From antidepressants to insulin: How heat affects your body and your medication
(ABC 6 News) – Temperatures can impact any medication a person is taking, but some are more prone to problems than others. While we may feel the impacts right away physically, medical experts say you may also notice impacts mentally.
Medications like antibiotics can make you more susceptible to the sun. What some people might not know is if you are on antidepressants, you can be more affected by the heat. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, can make you sweat more which leads to dehydration. Examples of those medications include Prozac and Zoloft.
On the flip side, some medications can prevent your body from sweating, such as antihistamines like Benadryl. When your body cannot sweat to cool you down, you can become overheated.
Mayo Clinic News Network said some other medicines that can cause heat intolerance may include blood pressure medication, antihistamines, decongestants and psychiatric medications.
"Insulin is definitely going to be one of those medications. So patients with diabetes should try not to store their insulin in a place where the temperature will get too high," Pharmacist Scott Hall with Mayo Clinic Health System said.
Getting medications shipped right to your home because popular during the height of the pandemic. Hall said to make sure those medications do not sit outside or in your mailbox for extended periods of time.
"Keeping it in those bottles where they can remain sealed is really going to help prevent any negative effects of heat," Hall said.
Aside from medications, people can see changes in mood with the seasons. Even when you’re least expecting it.
"There’s always those extremes where people love one or the other. Just like when we have those stretches of like negative 30, when you get those stretches of like 100 degrees," Heather Geerts, Director of Clinical Services at Zumbro Valley Health Center in Rochester, said.
Geerts said extreme heat can take a bit hit on your physical health, which is tied to your mental.
"We have these amazing, long summer days, right? So, a lot of times in the summer people’s sleep schedules are very disrupted and you tend to see some more insomnia and that throws off mood," she said. "A lot more people are used to hearing ‘the winter blues.’ But it really can happen at any time."
While most people experience Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the winter months, it is also capable of happening in the summer.
"I get outside as much as I can but I do suffer from depression so I get depressed a lot," Rochester resident Jarod Fuller said.
The extreme heat causes people to be more irritable which can increase anxiety and depression.
Health professionals say it’s okay to ask for help. If you have any questions about your medication, ask your doctor or your pharmacist.