Harvard Health Blog

Join the discussion with experts from Harvard Health Publishing and others like you on a variety of health topics, medical news and views.

How risky is using a public bathroom during the pandemic?

Steve Calechman

Contributor

If you are wondering whether it’s safe to use a public restroom with the specter of COVID-19 hanging over us, your skepticism is justified. But maybe a restroom is just as safe (or unsafe) as any other indoor space at the moment. And there are things you can do to make your restroom visit less risky.

A new hormonal therapy for prostate cancer is under expedited FDA review

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

In June, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) launched an accelerated review of a promising new drug for advanced prostate cancer. Called relugolix, it suppresses testosterone and other hormones that speed the cancer’s growth. If approved, this new type of hormonal therapy is expected to set a new standard of care for the disease. […]

Tinted sunscreens: Benefits beyond an attractive glow

Tinted sunscreens offer all the benefits of traditional sun protection products, plus they have added pigments that give them the ability to block visible light, which can also be harmful to the skin.

Can a daily pill lighten heavy menstrual bleeding caused by fibroids?

Huma Farid, MD

Contributor

Many women develop benign uterine fibroids, which may cause heavy menstrual bleeding, a problem that may be more severe among Black women. A new daily medication approved by the FDA may help some women by lightening blood loss during monthly periods.

Epinephrine is the only effective treatment for anaphylaxis

Many people have experienced mild allergic reactions to a food, medication, or other allergen, but a severe reaction can be harmful or even fatal. Anaphylaxis must be treated with epinephrine as quickly as possible, followed by a visit to a hospital emergency room for observation.

How to make the most of your child’s telehealth visit

Claire McCarthy, MD

Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing

Telehealth visits are going to be with us for the foreseeable future, and this includes children seeing their pediatricians. Parents can take steps before and during their child’s “exam” to help things go more smoothly and get the most out of the time with the doctor.

When lockdown is not actually safer: Intimate partner violence during COVID-19

Eve Valera, PhD

Contributor

For women living with abusive partners, the COVID-19 pandemic has made an already difficult and dangerous situation even worse. And even if a woman had been thinking about leaving an abusive situation or planning to leave, with current restrictions she may not be able to.

Functional dyspepsia: Causes, treatments, and new directions

Functional dyspepsia is a digestive condition without a clear cause, characterized by a feeling of fullness or a burning sensation. Depending on test results and symptoms, treatment may involve a course of antibiotics, a proton pump inhibitor, or a low dose of a tricyclic antidepressant.

Making telemedicine more inclusive

As coronavirus cases multiplied, many medical offices and clinics shifted to seeing patient virtually through telemedicine. While its value quickly became obvious, virtual visits are not optimal for everyone who needs health care. Awareness of limitations can help care providers improve access to their services.

What should you do during a psychiatric medication shortage?

With the increased stress caused by the the COVID-19 pandemic, prescriptions for medications to treat mental illnesses have increased, leading to potential shortages of certain psychiatric medications. This means that some people might need to discuss their options with their prescribing clinician.