, adjust your goal if needed, and move on—with the help of your Walmart Pharmacist.
If you experience changes in mood and energy levels seasonally – usually during late fall and winter – you may have a condition called seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
About 2% to 3% of Canadians will experience SAD in their lifetime. About 10% of people who have depression have SAD. Some people (about 15% of Canadians) will experience a milder form of SAD that does not interfere with their daily routines but is still SAD.
Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:
It is important to know that while these symptoms are also general symptoms of depression, with SAD the symptoms will typically start and end at the same time each year.
In addition to a physical examination, your doctor or a recommended mental health professional will do a psychological examination that will include questions about your symptoms, thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.
The therapy requires that you sit a short distance from the light box to be exposed to bright light within the first hour of waking up. The light from the box is similar to natural, outdoor light and seems to cause changes in brain chemicals like serotonin and melatonin that are linked to mood. It may take a few days/weeks for the treatment to have an effect, but it seems to be effective for many people. You may experience some side effects including nausea, headache, and eye strain.
Let family and friends you trust and with whom you enjoy spending time know how you are feeling. Share a laugh or a tear with those you care for and who care for you. Stay connected!
As spring begins to take hold, the familiar sneezing, itchy eyes and throat, and runny nose start to appear in people with seasonal allergies. An allergy is your body’s reaction to something in the environment that it becomes sensitive to – called an allergen – that typically doesn’t cause a reaction in most other people.1 It is estimated that more than one-in-six Canadians suffer from seasonal allergies.2 The allergy season in Canada typically begins in early spring and ends with the first real frost in late autumn.
Seasonal allergies, often called “hay fever,” are allergies people have to outdoor allergens, such as pollens that are in the air and mould spores that are stirred up into the air.
People with seasonal allergies may have some or all of these more common signs and symptoms:
Other symptoms may include blue-coloured skin under the eyes, postnasal drip, and fatigue.
|Symtoms||Causes||When do symptoms start?||How long do symptoms last?|
|Hay Fever|| || || || |
|Common Cold|| || || || |
Both children and adults may have symptoms of seasonal allergies. A specialist doctor called an allergist can help you/your child determine the exact cause of the allergies, and learn more about seasonal allergies and how to best manage and treat them.
Even though your seasonal allergies are mainly triggered when you are outdoors, they may also be triggered indoors when allergens are brought in from the outside.
Allergens that may be brought indoors:
Indoor allergens that may trigger or make seasonal allergy symptoms worse:
Avoiding your allergens is the best way to prevent symptoms. There are ways to manage your indoor environment, and when you are outdoors, there are ways you may avoid or reduce exposure to seasonal pollen.
Managing your indoor environment:
Avoiding outdoor triggers:
It is important to know what your allergens are and to try to avoid them if/when possible. If avoiding them is not always possible and symptoms are bothersome, medications may be used.
These medications may help control symptoms:
If you are not able to manage your symptoms by avoiding triggers and taking medications, your doctor may recommend allergy shots.
Medications in pregnancy and breastfeeding13
Medications and allergy shots in children9
Your doctor and/or pharmacist can help you make the right treatment choice(s) for your child’s symptoms and seasonal allergy history.
Uncle Jim had a stroke. This sentence has a familiar ring to it, but many of us have only a hazy idea of what stroke means or why it happens. It’s information we can’t afford to ignore, though: stroke is surprisingly common—and often preventable.1 Read below for the must-have details.
Strokes happen when blood stops flowing to any part of the brain and results in some brain cells being damaged.1 They come in two varieties: the most common type (called ischemic stroke) results from a blockage in a blood vessel in the brain, which can happen when a substance called plaque builds up inside your arteries.1 The other type (called hemorrhagic stroke) occurs when an artery in the brain breaks open, usually after becoming weaker from high blood pressure.1
More than 62,000 strokes occur in Canada each year.2 That’s a lot of strokes—about one every 10 minutes.3 What’s more, over 400,000 people in Canada live with the after-effects of stroke.2 The risk of stroke goes up as you get older, and about 10 per cent of people aged 65 years and older have had one.4 Stroke affects men and women to a similar extent, though women tend to have worse physical and mental outcomes.2
You may have heard of a mini-stroke, also known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA). TIAs last only a few minutes and don’t cause permanent damage.5 That said, one in three people who has a TIA will go on to have a stroke, so you can consider a TIA a warning—and a chance to take action to prevent a future stroke.5
Being older, having a close family member who had a stroke, or having an African, South Asian, or Indigenous heritage puts you at higher risk of stroke.6 While you can’t control your age or your origins, you do have the power to control many other risk factors, including an unhealthy weight or diet, lack of physical activity, smoking, and excessive alcohol use.6 Medical conditions that raise your risk of stroke, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes,6 can also improve with a healthier lifestyle and the right treatment.6
If you’re serious about reducing your risk of stroke, start with your Walmart Pharmacist. A key player on your healthcare team, the pharmacist can help you evaluate your risk of stroke, offer strategies to improve your lifestyle, and work with your doctor to reduce your risk.7
READY, SET, SCORE8
One million people have used the Heart & Stroke Foundation’s risk assessment tool. Why not be one of them? It takes just seven minutes and provides visual feedback on your risk factors for heart disease and stroke—including the ones you can control. A bonus: the tool gives you a chance to set a healthy goal and receive personalized support. See the “Know Your Risk” box at https://www.heartandstroke.ca/stroke/risk-and-prevention.
You can begin reducing your risk of stroke today, starting right now. Your future self will thank you. Here’s what will help the most:9,10
The strategies for keeping strokes away will also reduce your risk of many other diseases and make you healthier overall. If you’re not sure where or how to start, your Walmart Pharmacist can offer support and suggestions, which could include monitoring your blood pressure, guidance on nutrition and exercise, and products to help you quit smoking.
When you’re having a stroke and your brain lacks oxygen, your body gives you signals.11 These danger signs, which typically happen all of a sudden, include:11
If these symptoms last only a few moments, you may have had a mini-stroke.11 Whether or not the symptoms clear up, someone needs to call a doctor or 9-1-1 right away.11 When it comes to stroke, quick action can save lives.
Not sure if it’s a stroke? Here’s a F.A.S.T. way to tell.
The great majority of people (about 85%) survive their stroke, and about 10% recover completely.13 For the remaining survivors, the after-effects will depend on the location of the blood shortage and how much brain tissue it affects.14 The muscles in your limbs may get weaker or stiffer, making it harder to get around independently.15 You may have trouble with your bladder and bowel control.15 Communication challenges, also common after a stroke, may include difficulty speaking, writing, and interpreting what others are saying.15
TAKING SIDESWhile no two strokes are exactly the same, the outcomes tend to follow common patterns. If a stroke occurs on one side of the brain, it generally affects the other side of the body. Here’s what may happen:14
Effects of left-brain stroke
Effects of right-brain stroke
When you have a stroke, a team of healthcare providers works with you to help you recover lost brain function and adapt to more permanent changes.16 Consider your Walmart Pharmacist a key member of your support team.
Once you’ve had a stroke, you’re at higher risk of having another one for the next five years, though you can bring down the risk by carefully following your treatment plan.17 If you had an ischemic stroke, blood thinners can help prevent more blockages.16 If you have high blood pressure, a number of medications can reduce it to safer levels. Of course, you should never take any of these medications without a doctor’s advice.
Your Walmart Pharmacist can teach you about your medications, help you manage side effects, and offer strategies to help you stick with your medication plan.15 For example, if you have trouble keeping track of your pills, your pharmacist can group them into blister packs.16 Blood thinners may carry their own risks, such as bleeding, and your pharmacist can give you tips to make using them as safe as possible.18
These supports make a real difference: studies show that stroke survivors who look to their pharmacist as a resource have better control of risk factors, better medical outcomes, and a better quality of life.19,20 So don’t hesitate to approach your Walmart Pharmacist to clear up your questions and ask for help, whether for yourself or for a loved one. When it comes to reducing your risk of stroke, every little bit counts.
Did you know that 1 in 3 cancers diagnosed worldwide are skin cancers and 80 to 90% of those are caused by Ultraviolet (UV) rays?1 Although you can be exposed to UV rays throughout the year, the exposure is the highest in the summer.2 Follow these tips to protect your and your family’s skin and enjoy the outdoors safely:
It can take up to two days after being sunburned for the full severity of the sunburn to become apparent. Your skin won’t begin to heal for several more days.6 If the sunburn has blisters or the skin appears white or is numb, contact your health care professional as these are symptoms of a more serious sunburn.7 Treating a sunburn at home doesn’t help heal your skin but the following tips will help decrease the pain, swelling and any discomfort6:
Remember if you have any questions about sun protection or treating any sunburns, just ask your Walmart Pharmacist for help. They will be able to provide recommendations based on your specific needs.
Canadians are travelling more and more each year, whether for work or pleasure. But whatever the reason, it’s important to make sure your travel planning includes taking measures for healthy travel.1 Being proactive, prepared and taking precautions will help ensure a healthy trip for you and those travelling with you.2 The following tips can help:
1. Consider Your Health Status: Check with your doctor to see if you should cancel or delay your travel plans if you are not feeling well, especially if you have a fever. This can help prevent spreading diseases to others as well as ensuring you don’t end up with a health emergency during your trip. If you’re pregnant, you can be at higher risk for certain conditions such as blood clots due to flying. Talk to your doctor about what specific precautions or health considerations to keep in mind for safe travelling while pregnant.3
2. Get Immunized: Book an appointment with a travel clinic (or your doctor or Walmart pharmacist if they offer travel services) a few months before any international travel. In certain Canadian provinces, pharmacists are permitted to inject travel vaccines. Some countries require specific immunizations prior to entry and may require more than 1 dose that needs to be separated by a few months. This is also a good time to get updated on routine immunizations as well. Ask your travel expert to review any other health precautions you may need to take based on your destination, such as malaria prevention.2
3. Learn About Your Destination: It’s a good idea to do research on where you will be visiting. Some precautions will be discussed at your travel health appointment but you should look into things, such as whether the tap water is safe to drink or if there are any specific customs or rules, especially if you plan on driving,. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of injuries during travel. A good resource is www.travelhealth.gc.ca by the Public Health Agency of Canada. You can review by destination and get information on travel health notices, safety and security, natural health disasters etc. for your specific travel destination.4
4. Pack a Travel Health Kit: There are few essentials that all travel health kits should include. This includes:
Over-the-counter travel medications should always be discussed with your Walmart Pharmacist or doctor before you leave on your trip. It is important to make sure medications such as pain/fever medications, travel diarrhea treatments, motion sickness medications, antihistamines, and laxatives etc. are appropriate for your specific needs and you need to understand when/how they should be taken.5
5. Travel Safe with Prescription Medications: When travelling with prescription medications, make sure to keep them in the original container and pack them in a waterproof container in your carry-on luggage. You should pack extra medication in checked luggage in case of loss or unexpected travel delays. A cooler might be needed for medications that need to be refrigerated, such as insulin. It’s also a good idea to travel with a copy of the prescriptions or letter from your doctor outlining your conditions and the medications you take.2 Talk to your Walmart Pharmacist to see if you are eligible for a medication review. Your Walmart Pharmacist can review all your medications and provide you with a detailed medication list that would provide the information you need for a trip.
6. Manage Jet Lag: Jet lag makes it hard for you to sleep at night or stay alert during the day, and it can also make you feel weak and affect your bowel movements. It occurs when you cross time zones; most people won’t feel the effects until they’ve crossed three time zones. The more time zones you cross, and if travelling east, the more you will feel the effects. Talk to your doctor and/or Walmart pharmacist to see if melatonin (hormone that helps regulate sleep/wake cycle) or sleeping pills would be appropriate. Other tips that can help:
7. Learn what To Do If You Get Sick While Away: Contact the Canadian Consulate or Embassy if you become seriously ill as they can help you find medical care. For locations by destination, please refer to the Government of Canada website: https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates. If travelling to a malaria-risk area, get medical help right away if you become ill with a fever or flu-like symptoms. Traveller’s diarrhea is the most common illness while away on a trip. If it lasts more than 7 days or if you have a fever, bloody or mucus in your stools, and/or signs of dehydration, make sure to see a doctor. 5 To help avoid traveller’s diarrhea watch what you eat:
8. Get Post Travel Care When Needed: If you were healthy while away and feel fine when you return, there is no need to see your doctor. But keep in mind that some diseases can take weeks to months to show any symptoms. If you were sick with fever or serious flu-like symptoms while away or within 6 months of returning, have diarrhea that won’t go away or keeps recurring, skin rash or sores, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, yellowing of the whites of the eyes or shortness of breath, be sure to see your doctor and mention which areas you travelled to.8
Montezuma’s revenge, Tut’s tummy… whatever you call it, traveller’s diarrhea does not make a pleasant travel companion. In fact, it can ruin a much-anticipated holiday.
However, it would be a shame to let concerns about traveller’s diarrhea keep you from exploring the world. Fortunately, you can take steps to make the experience less uncomfortable — or avoid it altogether. Consider your Walmart Pharmacist a valuable partner in this mission.
Traveller’s diarrhea is the most common health issue that travellers face, striking up to 40% of people visiting less developed parts of the world.1 The risk tends to be highest in South Asia, the Middle East, tropical Africa, and Central America.2
Most people develop traveller’s diarrhea by eating foods or drinking beverages contaminated with bacteria (often E. coli), viruses, or parasites.3 These “bugs” can sneak into undercooked meat or fish, fresh salads, raw vegetables, unpeeled fruit, cold sauces, unpasteurized dairy products, and untreated water.3
|Did you know?3|
In a survey of about 500 Canadians, most respondents revealed they know very little about the possible sources of E. coli infection while on vacation:
All told, a whopping 98% of Canadians surveyed make a food or water mistake within their first three days of travel.4
If you have traveller’s diarrhea, you will probably know it. But here is a classic definition: three or more loose (and possibly bloody) stools in 24 hours along with at least one of the following symptoms: fever, nausea, vomiting, and/or cramps.5 While obviously unpleasant, the condition does not usually put healthy adults at serious risk. However, children and the elderly who get it can become dehydrated very quickly, so you need to watch them closely.6 When in doubt, always check it out! Seek advice from a healthcare professional if you have questions or concerns.
|Which bug is to blame? What to expect7|
|Caused by||How common||Clues||Duration|
80-90% of cases
Starts suddenly Classic symptoms
5-8% of cases
Starts suddenly Vomiting may be greater
< 10% of cases
Weeks to months if untreated
Spending the day exploring an exciting new place can bring on thirst, especially in the hot summer months. But don’t reach for the first liquid you see! If at all possible, stick to drinks from commercially sealed containers. (Water in a bottle could be tap water.3) If you’re unsure, don’t drink it! And remember that ice cubes may also come from water that is not clean.
When eating fruits or vegetables, follow the rule of “cook it, boil it, peel it, or leave it.”3 Wait until you have washed fruit in clean water and peeled it before you eat it.8 Your safest bet in a restaurant is to eat only items that are both cooked and served hot. The salad buffet that’s been sitting at room temperature since the morning? Give it a pass.
The most effective strategies are often the simplest, like washing your hands. Wash them often — not just before and after eating. Wash your hands several times throughout the day.7 Good hand hygiene keeps germs from spreading.
|Street food smarts12|
For many people, a big part of the travel experience includes sampling local foods on the street. Here’s how you can enjoy street foods without putting yourself at high risk of traveller’s diarrhea:
Now is the time to reach for the loperamide your Walmart Pharmacist advised you to pack. The bismuth subsalicylate-containing medication you took as prevention can also help shorten the duration of the illness.13 If you seem to have a more severe case, consider taking those antibiotics you brought with you and/or seeing a healthcare professional.
|When to seek medical help6,14|
|For adults||For children|
| || |
|A local embassy or consulate may be able to help you find a healthcare professional.|
Every 7 minutes in Canada someone dies from heart disease or stroke. Understanding the risks of high blood cholesterol can help you beat the odds!1
Your heart is a muscle and its job is to pump blood around your body, to carry oxygen and other important nutrients needed by every cell in the body.
Did you know that:
High blood cholesterol is one of the major controllable risk factors for heart disease and stroke. As your blood cholesterol rises, so does your risk.
Cholesterol is a lipid (fat) naturally found within the human body and is an essential building block for cell membranes, hormones and vitamin D.4 However, high blood levels of certain types of cholesterol can increase heart disease risk. Your Walmart Pharmacist can help answer any questions you may have about why controlling blood cholesterol is important to your health.
The only way to know if you have high cholesterol levels is to have a simple blood test. Everyone can take the test. The Canadian Guidelines5 recommends screening of cholesterol and heart disease risk if you:
Other risk factors:6,7
The more risk factors you have, the more important it is to keep your cholesterol in target range.8
The blood test can measure the three following kinds of cholesterol (fat) in your blood :
The Good: HDL cholesterol is often referred to as ‘good’ cholesterol because it helps to remove excess cholesterol from the body.
The Bad: LDL cholesterol is often referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol because it can form plaque or fatty deposits on the walls of your arteries (blood vessels). If your LDL level is high, it can block blood flow to your heart and brain.
The Ugly: Although not considered a risk factor all by itself, high levels of triglycerides appear to be associated with greater risk of heart disease. Triglycerides are not a cholesterol, but are the most common form of fat in the body.9
You can take control of your health by making healthy lifestyle choices that can decrease your blood cholesterol and reduce your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. The Heart and Stroke Foundation10 recommends that you:
1. Eat a healthy balanced diet
Note: If your blood cholesterol level is high, your physician or dietitian may recommend restricting your intake of foods high in cholesterol such as egg yolks, organ meats, full- fat dairy products and processed meats.
2. Cook and eat more meals at home
3. Make eating out a special occasion
4. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
5. Be active
6. Be smoke-free
Consult your doctor or your Walmart Pharmacist for more information on lifestyle tips! Some people may need prescription cholesterol medication to help control their blood cholesterol. Just ask your doctor or Walmart Pharmacist for advice!
Do you have medication that is expired? Extra medication you bought but never used? Used sharps needed for health conditions in your house hold?
Most households have medications and sharps that are expired or that are no longer needed. Don’t throw it out. You can return these medications and sharps to an Ontario Walmart Pharmacy through a program offered by the Health Product Stewardship Association called Ontario Medications Return Program (OMRP) and the Ontario Sharps Collection Program (OSCP). When you bring your used medication and sharps into the pharmacy you are doing your part to ensure that the items are being disposed of safely – keeping them out of the wrong hands, preventing needle stick injuries and protecting our environment.
* For Québec customers, some products may only be available for purchase at Accès Pharma, Wal-Mart's Québec-based affiliated pharmacies //www.accespharma.ca/en. Every medication or natural health product may cause serious adverse reactions or interactions with other medications.