Joy and Peace

December 19, 2022

How can you find joy (or at least peace) during difficult times?

An older adult patient once told me, “There are good decades and bad decades.” I remember the shock at hearing this — the patient was referring to the relationship with his wife. For many of us, 10 years seems like a very long time to struggle. How do we find joy when experiencing difficulties — or how do we at least make our struggles bearable?

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November 4, 2022

COVID-19: As new wave hits Ottawa, everything you need to know about booster shots

People over 18 in Ontario are eligible to start receiving a bivalent booster dose of COVID-19 on Monday that targets the Omicron variant.

Another option for children from six months to five years old is also available Monday as the Pfizer vaccine is rolled out. A Moderna shot was already approved for that age group in the province.

The vaccine news arrives as Ontario braces for a possible surge of COVID-19 as schools have resumed and people move indoors this fall.

In Ottawa, levels of the virus are high and increasing, Ottawa Public Health said in its latest update on Sept. 22.

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Proton Pump Inhibitors

November 3, 2022

Proton-pump inhibitors: Should I still be taking this medication?

Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a common type of anti-acid medication, and are available both by prescription and over the counter. Omeprazole and pantoprazole are examples of PPIs. They are the treatment of choice for several gastrointestinal disorders, such as peptic ulcer disease, esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and H. pylori infection.

New guidelines by the American Gastroenterological Association have highlighted the need to address appropriate PPI usage, and they recommend that PPIs should be taken at the lowest dose and shortest duration for the condition being treated. However, PPIs are frequently overused, and may be taken for longer than necessary. This can happen unintentionally; for example, if the medication was started while the patient was hospitalized, or it was started as a trial to see if a patient’s symptoms would improve and then is continued beyond the needed timeframe.

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November 2, 2022

Border vaccine rules, mandatory use of ArriveCAN, mask mandates on planes and trains to end on Oct. 1

The federal government says it’s dropping all COVID-19 measures at borders on Saturday, meaning travellers will no longer need to provide proof of vaccination when entering Canada or wear masks on planes and trains.

As of Oct. 1, all travellers, regardless of citizenship, will no longer have to:

  • Submit public health information through the ArriveCAN app or website;
  • Provide proof of vaccination;
  • Undergo pre- or on-arrival testing;
  • Carry out COVID-19-related quarantine or isolation;
  • Monitor and report if they develop signs or symptoms of COVID-19 upon arriving to Canada;
  • Undergo health checks for travel on air and rail;
  • Or wear masks on planes and trains.

Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said Monday’s decision is not a sign Canada is out of the pandemic, but said the government’s data showed the importation of new variants was no longer having an effect on the evolution of the virus in country.

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Travel Restrictions
Menopause Symptoms Study

November 1, 2022

New Canadian guidelines for menopausal hormone replacement therapy

New Canadian guidelines have been released on when to prescribe menopausal hormone therapy — and when it might heighten health risks, according to CTV News . Menopausal hormone therapy (MHT), according to the new guidelines, is the most effective treatment to relieve menopause symptoms, especially when they are severe. Long-term data suggests that MHT should not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease if it isn’t prescribed for women who are already at an increased risk of heart disease and isn’t prescribed for an extended period. Here’s the catch. Menopause officially begins 12 months after a woman has had her last period. Menopause symptoms, like hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, mood swings, vaginal dryness and discomfort during intercourse, can last for many years for some women, or intensify at different points.

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September 25, 2022

4 Signs of High Cholesterol You Should Know About

Early signs of high cholesterol

How do your cholesterol levels feel today? Even if you knew, you might not be sure what they mean; what’s considered “normal” varies by age and sex among other factors, so for most of us there’s no way to know for certain how healthy our cholesterol levels are—even if high cholesterol is negatively impacting our health.

“People often talk about blood pressure as a silent killer, but cholesterol can be as well,” says cardiologist Donald Lloyd-Jones, MD, chair of preventive medicine at Northwestern University and the president of the American Heart Association.

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blood restricted from cholesteral
Meditation to improve health

September 24, 2022

Why gender is at the heart of the matter for cardiac illness

Heart diseases are still chronically misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed in women. With depressing regularity, we see stories of women failed by the health system when they come to hospitals with the symptoms of a heart attack. As a professor of cardiac science with 40 years’ experience, for me it has been a frustrating journey to get to the real cause of this problem: a combination of professional, systemic and technical biases. The experiences of individual patients are complex to analyze and interpret, but now we can view these effects on a much bigger scale.

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September 24, 2022

How Soon After Having COVID Can You Get the New COVID Vaccine Booster Shots?

If you recently had COVID-19, when is the best time to get the new omicron-specific booster shot?

According to federal officials, there are no restrictions for getting the booster around a recent COVID infection. Anyone who has received a primary COVID vaccine is eligible two months from their last dose of either the original vaccines or the previous booster shots.

But Chicago’s top doctor, who recently recovered from COVID herself, said while there is no requirement to wait, some people might consider postponing their latest dose if they’ve been recently infected – depending on a few things.

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When to get your Covid-19 Vaccine
Patient utilizing telemedicine

September 23, 2022


The paper is one of two studies on telemedicine published in NEJM Catalyst. The second study demonstrates the success of an effort to provide mental health services to nursing homes via a hybrid model that includes telemedicine.

“For patients, the message is clear and reassuring: Telemedicine is an effective and efficient way of receiving many kinds of health care,” says Kathleen Fear, lead author of the first paper and and director of data and analytics at the University of Rorchester Health Lab.

“Especially for those with transportation challenges, it is a service that really fills a gap—and vitally, it does not compromise the quality of the care that patients receive.”

Read more

September 23, 2022

Early Puberty in Girls Surged in The Pandemic, And We May Finally Know Why

Among the laundry list of health problems COVID has inflicted on the world’s population, one of the more perplexing could be an increase in the number of girls experiencing what is known as idiopathic precocious puberty – abnormally early onset of puberty.

More than one study has spotted the spike in numbers during the early months of the pandemic of what is typically a rare condition, highlighting a potential link between the virus and a trigger for early adolescence.

Now a study presented at the 60th Annual European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology Meeting in Rome suggests it might not have anything to do with the infection at all.

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Teen going through Puberty
Lose Weight and Keep It Off

September 22, 2022

‘Game Changer’ Semaglutide Halves Diabetes Risk From Obesity

Treatment of people with obesity but without diabetes with the glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) agonist semaglutide (Wegovy) — hailed at its approval in 2021 as a “game changer” for the treatment of obesity — led to beneficial changes in body mass index (BMI), glycemic control, and other clinical measures.

This collectively cut the calculated risk for possible future development of type 2 diabetes in study participants by more than half, based on post-hoc analysis of data from two pivotal trials that compared semaglutide with placebo.

The findings “suggest that semaglutide could help prevent type 2 diabetes in people with overweight or obesity,” said W. Timothy Garvey, MD, in a presentation at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes 2022 Annual Meeting.

September 16, 2022

Artificial sweeteners linked to risk of cardiovascular disease

The findings of a study of more than 100,000 people suggest artificial sweeteners increase the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD).

The population-based prospective cohort study of 103,388 participants of the French NutriNet-Santé cohort examined the associations between CVD and artificial sweeteners from all dietary sources (beverages, tabletop sweeteners, dairy products, etc.) and CVD.

The study found that total artificial sweetener intake was associated with an increased risk of CVD (hazard ratio [HR] 1.09; 95% CI 1.01-1.18; P=.03). The absolute incidence rate in higher consumers and non-consumers was 346 and 314 per 100,000 person-years, respectively.

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Heart Health Matters
Crisis Hot-Line 988

September 15, 2022

New 988 crisis line launched in U.S. for mental health crises is also happening in Canada


Content Warning: This story contains references to suicide and suicidal ideation. If you are in need of support for yourself, a friend or a family member, Talk Suicide Canada, formerly the Canadian Suicide Prevention Service helpline, offers support and can be reached at 1-833-456-4566 toll free, 24/7. Or, connect via text at 45645, from 4 p.m. to midnight ET.

Putting crisis care more in reach for people in need is a step forward in reducing suicide, and supporting mental health, experts say, in response to a new dedicated crisis lifeline just launched in the U.S. and headed to Canada next year.

September 13, 2022

Blood Type Linked to Higher Risk for Early-Onset Stroke

Individuals with type A blood have a 16% higher risk for early-onset stroke (EOS) than those with other blood types, new research shows.

Conversely, results from a meta-analysis of nearly 17,000 cases of ischemic stroke in adults younger than 60 years showed that having type O blood reduced the risk for EOS by 12%.

In addition, the associations with risk were significantly stronger in EOS than in those with late-onset stroke (LOS), pointing to a stronger role for prothrombotic factors in younger patients, the researchers note.

Read more

Blood Types
Polio Virus

September 12, 2022

New York declares a disaster due to polio outbreak which officials fear have infected THOUSANDS in the state


New York state officials have declared a disaster over the states polio outbreak where there has been one confirmed case and dozens of positive wastewater samples dating back as far as April.

The move was announced by Gov Kathy Hochul’s office on Friday. In a release, officials say that move allows ‘necessary State agencies to take appropriate action to assist local governments and individuals in containing, preparing for, responding to and recovering from this State disaster emergency.’

The Empire state first detected a case of the devastating virus in Rockland County – just outside of New York City‘s Bronx borough – on July 21. In the time since, wastewater surveillance has also detected the virus within the city itself and in nearby Orange and Sullivan counties. On Friday, officials revealed that Nassau County, also just outside of the Big Apple, had detected the virus in its wastewater surveillance as well.

September 12, 2022

Spirituality linked to better cardiovascular health in Black Americans


  • Lifestyles that include spirituality or religiosity are associated with healthier levels of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors among African Americans.

Why this matters

  • American Heart Association’s (AHA’s) Life’s Simple 7 (LS7) factors to prevent CVD are:
    • Physical activity (PA).
    • Diet.
    • Smoking.
    • BMI.
    • BP.
    • Cholesterol.
    • Glucose.
  • African Americans fare worse on nearly all components vs White Americans.

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Cardio Measuring
Alcohol Guidelines

August 31, 2022

Our Wearable Future, Part 1: What Will New Tech Look Like?


Although inflammation serves a vital role in the body’s defense and repair systems, chronic inflammation can cause more harm than good. And that may make you wonder: what can I do about it?

In fact, there’s a lot you can do. And you may already be doing it. That’s because some of the most important ways to fight inflammation are measures you should be taking routinely.

Let’s take a look at key elements of fighting chronic inflammation: prevention, detection, and treatment.

August 31, 2022

Our Wearable Future, Part 1: What Will New Tech Look Like?

This is the first in a two-part series on the future of wearable tech. Part two examines the incredible advances in power and electronics that will make future wearables work and can be found here.

Michael Snyder wears eight sensors on his body every day, including two smartwatches on each wrist.

Overkill? Some desperate innate need to get an accurate step count? (Gotta get your 10,000 in!) No. He is a geneticist studying how to track people’s health using wearables – the relatively new term for devices we wear on or close to our skin to measure anything from heart rate to how many stairs we climb each day.

Read more

Wearable Technology
Fighting Inflammation

August 31, 2022

An action plan to fight unhealthy inflammation


Although inflammation serves a vital role in the body’s defense and repair systems, chronic inflammation can cause more harm than good. And that may make you wonder: what can I do about it?

In fact, there’s a lot you can do. And you may already be doing it. That’s because some of the most important ways to fight inflammation are measures you should be taking routinely.

Let’s take a look at key elements of fighting chronic inflammation: prevention, detection, and treatment.

August 18, 2022

How does monkeypox spread? Here’s what scientists know so far

Sexual activity still primary driver of outbreak, as studies suggest range of transmission routes

Can you catch monkeypox from a toilet seat, or by trying on clothes at a thrift store? Is the virus spreading through bodily fluids? Can you pass it to your pets?

Search for “monkeypox” on social media, and those are the kinds of questions you’ll find online.

Read more

When to get your Covid-19 Vaccine
couple jogging for exercise

July 17, 2022

How Many Minutes You Need To Walk Daily To Cut Your Risk of Heart Disease by 30%

From pumping your system full of mood-boosting endorphins to building muscular endurance to optimizing your oxygen uptake, the benefits of aerobic exercise are numerous, especially when it comes to keeping your heart healthy. Not to get too morbid, but heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). On the bright side, though, walking is one of the best ways to show your ticker some TLC.

July 16, 2022

Ask an Expert: What Happens If Diabetes Is Not Managed Properly?

Meet the Expert

Do-Eun Lee, MD, has been practicing medicine for more than 20 years and specializes in diabetes, thyroid issues, and general endocrinology. She currently operates a private practice in Lafayette, CA, which opened in 2009. She has authored several publications and is the recipient of various professional awards and honors, including the Young Investigator Travel Award from Seoul National University College of Medicine Alumni Association of North America, Las Vegas.

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Healthy Diets help heart health
blood restricted from cholesteral

July 15, 2022

Why Blood Type May Be the Map to Your Heart Health

You’ve definitely heard this question at some point in your life: What’s your blood type? We all have one, and if you aren’t sure what yours is, there’s great reason to find out: science suggests our blood type may make a difference when it comes to how healthy our hearts are.

You wouldn’t know it by looking on the surface, but coursing through your veins every second of every day are tiny variations that categorize your blood into one of these groups: A+, A-, B+, B-, O-, O+, AB+ and AB-. Unless you’ve donated blood, were given a transfusion or found out during pregnancy, maybe you’ve never thought twice about your blood type and what it means for your health.

July 14, 2022

CRISPR cure for high cholesterol enters first human trial

A trial testing a new CRISPR-based treatment to lower cholesterol has officially kicked off in New Zealand. If it works as well as it did in animal trials, the one-and-done treatment could save countless lives — permanently lowering cholesterol and the risk of a heart attack.

Why it matters: Cholesterol is a waxy material produced by the liver and found in certain foods we eat. It circulates in the blood, and it comes in two varieties: HDL and LDL.

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Genome Sequence
Canker Sores

July 13, 2022

Is there a way to prevent the pain of canker sores?

Also known as aphthous ulcers, canker sores come by their name honestly. Aphthous is derived from the Greek aphthae , which means “to set on fire” — and if you’ve ever had a canker sore, you know how appropriate that descriptor is.

Unlike cold sores which occur outside of the mouth, canker sores are small, inflamed lesions that form on the mucous membrane inside the mouth on the lips, tongue, cheeks, or gums and are quite common for people of all ages.

July 12, 2022

We’re Living Through The Biggest Drop in Childhood Vaccination Rates in 30 Years

Increased misinformation and the disruption of global supply chains due to COVID-19 are behind the biggest sustained drop in childhood vaccinations in three decades, a UN report said.

The percentage of children who received three doses of the vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) fell five percentage points between 2019 and 2021 to 81 percent, according to official data published Thursday by WHO and UNICEF.

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young child blowing their nose on the couch with a blanket wrapped around them
BA.5 cause more severe diseases

July 11, 2022

Does BA.5 cause more severe disease than earlier Omicron subvariants?

With the Omicron subtype BA.5 rapidly becoming dominant in the United States a small body of research has begun to reveal the unique properties of this novel SARS-CoV-2 variant. Two recent preprints have described how BA.5 is more immune-evasive than prior iterations of the virus and how it could lead to more severe disease.

According to the latest variant-tracking estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the BA.5 Omicron variant accounts for the majority of SARS-CoV-2 infections in the United States. BA.5 has quickly taken over in predominance from BA.2.12.1, which had briefly ruled over BA.2, following the first Omicron BA.1.1 wave at the beginning of the year.

July 11, 2022

Common Myths and Misconceptions About Cholesterol

Read more

Myths and Misconceptions about Cholesterol
CRISPR Gene Editing

July 11, 2022

The first CRISPR gene-editing drug is coming—possibly as soon as next year

June 20, 2022

An anti-inflammatory diet may be good for your joints

Foods that reduce inflammation inside the body are all the rage these days — and for good reason. Eating these foods over time has been linked to a lower risk of numerous health conditions, including heart and blood vessel problems and chronic diseases such as diabetes.

But can a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods also help your joints?

“Research seems to show a benefit when it comes to prevention,” says Natalie McCormick, a research fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Studies, such as the Nurses’ Health Study, have found that not only can an anti-inflammatory diet help to prevent arthritis, but it may also prevent conditions like heart disease and diabetes that people with arthritis are more likely to develop.”

Read more

Improving your joints health with a new anti-inflammatory diet
All inclusive travelling tips

June 19, 2022

21 Things We Should 100% Avoid Doing At All-Inclusive Resorts

June 18, 2022

What to look for in multivitamins

The first multivitamins hit the market in 1943. By the 1950s, bottles of them could be found on many family dinner tables. Americans were gobbling them down — and still are. But do we need them?

“People view them as a form of insurance,” says JoAnn Manson, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of the division of preventive medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “They are hedging their bets. I don’t discourage anyone from taking a multivitamin. But multivitamins and other supplements will never be a substitute for a healthful diet.”

Read more

What to look for in Multivitamins
checking your blood pressure

June 17, 2022

The right way to check your blood pressure

Because high blood pressure rarely has any warning signs or symptoms, many people with this stealth condition don’t realize they have it. But pressure that measures 130/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or higher — the official definition of high blood pressure — injures blood vessels, causing them to thicken and stiffen. Left untreated, high blood pressure eventually damages the heart, brain, and kidneys.

That’s why every single health care visit should include a blood pressure check. Keep a record of your readings, which can fluctuate due to a range of factors, including exertion or stress. If your readings start trending toward the high range or you’ve already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, you should get a device for home-based checks (see “Choosing a home blood pressure monitor”).

June 16, 2022

Study Shows Vitamin B12 Deficiency Often Occurs in Long-Term Metformin Users

Metformin intake of Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients is being observed by researchers due to its side effects. Frequent doses of metformin can result in vitamin b12 deficiency. Diabetes patients are often exposed to metformin, as it is an oral medication for hyperglycemia. Metformin can regulate high blood sugar, which aids in preventing kidney damage, blindness, nerve problems, loss of limbs, and sexual function difficulties. The medication also restores the proper insulin response of the patient’s body

Read more

B12 Deficiency in Long-term Metformin Users
Alopecia drug approval

June 5, 2022

FDA Approves First Drug of Its Kind for Severe Alopecia

People with a severe form of baldness will now have a significant treatment option available. On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration approved baricitinib for treating alopecia areata. The drug, taken as a pill, is the first of its kind intended to treat the autoimmune disorder, though it’s already commonly used for other conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Alopecia areata is caused by an overactive immune system that attacks hair follicle cells. Hair loss typically occurs before age 40, and symptoms can range from periodically losing patches of scalp hair to the permanent loss of hair throughout the body. It’s thought to affect 7 million people in the U.S.

June 4, 2022

Ramsay Hunt syndrome: Here’s what we know about Justin Bieber’s diagnosis

Earlier this week, 28-year-old Canadian musician, Justin Bieber, announced to the world that he is suffering from a rare syndrome that causes partial facial paralysis.

“I have this syndrome called Ramsay Hunt syndrome. As you can see this eye is not blinking. I can’t smile on this side of my face. This nostril will not move,” he said in an Instagram video that has garnered over seven million likes. “I wish this wasn’t the case but obviously my body is telling me I’ve got to slow down.”

In order to “get back to 100 per cent,” the two-time Grammy award winner has postponed the next few concerts of his tour to recover.

Read more

Ramsay Hunt Disease
Lose Weight and Keep It Off

June 3, 2022

What are the different types of body fat?

Ask the doctor

Q. I hear there are different types of fat in your body, some good for you and some not. Could I be a lucky person who has only the good kind?

A. Unfortunately, no one has only the good kind, but most of us at least have some. Over the past 30 years, we’ve learned a lot about fat. We used to think it was mainly insulation against the cold, nothing more. In fact, it’s a lot more.


June 3, 2022

I’m a Doctor and Beg You Never Take These Vitamins

Vitamins are a big business! While the billion dollar industry offers consumers a wide range of products promising a variety of things like weight loss, shiny hair, clear skin and overall good health, some vitamins aren’t as safe as you think. Yes, there are benefits to taking vitamins, but there’s also a lot of risk. “There are several vitamins that many people take without thinking twice, but that can be quite harmful,” Dr. Tomi Mitchell, a Board-Certified Family Physician with Holistic Wellness Strategies tells us. Read on to see which ones to stay away from and why–and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.

Read more

Do Not take the vitamins listed in this article
LGBTQ+ Information

June 2, 2022

Supporting your LGBTQ+ patients with inclusive health education materials is crucial! 

Providing inclusive care helps ensure that patients feel comfortable, respected, and heard throughout their healthcare journey. It involves listening carefully to patient needs, being educated about issues facing historically excluded populations, and offering relevant resources or advice that considers the patient’s identity and culture. Such care encourages people from all backgrounds and identities to seek the care they need and speak up when they have questions or concerns.

The IMD Health Patient Engagement Platform has many educational health resources focused on the LGBTQ+ patient population. These resources come from trusted organizations like Strong Minds Strong Kids, the Sex Information & Education Council of Canada, and the Mental Health Commission of Canada, and they cover topics such as safe sex, mental illness, and cancer in the LGBTQ+ community. Check out our page on LGBTQ+ Health to learn more!


June 1, 2022

Injectable gel shows potential for relief among those with chronic low back pain

The preliminary results from an experimental hydrogel injected into degenerated spinal discs are raising the prospect of a potential new treatment for the scourge of low back pain.

Degenerative disc disease is the leading cause of chronic low back pain and occurs due to the accumulation of damage to the intervertebral discs that cushion the spine.

Healthy discs absorb and distribute forces to facilitate movement and flexibility in the spine, however, with cumulative damage they can become dry, thin, cracked, or torn, which causes pain or loss of motion.

Read more

Chronic Back Pain
Meditation to improve health

May 31, 2022

16 Realistic Health Goals That Have Nothing to Do With Your Weight Nor Waist


May 30, 2022

These 4 Numbers Can Tell You More About Your Health Than Your Weight Can

Curious whether you’re on track to live a long, healthy life into your golden years? Most health professionals would tell you to hop on a scale because numbers like weight and BMI (body mass index) are often used to predict your chances of developing certain diseases and your life expectancy overall.

Read more

Cardio Measuring
blood restricted from cholesteral

May 29, 2022


Cholesterol-lowering statins are prescribed to 200 million people worldwide, leading some to question whether their ubiquity is called for.

Reviewing the available evidence dispels most concerns. Statins are amazingly effective at reducing death from cardiovascular disease, with minimal side effects.

The term “wonder drug” often gets used haphazardly, usually by charlatans to describe unproven supplements. But statins genuinely may be wonder drugs, with few risks but large, life-extending benefits.

Read more

May 29, 2022

Frustrated With Delays, Doctors Take Aim at Prior Authorization


LAST DECEMBER, a young patient was admitted to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, after several medications had failed to quell the child’s relentless seizures. A hospital pediatrician, Vignesh Doraiswamy, consulted with neurologists and then tried a different drug. The child had fewer seizures, became more interactive, and was ready to go back home, says Doraiswamy. But there was a problem: The patient’s insurance company refused to authorize the new medication for the parents to administer. The family had to remain in the hospital for at least two more days, Doraiswamy recalls, while the decision went through an appeals process.


Doctors have long asserted that prior authorization — the need to get approval from the patient’s insurer before proceeding with treatment — causes delays that can hurt patient care. In an American Medical Association survey conducted in December 2021, one-third of physicians reported that such delays have caused at least one of their patients to experience a serious problem, such as hospitalization, the development of a birth defect, disability, and even death. In that same survey, more than 80 percent of surveyed doctors said patients at least sometimes abandon their recommended treatment because of prior authorization hassles. Just over half of the physicians who treat adult patients in the workforce said prior authorization has interfered with patients’ ability to do their jobs.

Read more

Elderly citizen video chatting with the Doctor for an exam
Heart Tissue mRNA

May 28, 2022


The messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccines, including ones made by Moderna and Pfizer, notched some famous successes and pioneered the use of mRNA technology along the way. Now, scientists are testing similar technologies as treatments for a variety of conditions, including heart injury. New research presented in April at the Frontiers in CardioVascular Biomedicine 2022 conference shows that mRNA can help heart cells regenerate after being damaged from a heart attack—and has the potential to be an effective therapy. Other recent research treating cardiac injury using similar approaches has also shown promise. Should these treatments be effective in people, they would be among the first to heal damage after a heart attack, which current treatments for heart attack don’t really do.


“A real solution is not provided to the patient,” said Maria Clara Labonia, a medical doctor and Ph.D. student at the University of Utrecht, in the Netherlands, who is the lead author of the study. “So many aims are towards new therapeutic strategies.”

Read more

May 27, 2022

What is Lyme Disease?


Lyme disease (LD) is an infection caused by Borrelia burgdorferi, a type of bacterium called a spirochete (pronounced spy-ro-keet) that is carried by deer ticks. An infected tick can transmit the spirochete to the humans and animals it bites. Untreated, the bacterium travels through the bloodstream, establishes itself in various body tissues, and can cause a number of symptoms, some of which are severe. Often, an erythema migrans (EM) rash appears within 7-14 days at the site of a tick bite.


LD manifests itself as a multisystem inflammatory disease that affects the skin in its early, localized stage, and spreads to the joints, nervous system and, to a lesser extent, other organ systems in its later, disseminated stages. If diagnosed and treated early with antibiotics, LD is almost always readily cured. Generally, LD in its later stages can also be treated effectively, but because the rate of disease progression and individual response to treatment varies from one patient to the next, some patients may have symptoms that linger for months or even years following treatment. In rare instances, LD causes permanent damage.

Read more

Lyme Disease, What is it?
DNA Testing

May 26, 2022


While genealogical DNA tests may be marketed as harmless and exciting way for people to learn more about their ancestral heritage, one Canadian researcher says there needs to be more support for those who receive unexpected results that have potential to disrupt family relations, bringing up questions of paternity and infidelity.


Robert Whitley, an associate professor of psychiatry at McGill University, is studying the psychosocial experiences of Canadians who receive surprising news from ancestry DNA tests, specifically “not parent expected” events, which is when someone who is presumed to be an individual’s parent is not in fact the biological mother or father.


“You’re meeting family that you didn’t know existed, and that can be very psychologically disruptive and a huge stress to mental health and family harmony,” he told in a telephone interview on Friday.


Whitley says it’s a more common scenario than one might think.

Read more

May 27, 2022


While genealogical DNA tests may be marketed as harmless and exciting way for people to learn more about their ancestral heritage, one Canadian researcher says there needs to be more support for those who receive unexpected results that have potential to disrupt family relations, bringing up questions of paternity and infidelity.


Robert Whitley, an associate professor of psychiatry at McGill University, is studying the psychosocial experiences of Canadians who receive surprising news from ancestry DNA tests, specifically “not parent expected” events, which is when someone who is presumed to be an individual’s parent is not in fact the biological mother or father.


“You’re meeting family that you didn’t know existed, and that can be very psychologically disruptive and a huge stress to mental health and family harmony,” he told in a telephone interview on Friday.


Whitley says it’s a more common scenario than one might think.

Read more

May 25, 2022

What vaccines, treatments do we have to combat monkeypox?


LONDON — With cases of monkeypox inexplicably on the rise outside of Africa – where the viral disease is endemic – public health officials are using contact tracing, isolation and targeted vaccination to curb its spread.

Global health officials have tracked more than 200 suspected and confirmed cases of the usually mild viral infection in 19 countries since early May. The monkeypox variant implicated in the current outbreak has a case fatality rate of around 1%, though no deaths have been reported so far.

Here’s what we know about the existing range of vaccines and treatments:




The smallpox and monkeypox viruses are closely related, and the first generation of smallpox vaccines appear up to 85% effective in preventing monkeypox, the World Health Organization has said.

Read more

Monkey Pox
Medical Care Tips

May 9, 2022


The best possible care is with a doctor or care team that knows your medical history and understands you, your lifestyle, and your values. Studies show people with a consistent doctor have better care, fewer trips to the hospital, and may even live longer.
But what if you are away from home? Or you can’t see your usual doctor? Or need after-hours care? Of course, if you feel you have an emergency or life-threatening health issue, you should go to the emergency department. Otherwise, there are steps you can take to help you and your loved ones receive the best care at the right time and in the right place.

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May 8, 2022


Scientists have mapped an entire unbroken human genome for the first time, a milestone that completes the groundbreaking work started by the Human Genome Project decades ago, according to a motherlode of new studies published in Science and other journals on Thursday.

The final stubborn gaps of the genome, representing about eight percent of this human blueprint, were filled by the Telomere to Telomere (T2T) consortium, an international team consisting of dozens of scientists. The achievement opens the door to a host of new discoveries about the genetic variation between people, the evolution of our species, and the treatment of genetic diseases.

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Genome Sequence
Benadryl Allergy

May 8, 2022


More than two years after allergy experts recommended newer antihistamines and recommended against using Benadryl as a first-line treatment, many Canadians are still reaching for that recognizable brand name over others.

In October 2019, the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSASI) put out a position statement regarding oral allergy medication, stating that newer antihistamines were safer than first-generation ones, and that they should be recommended over older staples like Benadryl due to a higher rate of potential side effects. The position statement referred specifically to medications that treat non-life-threatening allergic reactions such as hay fever and hives.

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May 7, 2022


Dressing your baby up in a Gucci bodysuit is one thing, but deciding their eye colour before birth is another.

Jess gives us a rundown of the scientific breakthroughs and potential benefits of gene-editing, as well as guiding us through the moral minefield of designer babies…

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Gene editing
Salt in Diets

May 8, 2022


For decades the drumbeat on salt has been that consuming too much can raise blood pressure, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. For people who already have weakened hearts, the danger was greater, and general recommendations have been to toss the salt shaker.
Now, a new randomized clinical trial which followed 806 patients with heart failure at 26 medical centres in Canada, the U.S., Colombia, Chile, Mexico and New Zealand in which half received nutritional counselling on how to reduce their dietary salt intake, and the other half received usual care (i.e., general dietary advice given in routine clinical practice), found lower sodium intake did not lead to fewer emergency visits, hospitalizations or deaths.
Prior to the study, participants consumed an average of 2,217 mg of salt per day, or a little less than a teaspoon. After one year, the usual care group had reduced their intake to an average of 2,072 mg a day, while those who’d received dietary counselling consumed 1,658 mg a day.
The researchers compared death rates from any cause, cardiovascular hospitalization or ER visit and found no statistically significant difference.

So, does this mean salt-lovers can shake those shakers with abandon? Not a chance. The study, the largest randomized clinical trial to look at sodium reduction and heart failure, revealed that consuming less salt did improve these patients’ symptoms such as swelling, fatigue, coughing, and overall quality of life, using three quality of life assessment tools, as well as the New York Heart Association heart failure classification , a measure of heart failure severity.

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May 7, 2022


You may want to take your blood pressure medicine at bedtime rather than when you get up in the morning, according to a study published Tuesday in the European Heart Journal.

The research found that people who take their anti-hypertensive medicine before bed had better-controlled blood pressure and consequently had a much lower risk of death or illness from heart problems when compared to people who took their medication in the morning.

Compared to those who took their medicine in the morning, the people who took their medicine at night had nearly half the risk of dying from heart problems and nearly half the risk of having heart attack, stroke, heart failure, myocardial infarction or of needing a procedure to unblock their arteries.

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Blood Pressure testing
Healthy Diets help heart health

May 6, 2022


Your diet clearly plays a role in determining your cholesterol levels, but if you’re like most people, the most important factor isn’t how much cholesterol-rich food you eat. Rather, it’s what else you eat. Figuring this out has been a learning process.

Get your copy of Managing Your Cholesterol

Managing Your Cholesterol Managing Your Cholesterol offers up-to-date information to help you or a loved one keep cholesterol in check. The report spells out what are healthy and unhealthy cholesterol levels, and offers specific ways to keep cholesterol in line. It covers cholesterol tests and the genetics of cholesterol. The report also focuses on treatments based on the latest scientific evidence, including the pros and cons of statins and other medications, and provides the lowdown on other substances advertised to lower cholesterol. Managing Your Cholesterol can also help you work with your doctor to individualize your treatment.

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May 5, 2022


Cholesterol is a thick substance that can be found in the blood. While some cholesterol is good—your body actually needs it to build healthy cells—having very high cholesterol (also known as hyperlipidemia or hypercholesterolemia) can have a negative impact on your heart, eventually leading to heart disease, according to the . In some situations this can result in fatty deposits building up in the blood vessels (a condition referred to as atherosclerosis), making it more difficult for blood to flow through the arteries.


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Heart Health Matters
healthy eating to keep your heart at ease

May 4, 2022


When it comes to heart health, your cholesterol can be viewed as a primary building block in a good, solid foundation. Of course, there are other important factors—like the bricks, beams, and mortar of a home—your diet, if you smoke, your weight management, genetics and other lifestyle choices all contribute to your heart’s healthy working order.

Of course, the body requires a certain amount of cholesterol to work properly, but bodies that host an excess of this fatty substance can develop blockages in the blood vessel walls, which increase the risk for a stroke or heart attack. Here are a few need-to-know facts about your cholesterol…

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May 2, 2022


Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that can be found in every single cell in your body. We actually need cholesterol to make hormones and vitamin D, as well as some of the substances that help us digest foods. While our bodies naturally make all the cholesterol we need, cholesterol can also be found in some of the things we eat.

Cholesterol moves through our bloodstream in small packages. These packages are called lipoproteins, and consist of fat (lipid) on the inside and proteins on the outside, and come in two types: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL).


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blood restricted from cholesteral
COVID-19 passport on phone with a mask and COVID-19 vaccine beside it

September 16, 2021

Proof of Vaccinations Requirements

Yesterday, the Provincial Government released the regulations and guidance for businesses and organizations to support them implement the proof of vaccination requirements which will take effect on September 22, 2021.

As of September 22, 2021, Ontarians will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination along with photo ID to access certain public settings and facilities:

  • Restaurants and bars (excluding outdoor patios, as well as delivery and takeout);
  • Nightclubs (including outdoor areas of the establishment);
  • Meeting and event spaces, such as banquet halls and conference/convention centres;
  • Facilities used for sports and fitness activities and personal fitness training, such as gyms, fitness and recreational facilities with the exception of youth recreational sport;
  • Sporting events;
  • Casinos, bingo halls and gaming establishments;
  • Concerts, music festivals, theatres and cinemas;
  • Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs;
  • Racing venues (e.g., horse racing).

June 15, 2021

The truth about the placebo effect 

It all starts with the old saying, “mind over matter.”

To break it down, the placebo effect is the impression of cured or improved symptoms of things like illness, pain, nausea, after undergoing or taking what is perceived as a medical treatment. It has been proven time and time again to play an considerable role in our interpretation of our health, and it has been used as a subtle form of manipulation by parents tending to their sick children. Most of all though, it is important to be mindful of the placebo effect phenomenon when developing new drugs— specifically when testing their efficacy.

Experiments have even gone so far as to pin point specific attributes of placebos that are most effective— for example, coloured pills are more convincing than white, and injections and “flashier” more expensive looking procedures are also more convincing. Notably, the placebo effect has an “opponent” known as the ‘nocebo’ effect. This occurs when someone “thinks themselves ill” in result of a medical treatment or occurrence. It relates to what are known as “psychosomatic symptoms” which present themselves as similar to medical symptoms, sometimes even unconsciously. This is an area deeply rooted in neurology, where brain’s relationship with the rest of the nervous system is closely studied.

So… What is the cause of all this?

When it comes to the placebo effect, it really depends on the situation. Certain ailments that are more subjective, such as depression or anxiety, for example, can be more susceptible to a self-fulfilling prophecy, which ties into the placebo effect when certain treatments are involved. It has also been discovered over the years that a person’s pain does not coincide directly with the severity of an injury. This means the mind plays more of a role than we may realize when it comes to the pain scale— which also indicates the mind’s involvement in perceived treatment of injury, as well. Concepts like immune-conditioning, deeply rooted in psychology, also play a big part.

To learn more about the placebo effect, the relationship it has with the ‘nocebo’ effect, and the fascinating science behind what we know as “mind over matter” visit:

Yellow white and red prescription medication
Young Female holding a fan above her blowing it down on herself

June 14, 2021:

Hot tips to stay cool this summer

With the summer season comes more outings, hotter days, longer nights… all with one catch— more sweat.

Sweat is a natural process, and a necessary one, at that. We need to perspire in order to regulate our body temperature. That said, there are certain things you can do to limit the discomfort that comes along with the oh-so-dreaded armpit sweat stains.

  • Apply antiperspirant at night time.
  • Use a hairdryer (on cool) after applying your antiperspirant.
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine—these act as stimulants for sweating. Try drinks with electrolytes, instead!
  • Visit your family doctor if you are concerned about hyperhidrosis, a disorder causing a higher amount of sweating than what is deemed normal. This can be treated with a prescription at your doctor’s discretion.
  • Consult your doctor about oral medications to help reduce sweating, such as glycopyrrolate or oxybutynin—however, be sure to discuss possible side effects, such as dry mouth, eyes, or headache.
  • Look into new remedies on the market, such as Qbrexza, a topical medication that blocks stimulation of sweat glands. It works with a technology similarly to Botox.
  • If you’ve tried all options and are still struggling to get your sweat levels under control, consult your doctor about sweat gland surgery—this can be used as a more advanced measure to treat hyperhidrosis.
  • Wear loose fitted, breathable clothing. This may seem like a no brainer, however this is essential to promote breathability, which will ultimately keep your body cool. Think cotton and linen blends!

For a more in depth look at each tip, including insight from medical professionals, visit the below resource:

Below are some high quality over the counter products available at Centrum Pharmacy:

June 13, 2021:

Lyme Disease: overview, signs and symptoms, prevention, treatment 

Lyme disease is a common vector-borne disease (meaning transmitted from the bite of an infected animal or insect to a human).  Specifically in the Ottawa area, blacklegged/deer ticks carrying a bacteria known as borrelia burgdorferi are commonly found in heavily wooded/grassy areas— and most often during warmer months, between April-September. 

Beginning signs of a tick bite can look like a small red bump similar to a mosquito bite, and is not necessarily indicative of Lyme disease.  However, within 30 days, symptoms of infection may arise.  These include rash expansion while leaving a central clearing at the site of the bite, fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, neck stiffness, and swollen lymph nodes. 

If left untreated, symptoms of Lyme disease can accelerate once entered into the bloodstream, affecting joints, the heart, and the nervous system.

Most importantly, prevention is key for protecting yourself from infection.  Basic protocols include but are not limited to: wearing long sleeved, light coloured clothing to visibly identify ticks, walking on cleared paths and walkways, and doing routine full body checks on yourself, your outdoor gear, your children, and/or pets after spending time in at risk areas.  Proper bug repellant containing DEET for your skin, clothing, and gear is important as well.

Centrum Pharmacy offers highly effective products viewed in the images to your right:  Ben’s Bug Spray, Ben’s Wipes 

Creating your own “tick-free” zone through landscape maintenance at home is another way to stay protected.  This could mean keeping your lawn mowed, keeping recreation items (children’s play equipment, backyard seating) away from the edges of brush/wooded areas and preferably in the sun, and/or keeping wood stacked in a dry area to prevent potential infestation of rodents ticks feed on. 

Although there are endless means of prevention, accidents still happen

This brings us to the question of: what to do if you are bitten/infected by a tick?

Firstly, don’t panic. If you notice a tick bite, it is important to safely remove it as soon as possible.  Doing so within 24-36 hours will reduce chances of infection. You may use sanitized fine-tipped tweezers to detach the tick by getting as close to the skin as possible, and by extracting with upward steady and even pressure.  It is important not to twist the tick as you pull, as this result in the detachment of the tick’s mouth parts under the skin barrier. 

Once the tick is removed, clean the site of the bite and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. For safe disposal, either place the tick in rubbing alcohol, an airtight sealed bag, fold it up in tape, or flush it down the toilet. Do not crush the tick with your fingers.

Now… What about follow-up care?

It is important whether or not you remove the tick safely and promptly to inform your doctor, and to note when the bite occurred— as oftentimes, symptoms can arise over the course of several weeks post-bite.  Your MD will also be able to ensure complete removal of the tick, along with accurate documentation in case of future symptoms of post Lyme disease.  

The presence of borrelia burgdorferi in Ottawa is currently high enough for public health to recommend post-exposure prophylaxis, a means of protective medications after a potential exposure to HIV, if the following criteria are met: 

  1. The tick is fully or partially engorged or has been attached for 24 or more hours
  2. It has been less than or equal to 72 hours since the tick has been removed  
  3. Doxycycline is not contraindicated (e.g., pregnancy, under 8 years old)

A 200 mg single dose of oral doxycycline, an antibiotic made to combat harmful bacteria in the body, may be offered to adults and children eight years and older.  If pregnant, one should discuss with your doctor to make an informed decision between the above mentioned single dose of doxycycline, or to forego, but closely monitor for signs of Lyme disease signs and symptoms.  As for children under eight, doxycycline is not typically recommended, and close monitoring for early signs of Lyme disease is advised. 

For all others who do not meet the earlier mentioned criteria for post-exposure prophylaxis, it is advised to closely monitor yourself for earliest signs and symptoms of Lyme disease for 30 days post-bite, such as lesion expansion or viral infection-life illness. 

Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome (PTLDS)

Although most cases of Lyme disease can be cured within 2-4 weeks of antibiotic treatment, in some cases, symptoms may continue for up to 6 months— this is known as post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome.  

The reason for PTLDS is unknown, but a couple of expert hypotheses include the trigger of an autoimmune response causing these symptoms, or possibly due to Lyme disease being a persistent and sometimes difficult to detect infection.  At this point in time, there is no proven long-term treatment for PTLDS— and long term antibiotic use can in turn cause serious health complications.

If you are experiencing PTLDS, it will usually get better over time, but it can sometimes take months to get back to feeling completely well again.  It is important to address your symptoms with your doctor in order to receive best recommendations for managing these symptoms.

View Ottawa Algorithm for Lyme Disease here.

Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome | Lyme Disease | CDC
Virtual MD

May 5, 2021: 


Visit:  OR call: 1-800-594-0537


Secure Virtual Tele-Medicine visits available.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, family doctors are now offering OHIP covered phone-in appointments to all Ontario residents. If you are a patient of the Orleans Family Health Clinic, please call them (613 837-5454) to schedule an appointment with your own Family Doctor. Your appointment may be in person or over the phone based on your individual circumstances.


Have A Simple Medical Issue?  Keep The Community Safe By Having It Addressed Over The Phone Instead Of In Person.  If you need a prescription, it will be faxed to Centrum Pharmacy.  We need to keep ourselves and our community safe during this crisis. By visiting a doctor’s office unnecessarily, you put vulnerable people and yourself at risk.

Health Services Include:

COVID-19 Assessment/Counselling/Prescription refills/UTI treatment/Cold and Flu Assessments/Sexual Health Consultations/Aches, sprains, rashes, and more…



OR call: 1-800-594-0537

Fill Out The Form And You Will Be Contacted By A Licensed Ontario Physician Within 24 Hours.

April 14, 2021:

Medical considerations when fasting during Ramadan

For 30 days, Muslims will fast.  Fasting means nothing goes in the mouth – no food, water or medication. But what about those with medical conditions? Should they be taking part in the fast?

To answer that, we turn to another tenant of Islam. If someone is unable to participate, they don’t have to. If fasting makes your medical condition worse, don’t fast. If skipping medication will hurt you, take your medicine. Self-infliction of wound, pain or injury is not expected or should be done. If you have a proper reason for breaking your fast before sundown, you can always make it up later in the year without loss of blessing.”

If you are controlling diabetes with your diet, fasting can be beneficial. However, if you require insulin and food to keep your sugar at safe levels, do it. Keep yourself healthy.

Cancer treatment can bring significant stress on the body. You should eat and stay in optimal shape rather than not eat and make your condition worse.”

If you are newly diagnosed with a condition and aren’t sure the effects of fasting, check with your doctor. You should also check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about changing the times you take your medications.

In general, fasting has positive effects on body and soul. But we all should recognize that the body is a gift of God and we have to treat it with care.

Quran on a prayer mat
woman shopping for hand sanitizer wearing a mask

May 19, 2020: 


KN95 Masks

3-Ply Disposable Masks

3 Layer High Quality Cloth Reusable Face Coverings

Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizer Available

Recommended for daily use, shopping, events and gatherings.

April 7, 2020


or call: 1-800-594-0537


Secure Virtual Tele-Medicine visits available.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, family doctors are now offering OHIP covered phone-in appointments to all Ontario residents. If you are a patient of the Orleans Family Health Clinic, please call them (613 837-5454) to schedule an appointment with your own Family Doctor. Your appointment may be in person or over the phone based on your individual circumstances.



Have A Simple Medical Issue?

Keep The Community Safe By Having It Addressed Over The Phone Instead Of In Person.

If you need a prescription it will be faxed to Centrum Pharmacy.

We need to keep ourselves and our community safe during this crisis. By visiting a doctor’s office unnecessarily, you put vulnerable people and yourself at risk.

Health Services Include:

COVID-19 Assessment/Counselling/Prescription refills/UTI treatment/Cold and Flu Assessments/Sexual Health Consultations/Aches, sprains, rashes, and more…



or call: 1-800-594-0537

Fill Out The Form And You Will Be Contacted By A Licensed Ontario Physician Within 24 Hours.

Virtual MD
Elderly Woman typing on a laptop

April 2, 2020: 

Please do not hesitate to contact us using the secure messaging on our website or with our PharmAdvise App or by phone or only if you must, come in person, and speak to us directly.

Our new temporary business hours are:

Monday through Friday 9:30 am to 5:30 pm

And Saturdays we are open 10:00 am till 1:00 pm

We are closed Sundays and Statutory holidays.

Our wish, for all of us, is that this situation resolves itself quickly.

During this challenging time, we’re working hard to give you the confidence you need in your Pharmacy.

Thank you for your business, and for placing your trust in us at Centrum Pharmacy.

April 2, 2020:

As we all navigate through the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting, all of us at Centrum Pharmacy, would like to reassure you that we remain fully staffed, our supply chains are fully functional, and we will be available to help in any way we can.

This pandemic has forced us all, to work differently and we have to adjust to a new reality for the time being. Your pharmacy is no exception, We are implementing Physical and Social Distancing measures as prescribed by the Ottawa Public Health Department, as well as adjusting our hours and operational practices in an attempt to maximize safety.

We also want to assure you that we’ve taken numerous precautions to keep premises clean and our customers and colleagues safe including limiting the number of customers in the premises at one time and increasing our free delivery options.

Your well-being and the safety of our colleagues and customers is our top priority.

A male nurse dressed as a super hero