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3 Reasons Certain Medications and Heat Don't Mix

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3 Reasons Certain Medications and Heat Don't Mix

When you get older, your body can't regulate temperature as effectively as when you were younger. In hot weather, you're also more likely to experience heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke. There's another factor, however, that can put older adults at risk from heat and the sun's rays. 

"Some medications that treat chronic conditions and everyday aches and pains may be problematic," said Megan Mills, RPH, PharmD, pharmacy manager at Archbold Pinetree Pharmacy. "Specifically, many medications can increase your risk for a variety of heat- or sun exposure- related problems."

Complications that certain medications can cause include:

  1. Dehydration. Diuretics - medications that flush sodium and water from the body through urine - can make you more vulnerable to dehydration because they can make you urinate more than normal. 
  2. Hyperthermia. During hot weather, you have a higher risk of your body temperature rising to a dangerously high level - a condition known as hyperthermia - if you take antipsychotic medications. 
  3. Photosensitivity. Some medications can me your skin extra sensitive to the sun's UV rays. These include certain antibiotics, antihistamines, diuretics, statins, oral contraceptives and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Photosensitivity can cause a rash - or sunburn-like damage to your skin (known as a phototoxic reaction) or a true skin rash (photoallergic reaction).

Know your risk. Ask your primary care provider if any of your medications could make you susceptible to complications from heat or sun exposure. 

Looking for a primary care provider? Visit Providers | Archbold Medical Center