Summer heat waves can turn common medications deadly

iar wduqiyptaq s fpjw
Credit: Shutterstock

Heat waves kill more people than any other single weather event, making them dangerous by themselves. But if you are among the millions of Americans taking certain medications, you may be facing an additional risk. Some drugs, taken when it’s hot, can provoke serious, sometimes life-threatening reactions.

These include drugs widely used for many common conditions, including blood pressure, asthma, depression and allergies, among others. When the temperature rises, they can impair the body’s ability to cope with heat.

“Heat waves are getting worse with climate change,” [pediatrician Aaron] Bernstein says. “We need to be mindful when medications mix with heat. Too much heat can make an otherwise safe and effective drug dangerous.”


Some medicines, such as diuretics, make our bodies lose water, which can result in dehydration when it’s hot outside. Others — such as beta blockers or ACE inhibitors — lower blood pressure, which makes fainting more likely in the heat. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors — commonly prescribed antidepressants like Prozac — can make us sweat more, also causing dehydration.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Fears grow that Trump’s anti-science extremism could fuel rise in creationism

Consumers can protect themselves by taking the same precautions as those recommended generally to prevent heat sickness. These include monitoring weather forecasts and — if you exercise outside — go out early in the morning or evening.

“If you have to be outside in the middle of the day, try to stay in shade and drink fluids,” Bernstein says.


Read the original post

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
GLP Podcasts
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend