How to keep drugs effective in the heat

Pharmacists in central Iowa insist on never leaving your prescriptions in a hot car and say certain medications can cause sun sensitivity.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Tuesday will bring one of the hottest days of the year, with highs approaching 100 for the second time this year.

In addition to keeping you and your family cool, it’s also important to keep your medications in a cool, dry place.

“It’s not a good idea to leave medications in the car or in a hot environment. Medications don’t handle heat well. They could lose their potency or effectiveness,” said Dr. pharmacy at MercyOne.

Besides the risk of losing the effectiveness of your medication, there are four main different types of medications that can lead to greater susceptibility to sunburn and heat-related illnesses.

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  1. Medicines for high blood pressure
  2. Antibiotics
  3. Antihistamines
  4. Antidepressants

Antibiotics can cause rashes and sunburn more easily, according to Brock. Diuretics, or diuretics, which remove fluid from your body, can make you more prone to dehydration.

Antihistamines, which treat allergies, decrease sweating. And antidepressants alter body temperature regulation in your brain, which can easily make you overheat.

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Dr Brian Bensonexecutive director of pharmacy at UnityPoint Des Moines says there are ways to protect yourself, starting with sunscreen.

“If you know you’re taking an antibiotic and going out in the sun, consider using a higher SPF in your sunscreen,” Benson said.

As always, the best resource if you have questions about your medications is to speak with your pharmacist or primary care physician.

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