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Uh oh, the UTI strikes again – Thankfully, you can call an Ontario Pharmacist for help!

You notice yourself urinating more frequently; you can’t seem to hold it in and you even notice some pain or burning when peeing. It clicks – you know this must be one of those pesky urinary tract infections (UTIs) you had some time ago!

Your usual course of action in this situation, is to call your doctor’s office to request an urgent appointment as you remember those yellow and black capsules worked so well last time!  Recently, you’ve been paying more attention to the news and recall hearing that pharmacists can now prescribe medications for certain conditions; you may have a new way to access care!

Seeing a pharmacist for an assessment of your UTI symptoms and an antibiotic prescription is an efficient and safe option for accessing timely care when you need it most.

You call your local Pharmasave pharmacist and learn that they can, in fact, provide an assessment and antibiotic prescription for the treatment of UTIs! You’re now scheduled for a telephone appointment in 30 minutes.

The presence of specific symptoms, including painful urination, urinating more frequently and an urgency to urinate, are associated with a high probability of UTIs1, therefore, an assessment can be made effectively by the presence of these symptoms without the need to perform a urine test, in the majority of instances.

Furthermore, urine tests are not recommended for uncomplicated UTIs as E. coli is known to be the most common infecting bacteria, in 75-95% of cases2. The main antibiotic used to treat UTIs has a very high cure rate against E. coli (~97%)1 and the complete antibiotic selection for the treatment of UTIs is small, with all options having been found to be similarly effective1 with minimal side effects.

How Does a Consultation Work?

As you think about your upcoming appointment you wonder …

          How will the pharmacist know whether or not I have a UTI?

          How will I provide a urine sample at the pharmacy?

          How will the pharmacist know what to prescribe for me?

          Will my doctor be notified?  

Your phone rings – it must be time for your appointment! You answer the call and are greeted by a pharmacist who starts off by assuring you that this appointment is taking place in a private setting with all information you provide being kept confidential. You are asked questions to determine whether you have other symptoms which may signal a different or more severe type of infection (i.e., fever, back pain, vaginal discharge or significant blood in the urine). In these cases, you would be referred to your doctor for further assessment. There may also be other reasons you are referred to see a doctor, rather than receiving care from a pharmacist, including if you are pregnant, if you are a male or if this UTI has developed less than a month from the last one, among other reasons.

If appropriate, the pharmacist may select an antibiotic taking into account factors specific to your personal health status including other medications you are using, your kidney function, allergies to medications and other medical conditions you may have. Antibiotics are recommended for the treatment of UTIs as they have been shown to provide symptom relief in 36-48 hours1 and reduce the risk of the infection progressing to the kidneys. Alternative therapies such as cranberry juice or capsules have not been shown to be effective in treating the infection on their own3.

Once the assessment portion of your appointment is complete, the pharmacist will provide appropriate care, and prescribe medication if needed according to your health and specific condition. You are told that the prescription can be filled at any pharmacy you choose and that a message will be sent to your family doctor, should you have one, to have the information from this appointment included as part of your complete medical record.

The pharmacist also schedules you for a follow-up phone appointment in three days. You are told that your symptoms should start to improve by then and, if instead, you notice a worsening of your symptoms or no significant improvement you would be advised to follow-up with your doctor for further assessment. You hang up the phone and head to the pharmacy to retrieve the medication, feeling relieved.

For a convenient option to access care, pharmacists can assess and prescribe for UTI’s as well as other common health conditions, when you need it most!

Book your appointment now by going online or calling your Pharmasave pharmacist.

If you’re curious about other health conditions that pharmacists can assess and prescribe for, visit Pharmasave’s Common Ailments in Ontario for details.


Written by: Dina Carovska, BScPhm, PharmD, RPh



  1. L Kosar, M LeBras. Uncomplicated Cystitis in Women – Management Considerations. RxFiles. Feb 2022. Available from:
  2. L Regier, M LeBras. Acute Cystitis Treatment. RxFiles. May 2020. Available from:
  3. In: Natural Medicines [database on the Internet]. Somerville (MA): Therapeutic Research Center; 2022. Available from:

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