People taking medications for heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and other conditions may be at greater risk of exhaustion and heat stroke in sweltering South Florida, as some medications increase body temperature and interfere with transpiration.
Certain medications can also make your skin more sensitive to the sun, leading to rashes and an increased risk of sunburn, according to medical professionals.
“This heat is dangerous for everyone. These medical conditions – or if you’re taking these medications – pose a higher risk, but in general, this type of heat is dangerous for anyone who is outdoors for a long period of time,” said Alvin Carrasquillo, MD, professor of medicine. Health Services and Associate Dean for Clinical Research at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (UM).
Not only is heat protection important when you’re at the beach, exercising outdoors, or in the pool, but in sunny South Florida it’s always important, whether you’re exercising or taking a few walks. to the grocery store, bus stop, or work, especially for people at increased risk of getting sick: Infants and children under the age of four, people over 65, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions or taking certain medications increase the risk of heat stroke.
What medications increase the risk of heat-related illnesses?
People with diabetes, asthma and other lung conditions, as well as cardiovascular conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and heart failure, are at higher risk for heat-related illnesses, according to UHealth’s Carrasquillo.
Some medicines, such as Benadryl, can reduce the body’s ability to sweat and cool down; others, such as antidepressants like Prozac and stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin, can cause excessive sweating, which can lead to dehydration. Medicines such as levothyroxine, which is used to treat hypothyroidismThey can raise body temperature. All of these side effects can increase the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Other medicines that can increase heat sensitivity include neuroleptics, beta blockers for high blood pressure and heart disease, Parkinson’s disease medicines, and some over-the-counter medicines such as ibuprofen, laxatives, and antihistamines for allergies and colds. . , according to Dr. Aisha Subhani, head of the emergency room at the Cleveland Weston Clinic.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to learn more about your medications. Doctors said don’t stop taking your prescribed medications unless you talk to your doctor first.
Can heat affect how my medicine works?
Yes, don’t leave the medicine in the car or in the sun because it can reduce its effectiveness, experts say.
Extreme heat, for example, can affect the accuracy of the glucose test strips that diabetics use to monitor their blood sugar levels. While this may vary by brand, in general, strips that are exposed to heat above 90 degrees for more than 30 minutes “may be a concern,” according to the Mount Sinai Health System.
What about retinoids and other skin care products?
Sun exposure can also cause acne in people with skin conditions such as rosacea and melasma. Some medications, such as oral Accutane and tetracycline used to treat acne, can make a person more sensitive to the sun, increasing the risk of sunburn and rashes.
People whose skin is more sensitive to the sun due to illness or medication should avoid sun exposure. If you must be outdoors, be sure to wear sunscreen, a hat, protective clothing, and sit in the shade or use an umbrella to reduce the risk of serious sunburn, says Dr. Leslie Baumann, a Miami-based dermatologist who writes the column. Deep” for the Miami Herald.
Baumann also warns people to be careful about touching or using herbal extracts like lime juice outdoors. If you squeeze lime juice into your margarita or beer and some of it gets on your skin, he says, the area may burn more easily or develop a rash.
People often have a misconception about retinoids, which are used in many anti-aging serums and creams.
“Patients are asking almost daily whether they should stop taking retinoids in the summer and in the heat because retinol, tretinoin and adapalene are in the vitamin A family of retinoids. People believe they cause sun sensitivity and increase sun sensitivity, but this is not true.” Baumann said. “The skin feels hot, but it doesn’t actually make it more sensitive to heat or the sun.”
And for those of you who don’t have skin conditions, it’s a good idea to wear sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which can cause cancer; Also, don’t forget to wash your face well, as heat and humidity can cause breakouts.