Medical Arts is Cornwall’s Only Travel Health Pharmacy


Some facts about the most common travel-related illness

No doubt you’ve seen TV commercials about travellers’ diarrhea (TD). The ads are helpful in raising awareness, but it’s important to understand that TD is much more than just as “nuisance” that keeps you running to the bathroom. In reality, TD can cause:

  • Acute suffering (diarrhea, vomiting, pain, fever and bloody stools),
  • Longer-term health problems of the bowel, as well as the possible need to
  • Seek medical assistance in a foreign country. In addition, a TD infection could result in your having to:
  • Make schedule changes to flights etc.,
  • Lose time and money, as well as the possible need for
  • Medical treatment once you return home.


and safe! Don’t forget to pack a first-aid kit!


So, if you or your family members are planning a trip, you might wish to consult our travel specialists, pharmacists Erica Shearer or Suzie Pilon. They can help you learn how to reduce your risk for TD, as well as other environmental health risks you may encounter in the country you’ll be visiting.


Where can you contract TD?

A person could contract TD in any country, but a very short list of high and moderate risk countries include places Canadians often visit: Mexico, Costa Rica, India, China, Cuba, the Dominican
Republic, Australia and New Zealand.

What causes TD?

  • Feces-contaminated food and water
  • Bacteria (enterotoxigenic E-coli is the most common)
  • Viruses
  • Parasites

Please travel safe and smart.
We’re here to help people of all ages, and especially those at highest risk: children, seniors, pregnant women and people who have certain health conditions.


Before you depart, call Medical Arts!

At least 8 weeks before you travel, make a Travel Health appointment with pharmacists Erica Shearer (L) at 13th St. or Suzie Pilon (R) at Montreal Rd.


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Vaccination – Best way to prevent pneumococcal disease

What to know if your doctor recommends it for you


Most people know there are many infections – caused by viruses – that can be prevented through immunization. Some examples include vaccines to combat seasonal fl u, shingles, polio, measles and many others. But some vaccines prevent diseases caused by bacteria, and one of these is the vaccine that prevents pneumococcal disease. As you’ve probably guessed, the “pneum” in pneumococcal signals an infection of the lungs (pneumonia). But once inside the body, these bacteria can also cause infections of the middle ear or sinuses. And if the infection becomes
invasive, it can result in potentially lifethreatening:

■ Blood poisoning (bacteremia)
■ Infection of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord (bacterial meningitis), and
■ Infection inside the chambers of the heart or heart valves (endocarditis).

65 or older? Your doctor might recommend vaccination. Why?

If we’re in this age group, we’re already at higher risk for pneumococcal disease (as are children under age 5). But we’re at even higher risk for infection if we: 

■ Have a chronic illness such as diabetes, COPD, emphysema, heart disease, alcoholism or liver disease
■ Have a condition that weakens our immune system
■ Smoke cigarettes, or
■ Live in a seniors residence.

You might wonder: Couldn’t antibiotics be used for an infection instead of getting the vaccine?

Unfortunately, we live in times where bacteria – like pneumococcal bacteria – are becoming harder to treat because of “antibiotic resistance.” This means the best and safest strategy is disease prevention.  Please feel free to speak to our pharmacists if you have any questions. We’re always here for you.


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winter bird

Beat the Cycle of Dry and Itchy Skin This Winter

winter bird


Dry skin and itchy skin are known to be two of the most common age-related skin problems. In fact they often go hand in glove but not in a “comfortable” way. Dry skin – often on the lower legs – can become itchy, scaly or cracked and can cause bleeding. And once we start scratching, further skin injury can occur, leaving us at risk for allergic reactions, as well as infection. It’s a cycle that needs to be broken, but how?
First off, it’s good to know what can contribute to dry and itchy skin, including:

  • Not getting enough food sources of Omega-3 fatty acids or enough zinc
  • Insufficient use of moisturizers
  • Certain Medical conditions (such diabetes or thyroid disease)
  • Some medications (such as diuretics, often called water pills)


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Great Ways to Reorder Prescriptions

order presctiption

For 24 hour-a-day ordering you can

• Dial in by phone and use the interactive voice response system

• Order online at

• Or use our mobile app


To order during business hours Monday to Saturday

• Call us, and a “real person” will talk to you


But if you prefer we do the work for you

• Talk to us about preauthorized reordering

• We’ll take care of everything and call you when your prescription’s ready


sandy beach

Overseas Travel – Winter’s coming & Canadians will be on the move

sandy beach


— The latest data from Stats Canada reveal that overseas travel by Canadians has risen steadily over the past 20 years, and probably safe to say most people are pretty well informed about the “basics” for preventing health problems while vacationing. For instance, whether a travel destination is as near as Mexico or Costa Rica or as far away as Thailand or China, most people know to…

■ Wash their hands regularly and/or use hand sanitizer;
■ Drink bottled water rather than tap, even for brushing one’s teeth;
■ Avoid “raw foods” and food sold by street vendors;
■ Use sunblock to avoid sunburn; and
■ Apply insect repellent to help protect from diseases spread by mosquitos.

But Medical Arts also recommends consulting the pharmacist about:

■ When to order medication needed for a vacation period;
■ Carrying an up-to-date list of medications;
■ The safest way(s) to pack and store essential medications;
■ Over-the-counter medications that could come in handy while travelling;
■ Ensuring protection with the annual flu shot, as well as “other” vaccines including those specifically recommended when travelling to certain countries;
■ How many weeks “before travelling” vaccines should be given.


REMEMBER: Our team is always here to help!


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Revved and ready to use Drive-Thru

If it’s at Medical Arts, there are KEYS for success

Vroom, vroom. From coffee, to donuts, banking and dry cleaning, we live in a drive-thru world. Do you know you can even get married in a drive-thru? It’s true, but only in Las Vegas.  So if drive-thru is so common, why did Medical Arts Pharmacy pull down its drive-thru sign at 13th St. last week and put up one that says One Hour Rx? Don’t pharmacists just count pills, slap on a label and hand it out the window?

“That’s a widely held misperception,” says pharmacist Harry Haramis.    “We have computer technology and technicians to count pills.”

Haramis explains that changing the drive-thru sign was a business decision based on evidence from pharmacies and customers all over North America. It turns out drive-thru has proved a bit of a misnomer and in certain situations can cause undo stress on both pharmacists and customers.

“Pharmacy services are individualized,” Haramis says, adding that businesses best suited for drive-thru are those that have standardized products – like donuts – that require no instructions for use.  “You can imagine that helping a person learn to inject their insulin, measure their blood sugar, or use an asthma inhaler means face-to-face discussion is essential,” says Haramis, “And these are situations where coming  inside the pharmacy is important.  However, if you’ve been using your insulin or your inhaler for a long time, picking it up at the window is perfectly fine.”

In other words, a pharmacy drivethru is best suited for

  • Dropping off new prescriptions,
  • Picking up one’s regular prescriptions.
drive-thru widow
1 hour Drive-Thru window at Medical Arts Pharmacy, 13th Street Cornwall, ON

That’s why the service has been renamed One Hour Rx. It means that rather than waiting at the window, customers must return at the appropriate time.  But does that mean it takes longer to get a drive-thru prescription filled? The answer is No.

“All prescriptions are treated equally,” says Haramis. “Our goal with One Hour Rx is simply to help manage customer expectations so people
aren’t frustrated by having to sit in their cars in a line up outside the window.”

And this is because there are many steps involved in preparing a prescription, as well as many people and technologies employed along the way.  Some of the steps that require a pharmacist’s expertise involve:

  • Translating the doctor’s orders (drug, dose, timing etc.)
  • Reviewing the person’s computerized medication history,
  • Assessing whether there are any drug allergies or drug interactions,
  • Investigating whether special packaging is required, and
  • Determining whether the medication is covered by insurance or paid for by the government.

Bottom line, says Haramis, a pharmacist’s role is to ensure the best  and safest use of medication, and quality takes time.