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How to keep your medications effective in the summer heat

Pharmacists from across central Iowa stress to never leave your prescriptions in a hot car, and say that some medicines can cause sun sensitivity.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Tuesday will bring one of the hottest days of the year, with highs approaching 100 for the second time this year.

Along with keeping you and your family cool, it's also important to keep your medications in a cool and dry place.

"It's not a good idea to leave any medications in the car, or any hot environment. Medicine doesn't do well with heat. It could lose its potency or effectiveness," Dr. Jeff Brock, Pharmacy Specialist with MercyOne said.

Along with the risk of losing the effectiveness of your medicine, four primary different types of drugs can cause a greater sensitivity to sunburns and heat-related illnesses.

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Those four are:

  1. Blood pressure medications
  2. Antibiotics
  3. Antihistamines
  4. Antidepressants

Antibiotics can cause rashes and sunburns easier, according to Brock. Diuretics, or water pills, which get rid of fluids from your body, can cause you to be more prone to dehydration.

Antihistamines, which treat allergies, decrease sweating. And antidepressants alter your body temperature regulation in your brain, which can cause you to feel easily overheated.

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Dr. Brian Benson, executive pharmacy director with UnityPoint Des Moines says there are ways to protect yourself, starting with sunscreen.

"If you know that you're getting on an antibiotic, and you're heading out into the sun, consider using some higher SPF in your sunscreen," Benson said.

As always, the best resource if you have any questions regarding your medications is to talk with your pharmacist or primary care doctor.

RELATED: Des Moines doctor gives tips on preventing heat exhaustion

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