Brand SpotlightYour Healthy Family


Your Healthy Family: Certain medications make sun, heat more dangerous

Posted at 7:30 AM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 07:39:02-04

Southwest Florida has seen temperatures as high as 97 degrees in the last few days. Certain medications you may be taking can make the heat even more dangerous.

"Sometimes the reaction can take weeks or months for it to fade," Family Medicine Doctor Riza Conroy with the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center said.

Dr. Conroy said some medications that don't mix with the sun include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Diabetes medication

Dr Conroy said diabetics should bring a cooler with them when they go out because the heat can degrade insulin and other medicines.

"Put the medication, especially insulin, in the cooler and keep it nice, cool and dark," she said.

Dr. Conroy said sun-related side effects of medications usually develop about 24 to 72 hours after sun exposure, and could look like an exaggerated sunburn.

"It looks red. Sometimes scaly. Sometimes itchy and sometimes, when it's really bad, blisters and spots that resemble hives," Dr. Conroy said.

When possible, Dr. Conroy said to take the medicine before bed instead of in the morning, and follow these sun-smart steps:

  • SLIP on clothing that colors your body
  • SLOP on SPF 30 broad spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen
  • SLAP on a hat
  • SEEK shade, especially between 10 AM and 2 PM
  • SLIDE on sunglasses with UV protection and side panels

If the sun causes a reaction, make sure to talk to your doctor. He or she may have you stop taking your medication or lower the dose.