Having trouble cooling off? It's not just heat, it could be your medicine too
By Thabie Sibanda
As the mercury rises in Oklahoma, people taking some over the counter medications and prescription drugs may find it harder to cool down.As kids rush to splash pads and adults head for the shade, they've all got the same goal: beat the heat. But as you fight to cool down, the medications you're taking may be making it even harder.Doctor Brent Canthen with the Today Clinic says common over the counter drugs and prescriptions make it harder for your body to cool down in high temperatures like this."Sadly the symptoms really sneak up rapidly. A patient may not notice that they're getting the effects of heat until it's too late," Canthen said.There are several OTC, prescription, and even illegal drugs he says you need to be aware of. It includes : alpha agonists, amphetamines, anticholinergic medications, antihistamines, anti-parinsonian agents, beta-adrenergic blockers, calcium channel blockers, cocaine, diuretics, ethanol, heroin, inhaled anesthetics, laxatives, LSD, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, PCP, phenothiazines, sympathomimetic medications, thyroid agonists, and tricyclic antidepressants.Dr. Canthen says a lot of these drugs decrease blood flow to the skin and prevent sweating, making it hard for your body to cool down."Somebody who's having a heat stroke is somebody who is not sweating any longer. That is a medical emergency."If your body fails to regulate itself, it can lead to heart or multiple organ failure and even death. The people most at risk are small children and the elderly."This population, the athletes need to be especially careful," Dr. Canthen said. "That makes you more conscious about whether you will give it to your kids or not."There is good news. The steps to prevent heat illnesses are simple: drink cool water, limit your time outdoors, and, of course, consult your doctor.
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