WARNING: Medications may increase your sensitivity to the summer heat and sun
Doctors say high temperatures can affect your medications, making you more sensitive to the sun.
It's an often overlooked side effect of the heat that happens in almost all medications from ibuprofen to some antibiotics. The increased sensitivity can lead to rashes and even severe blisters.
David Brand takes a variety of prescription medications, but pays attention to the side-effects.
"I don't really notice an impact day to day, but I will notice if I stay in the sun too long," Brand said. "I burn more easily and breakout in rashes on occasion."
Dr. Josh Denny says over-the-counter and prescribed drugs can pose a risk in the heat.
"If you're on a medication, the sun can make you have adverse reactions that are difficult to anticipate," Dr. Denny said. "They can certainly make you feel worse and make you very ill particularly with certain medications, but any medication can have an adverse reaction when you add sunlight to the mix."
From diuretics increasing dehydration to anti-depressants, allergy medications and pain relievers potentially impacting your skin. The medical center's emergency services director, Dr. Jodi Thurman said the center has seen more than a dozen patients in the past week for general heat related illness.
"We've had some patients come in with severe dehydration, sunburns, so we've seen an uptick in that with the increased temperatures," Dr. Thurman said.
"Not only is hot, it's humid, and those two things in combination can make it so your body can't evaporate heat," Dr. Denny said. "That can be really dangerous in really young people and really old people and can even be life threatening."
Dr. Thurman said if you experience any symptoms, see a doctor immediately.
Experts advise you to protect your skin from the sun and read your labels, like Brand does.
"Fortunately, I haven't had many bad reactions, but it can be pretty annoying to have a big mark on your forehead," Brand said. "I always try to put on sunscreen or sunblock if I know I am going to be out doing yard work, or out on the lake. I definitely lather up."
Pharmacists say you should always store your medication properly at room temperature.