Press Releases

This Allergy Season Canadians Don't Need to Sniffle in Silence

May 22, 2018

From uncovering mysterious causes to simplifying treatment options, pharmacists are a go-to authority on allergies

TORONTO, May 22, 2018 /CNW/ - Allergy season is here, and you don't need to tackle it alone. An estimated 1 in 4 Canadians are affected by allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and that number is rising.  Canadians don't need to suffer through the symptoms without help. Pharmacists offer convenient access to an expert authority on all things allergy.

"Many Canadians face 'aisle anxiety' in the allergy section of their pharmacy. There are so many options it's hard not to get overwhelmed," says Victor Wong, Shoppers Drug Mart owner and pharmacist. "That's what pharmacists are here for. If you need help understanding what's causing of your allergies or want to find out what lifestyle adjustments you can make so you can breathe easier, we are your first-line defense in the battle against allergies."

It's likely no surprise that seasonal allergies are typically trigged by environmental elements like mould, trees, grass and weed pollen.ii But, your pharmacist can dig deeper. For example, there are other factors that can make your allergy symptoms worse, including:

  1. Stress – Stress hormones can stimulate the production of blood proteins that cause allergic reactions. When under stress, we typically don't get enough sleep, and this can worsen both our stress reactions and allergy symptoms.iii

  2. Alcohol – Research shows the bacteria and yeast in alcohol produces histamines that cause allergy symptoms to flare up.ivv If battling seasonal allergies, try not to overdo it on the vino, as it could make matters worse!

  3. Chlorine – Swimming in an indoor chlorinated pool can wreak havoc on your system. Although it is used as a disinfectant, chlorinated water is highly irritating to the skin, eyes, and respiratory Consider wearing goggles when exposed to chlorine to help prevent irritation.

Pharmacists are also an essential resource when selecting the right treatment for you. They can assess your symptoms and recommend over-the-counter options that will best meet your needs.

If your symptoms are more severe, pharmacists in British Columbia and Ontario can work with your doctor to help you access the right treatment. Pharmacists in all other provinces can prescribe for minor ailments, so if appropriate, they can write you a prescription for your allergies. 

They can also advise on how allergy treatments might interact with other medications or how your diet might impact how the medications work.

Don't tackle allergies alone. Ask your pharmacist.

About Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation

Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing. The Company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec). With more than 1,300 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the Company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada. The Company also licenses or owns 46 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec) and four luxury beauty destinations operating as Murale. As well, the Company owns and operates 43 corporate Shoppers Home Healthcare stores, two new Wellwise by Shoppers Drug Mart stores and an ecommerce site, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services. In addition to its retail store network, the Company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Technologies Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities. Shoppers Drug Mart is an independent operating division of Loblaw Companies Limited.

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Notes to Editors: Pharmacists from across Canada are available for interviews to discuss allergy trends, as well as tips and tricks to make it through allergy season.


i Desrosiers, et al. The Burden of Allergic Rhinitis (AR) in Canada: Perspectives of Physicians and Patients. Allergy, Asthma & Clin Immunol. 2012;8:7. Available: 

ii Desrosiers, et al. The Burden of Allergic Rhinitis (AR) in Canada: Perspectives of Physicians and Patients. Allergy, Asthma & Clin Immunol. 2012;8:7. Available:

iii Ninahaben et al. Stress and Allergic Diseases. Immunology and Allergy Clinics of North America. 2011; 31:1. Available:

iv Bendsten et al. Alcohol consumption and allergic rhinitis. Clin Exp Allergy. 2008; 38:7. Available:

v Vally, et al. Allergic and asthmatic reactions to alcoholic drinks. Society for the Study of Addiction. 2006; 8:1. Available:

vi Gelardi, et al. Allergic and non-allergic rhinitis in swimmers. Br J Sports Med. 2012; 54:8. Available:


SOURCE Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation

For further information: Erin MacFarlane, Proof Inc., Phone: 416-969-2815, Email: