Dangers of summer heat and medication mixing


Augusta, GA (WJBF) – The summer heat in the CSRA can affect everyone, especially people who are on medication. With temps. routinely in the 90’s and higher this time of year, that could mean a higher risk for health problems. Doctors say, when the outside temperature feels like a fever, your medicines are at risk, and so are you.

People who take certain medications can be more sensitive to the heat, putting them at a higher risk.

Like Keith Owens, who spends more than 10 hours a day working outside, while also taking medication for diabetes and recovering from heart surgery.

“As someone recently had triple bypass surgery my doctors have expressed that importance to me of staying hydrated and staying out of the heat as much as possible and certainly I take every effort to do so and be mindful of that,” Keith Owens, a salesman at Gerald Jones Mazda of Augusta.

But on some of the hottest days, he has to stop and take a longer break to cool down.

“I think that when you’re working outside, particularly in the dog days of summer as we’re in right now, again it’s critically important to take the time to get out of the sun as necessary,” said Keith Owens, a salesman at Gerald Jones Mazda of Augusta.

Doctors say its best to take your medicines before you start your day OR when you get done with your day, in order to avoid triggering side effects.

“Patients typically inter phase with heat and try to accommodate themselves so that they dot end up with a heat stroke or some other complications of heat related illnesses,” said Dr. Christopher Leggett, Cardiologist at Doctors Hospital.

It’s medications that you take and heat temperature as heat as 78 degrees or more that can cause people taking medication this summer to be more likely to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

“I think just like anyone else your body will speak to you when you know that you’re getting too hot, you start  to sweat and certainly being out here on a car lot with the black az fault the sun is that much hotter,” said Keith Owens, salesman at Gerald Jones Mazda of Augusta.

Owens says he drinks at least 8 bottles of water a day.  He also has some advice to those who have to take medication daily and battle the heat.

“Be sure to listen to your body, follow the medications as prescribed and to insure that you are taking your medications as you should and again do everything that you can to preserve your health,” said Keith Owens, a salesman at Gerald Jones Mazda of Augusta.

Doctors stress to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. If you feel weak, go inside or find air conditioning. These are simple steps that can save your life.

According to Consumer Health Information Corporation, these are drugs that will make you more heat-sensitive:

Allergy drugs (loratadine, promethazine)

Muscle spasm drugs (atropine, scopolamine)

Belladonna alkaloids

Mental illness drugs (thioridazine, chlorpromazine, prochlorperazine)

Major tranquilizers (phenothiazines, butyrophenones, thioxanthenes)

High blood pressure drugs (mecamylamine, beta blockers)

Migraine drugs (triptanes)

Ephedrine/pseudoephedrine (OTC decongestant, Sudafed)


Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) drugs (amphetamines)

Consult your doctor for more information if you are taking any of these drugs.

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