How certain medications can increase your risk of heat related illnesses

CBS4 This Morning

INDIANAPOLIS –During the summer months, heat related illnesses and protecting those that are most vulnerable is an often brought up subject among health experts. Turns out, being “vulnerable” may depend on what medications you take.

Health professionals say medications like diuretics, certain blood pressure meds, anti-depressants, Parkinson’s medication’s, ADHD meds, even anti-histamines can impair the body’s ability to regulate temperature and offload heat. That, in turn, can lead to issues like heat stroke if you’re not careful. 

“We know that there’s some patients that are higher risk for it, the elderly patients, the patients over 65 are at increased risk. Or, if you’re on multiple medications that can contribute to this. So, there’s some measures that you can take; don’t stop your medication physicians put you on this for reasons have a conversation with your physicians if you have questions,” Chelsea Durnil, Clinical Pharmacist for IU Health said.

Durnil says early signs something may be wrong can include headache, dizziness, muscle cramping, nausea, vomiting and weakness. She says doing things like staying hydrated and not exercising or going out during the hottest times of the day can help you avoid any issues.  

Durnil also warns that summer heat can have an effect on the medications themselves. Adding that where you store your medications can be equally as important. 

“Medications need to be stored at a regulated temperature, patients are traveling more this summertime, so if you’re taking your medication’s with you don’t leave them in a hot car. They need to be put in your purse or your carry-on bag. They can’t be left; really high temperatures will degrade the medicine and they will not work as well,” she said.

For more information on heat related illnesses you can click here.

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