Reporting Dr. Maria Simbra
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With the scorching hot temperatures, you might be able to beat the heat, but what about your medications?
If you have a chronic condition and you notice your symptoms are worse than usual, think about where your meds have been.
“If it gets too cold, or like today, really hot, the ingredients may become deactivated,” says Dr. Marc Itskowitz, an internist at Allegheny General Hospital. “I would assume any medicine, let’s say it’s left in the car for a couple of hours on a really hot day, is probably not good anymore.”
Drugs should be stored between 68 and 77 degrees.
“A cool dry place, a drawer somewhere, out of the reach of children and pets,” Dr. Itskowitz advises.
Also, be aware some medicines may lead to overheating or worsen dehydration.
This would apply to for example, some migraine medicines, anti-histamines, anti-depressants and blood pressure medicines.
“Some medicines impair the body’s ability to sweat and sweat is our way of dissipating or getting rid of heat. So anti-seizure medicines, anti-histamines can block the ability to sweat,” Dr. Itskowitz explains.
“We tell our patients who are on blood pressure medicines or diuretics, be very careful about your hydration status.”
If you find your medication has accidentally been cooked by the weather, call your pharmacy.
“We could authorize an emergency refill, contact the doctor, let them know what happened,” says AGH pharmacist Michael Korczynski.
If you’re traveling this summer, don’t put your medicines in your suitcase. They might overheat in cargo storage or in the trunk of your car. It’s best to put your pills in your carry-on or purse.