Experts advise adjusting medication dosages during heat waves

BERLIN (DPA) : Experts suggest it may be necessary to change the dosage of your medications during extended periods of heat waves.

This is because high temperatures can not only alter their effects – which is why it is recommended that medicines be kept in a cool, dark, and dry place – but also your body’s reaction to them, points out the consumer advice center in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

If you take a medication that suppresses your sensation of thirst along with a diuretic, for instance, you could become dehydrated, the consumer advisors warn.

Perspiring heavily and not drinking enough fluids could impair kidney function and possibly affect the concentration of a medication’s active ingredient.

Some medications can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, known as photosensitivity, increasing the risk of sunburn or leading to strong skin reactions. These include various antibiotics and pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenac and ibuprofen, according to consumer advisors.

Heat can also intensify your body’s reactions to anti-hypertensive medications. The German Heart Foundation warns that hot weather can put people with high blood pressure or cardiovascular problems under a serious strain that could result in a sudden drop in blood pressure, circulatory collapse, or heatstroke.

So if you regularly take medications and outdoor temperatures are high, you should listen even more closely to your body than usual. Ask your pharmacist or doctor about potential side effects and whether your medication dosages should be adjusted.

Last but not least, some general advice: On hot summer days drink plenty of fluids, stay in the shade and avoid strenuous activities and emotional stress.

Courtesy: Dailysabah