We spend so much time worrying about many of the potentially major side effects
that come with our routine medications and prescription drugs. But what about side effects that may not be as obvious?
With the summer heat intensifying, many are at risk of developing heat stroke
and other heat-related illnesses. In fact, quite a few cases have been linked to various drugs and medications. That’s because some medications carry with them a heat warning
, which means that particular drug could greatly increase the risk of heat illnesses. Which Meds Should You Be Careful With?
Some drugs may seem too mild or widespread to have any serious side effects, especially when it comes to heat. But it can indeed happen. Take allergy drugs, for example. Allergy drugs and antihistamines such as Benadryl prevent your body from sweating, effectively reducing the ability to cool yourself off naturally.
Other drugs that may not seem so dangerous are amphetamines, more commonly found in ADHD medication
. These drugs decrease the blood flow to the skin, while raising body temperature at the same time – a bad mix when you are soaking in the rays at the beach. High blood pressure drugs and medications used to treat mental illness can also have an effect on your body’s ability to cope with heat, as they significantly impede blood flow to the skin, reduce sweating, and increase muscle movements that consequently increase body heat.
Medications can also lose effectiveness if stored in hot temperatures, which happens more often than you think. If the pharmacy that stores your medicine shuts off its air conditioners at night, if you experience a power outage in your house, or even if you leave your medicine in the car while you make one more quick stop – well, these are just a few of the scenarios that can happen during hot summers. And each one can greatly reduce the medication’s potency. If you feel that your prescription drugs aren’t working as well as they used to, contact your physician as soon as possible and seek replacements. The Dangerous Consequences
Heat illnesses should be taken very seriously, because if left untreated, can lead to heat stroke. Symptoms can be categorized into two parts: early warning signs, and actual symptoms. Early warnings of heat illnesses can include feeling weak, dizzy, or lightheaded, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, and higher body temperatures.
Neglecting these early warnings, which oftentimes can be fixed just by moving into a cooler, shaded area or air conditioned room and drinking plenty of water, can lead to worse symptoms such as confusion, throbbing migraines, unconsciousness, comas, and red, dry skin that doesn’t sweat. If you find yourself unable to sweat or urinate, something very serious could be going on, and you should seek medical treatment immediately. By wearing loose fitting clothes, drinking plenty of rejuvenating liquids like water or sports drinks, and being aware of your medications’ side effects, you can have yet another safe and carefree summer.Cited Sources
Shomon, Mary. "Warning: Hot Temperatures May Be Hazardous to Your Drugs." About.com
. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 July 2012. <http://thyroid.about.com/od/thyroiddrugstreatments/a/drugsinsummer.htm>.
"Caution: Some Drugs Might Make You More Sensitive to Heat." Consumer-Health.com
. Consumer Health Information Corporation, n.d. Web. 14 July 2012. <http://www.consumer-health.com/services/CautionSomeDrugsMightMakeYouMoreSensitivetoHeat.php>.
"Heat and Medication Warning." SRDAA.org
. Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America, 29 June 2012. Web. 14 July 2012. <http://www.sardaa.org/2012/06/29/heat-and-medication-warning/>.
"Is Your Medicine Setting You Up for Heat Stroke?" PeoplesPharmacy.com
. The People's Pharmacy, 9 July 2012. Web. 14 July 2012. http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2012/07/09/will-your-medicine-cause-heat-stroke/.