Doctors warn that medications can cause serious heat-related health issues

This year's fourth heat wave is supposed to hit on Thursday and another is already in the forecast for next week. For some people, the heat means extra time in the pool, but for others, cooling off and staying safe in the heat is not that easy.

Vanoka Jones brought her four children to the spray ground at Dilworth Park at City Hall, so they could enjoy some time in the water. But, during a dangerous heat wave, she realizes that there are still risks to being outdoors. 

"It's hot. We can't take the heat," said Jones. "Sometimes, you can overheat."

Doctors say not drinking enough water or taking enough breaks in the sun are not the only factors causing heat intolerance. The culprit could be the medications you take.

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Rani Byrd says she is concerned because even over-the-counter medicines can make her sensitive to the triple digit heat.

"I would say a lot of medications do it. Even regular stuff that we take," Byrd said. "Every single year I probably suffer from passing out in a heat wave two or three times during the summer."

Dr. Mike Cirigliano says that conditions like Byrd's should be something that everyone is aware of.

"Heat intolerance is where you start to feel uncomfortable as temperature rises and everyone has different symptoms. Some people just start to sweat, some people feel tired, some people might even get a headache," said Dr. Mike. 

These symptoms can lead to more serious conditions, like heat cramps or stroke, and according to Dr. Mike, the medicine you take can dehydrate you more quickly than usual. 

"Whether it be medicines that make you pee, for lack of a better word, or diuretics those are medicines for high blood pressure, but you can also be taking medications for depression, schizophrenia, all kinds of conditions that lead to problems where you get dehydrated," he said. 

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Also on the list of medicines are allergy meds and antibiotics. Dr. Mike says things like Benadryl are in a lot of allergy medicines and people who take them should be wary when they are spending a lot of time in the sun.

Certain antibiotics also put people at a higher risk for sunburn. The solution is to use sunscreen, stay hydrated, and take frequent breaks when spending time outdoors. 

Dr. Mike says that no one should just stop taking their medications, but rather they should educate themselves on the things they are taking and make sure they are taking the proper precautions, especially in the extreme heat that the Delaware Valley is experiencing.

For people that work outdoors, Dr. Mike advises drinking something, like Gatorade, that has electrolytes in it so that you are not at risk for something like a seizure.