Here's the medication you should be careful of taking during a heatwave

Taking certain medications can be harmful during a heat wave. Here is what to avoid as the temperatures hit record-high, according to experts.

Here's the medication you should be careful of taking during a heatwave
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Here's the medication you should be careful of taking during a heatwave

Heat waves have become incredibly common these days. While they are difficult to cope with even for people who are fit and well, for those vulnerable they can bring major health problems.

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Spikes in temperature can trigger dehydration, dizziness and fainting, lead to hospitalisations and even cause death.

Doctors warn that people struggling with mental health issues and taking antidepressants should take extra care as Britain is now under a spell of another cloud of hot air from the South.

Certain drugs can make you more sensitive to heat, impact your ability to produce sweat and even increase your body temperature, putting you at risk of heat stroke and other heat illnesses.

It is therefore vital to consult your healthcare professional if you feel a little off while on medication these days.

Meanwhile, Department for Work and Pension reminded that people in Britain can be eligible for up to £691 per month in extra support is they have one of these mental health conditions.

Antidepressants can make you more sensitive to heat

As Brits are entering the hottest days of the year, they are warned that some types of antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs may impact their body temperature control and have other side effects related to heat.

According to the ex-head of the Royal College of Psychiatrist, Dr Wendy Burn, some medications may also cause people to sweat more than normal, make it more difficult to recognise the feeling of thirst or leave their skin more sensitive to the sun causing a reaction.

Evidence shows a link between heat-related illnesses and tricyclic antidepressants. Although the latter is not as regularly prescribed as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), you should be aware of the impact they make on your health during the heatwave.

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Here are other drugs to be careful around during the heatwave

Antipsychotic drugs and stimulant medications for attention disorders can increase your body temperature, while beta-blockers used for certain heart conditions and high blood pressure and decongestants may impair the body’s ability to produce sweat, which is essential for cooling off.

Diuretics, laxatives, some diabetes medications which increase the elimination of bodily fluids through urine or stool and some antidepressants causing excessive sweating instead can make you dehydrated.

Anti-anxiety drugs or medications for insomnia, some nerve pain and opioid medications can reduce your ability to concentrate and slow your reaction time, preventing you from adopting safe behaviours such as drinking water or staying cool in extreme heat.

Anti-inflammatory medications, blood thinners, drugs for high blood pressure and diabetes and lithium for bipolar disorder can also become toxic to the body and kidneys if you become dehydrated from the heat.

Here is how to cope with the heat wave why on medications

Dr Burn advises those on tricyclic antidepressants or antipsychotic medications to drink lots of water, spend plenty of time in the shade, take cool showers and avoid alcohol and strenuous activity.

It's vital to continue taking your medications as normal despite the soaring temperatures, unless your doctor says otherwise.

If you have any doubts, call your GP for a medication review.

Disclaimer: This article does not provide medical advice or diagnosis. If you have any questions regarding your health conditions or the medications you should take, seek advice from your healthcare provider.

Read more:

You could be eligible to get £691 if you have mental health issues

Mental health: Women more likely to be gaslit into thinking they have a mental illness

Sources used:

- Cosmopolitan: 'Doctors warn people taking antidepressants to be extra mindful during hot weather'

- Canadian Medication Appropriateness and Deprescribing Network: 'Summer Heat Waves And The Medications that Increase Your Risk'

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