Medicine and medical devices

Every day, millions of Canadians use drugs and health products to prevent or treat an illness or condition, reduce health risks, or maintain good health.

Drugs and health products include prescription and non-prescription drugs, natural health products, medical devices (such as insulin pumps, condoms, and contact lenses), medical marijuana, disinfectants, and sanitizers with disinfectant claims.

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Using medications safely

Prescription and non-prescription medications can help treat diseases and conditions, and make you feel better. But taking these medications correctly is important.

Antibiotic resistance

Antimicrobial resistance happens when a drug is no longer effective in killing or stopping the growth of particular microorganisms, like bacteria. When this occurs, it can mean there are fewer effective antibiotics available to prevent and treat infections and infectious diseases, making treatment more difficult.

Misconceptions about vaccine safety

Misconceptions about the safety of vaccines may cause you to delay or avoid immunizations. Vaccines protect against a number of preventable diseases like measles, whooping cough, and influenza (the flu). Avoiding immunizations puts you, your children, and your community at risk.

The use of health products for weight loss

An increasing number of Canadians are using health products for weight loss, including prescription drugs and natural health products (NHPs). These products may provide benefits when used properly, but misuse of them may cause serious risks to your health.

Antidepressant drugs

Antidepressant drugs (often called "antidepressants") are widely used in Canada to treat depression and other mental health issues. It is important to take them as directed. Side effects are usually manageable, but stopping treatment suddenly can cause problems.

Buying drugs from the internet

If you buy drugs or natural health products from the internet, you may be putting your health at serious risk. This is especially true if you order prescription drugs without being examined in person by a health care practitioner.

Ear candling

Ear candling is an alternative practice that is believed to treat several conditions including excess ear wax, earaches, and sinus infections. However, this old home remedy has no proven medical benefits and can cause serious injuries.

Laser eye surgery

Thousands of Canadians are turning to laser eye surgery to correct their vision and eliminate their dependency on glasses or contact lenses. Like all medical procedures, laser eye surgery provides benefits, but also poses risks.

Acne treatments

Acne is a common skin condition and there are many ways to treat it. However, some treatments should be used with caution.

Proper use and disposal of medication

Traces of pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment, primarily in water and soil. There is growing evidence that throwing drugs and other personal care products in the garbage, or flushing them down the toilet or the sink is contributing to this issue.


If you take warfarin, you should be aware that certain drugs, natural health products and foods can alter the levels of warfarin in your system, and this may cause serious health effects.

Injectable cosmetic treatments

Many Canadians are choosing injectable cosmetic treatments to reduce facial wrinkles and attempt to restore their skin to a smoother appearance.

Menstrual tampons

Using tampons versus external protection-like pads when you have your period is a personal decision. However, using tampons may present certain health risks.

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