As the weather heats back up it’s important for everyone to have a plan for staying cool and hydrated. It is especially important for those who may be extra susceptible to heat and dehydration due to certain medications.
Some medications can impair the body’s ability to regulate temperature. During hot and humid weather, individuals taking medications can be at increased risk of developing excessive body temperature, or hyperthermia.
“Individuals taking certain medications, including those used to treat mental illness, need to take extra precautions to ensure they have a plan for staying cool and hydrated,” says Dr. Ryan Quist, Sacramento County Behavioral Health
Those with chronic medical conditions are especially vulnerable, e.g. heart and pulmonary disease, diabetes and alcoholism, etc. Heat exhaustion is the most common heat-related condition, which is most likely to occur in people who are involved in physical activity outdoors during heat waves.
Keep as cool and hydrated as possible: drink plenty of water, avoid spending time outside, especially during the hottest part of the day, and limit outside activities as much as possible. Cooling down a few hours a day will allow the body to recover and tolerate the heat better for the rest of the day.
“It is important for individuals to continue taking their medications as prescribed,” says Quist. “Those with questions or concerns regarding medications and heat should contact their prescribing clinician.”
Don’t get caught unprepared as temperatures again climb into the triple digits. Have a plan to stay cool, stay hydrated and be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness.