October 2019

Mismatched Flu Vaccine Is
Better Than None

Early reports indicate that two influenza strains circulating in the Southern Hemisphere are not covered by this year’s flu vaccine. That’s bad news, as our flu season typically features the same or similar strains, only months later. Still, the CDC encourages everyone to get the shot, as the strains may still shift and even a mismatched vaccine provides some protection. Read more.


Young People Turn to
Common OTC Medications in
Suicide Attempts

Suicide attempts by self-poisoning have doubled among all adolescents. Drug overdose is the most common form of attempted suicide, but the drugs used are seldom the opioids or illegal substances, For teens in particular, access drives the choice of agent, making OTC medications among the most frequently used substances in these suicide attempts.
Read more.

Although Safe for Most, Melatonin Causes Unexpected Interactions
in Others

Melatonin has steadily risen in popularity as Americans increasingly struggle with sleeplessness. While the hormone is generally safe for adults and has a low risk of dependence, it can interfere with the function of a significant number of medications, and some individuals should not take it. Others may be taking it for too long or in ways that reduce its effectiveness. Read more.

Breast Cancer Patient
Teaching Aid

Breast cancer is marked by cells in the breast that multiply at abnormally high rates. The average American woman has a 12% chance of developing breast cancer, making it the most common type of female cancer, and excessive alcohol intake and high levels of dietary fat intake can increase the risk. In North America, the 5-year average survival rate is above 80% owing to early detection and treatment. Read more and view a Patient Teaching Aid video.

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