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date: 7/1/2005
Drugs that intensify sun and heat
Certain drugs can increase sensitivity to sunlight, heat, or both. Consult our chart below to see if you need to take special precautions with your medications during the summer months.
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This table lists common prescription and over-the-counter medications that can increase sensitivity to sunlight, heat, or both. Drugs that raise sun sensitivity leave the skin vulnerable to sunburn, other skin reactions, and even skin cancer. Protective steps include avoiding direct sunlight during midday and scrupulously using protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

Drugs that increase heat sensitivity can interfere with sweating, increase the body’s heat generation, deplete its water or salt stores, or dull the sense of thirst. Protective measures when it’s hot or humid include limiting your exertion, drinking plenty of water, and asking your doctor about adjusting the dosage or timing of your medication before exercising.

Our drug list is not exhaustive, so ask your physician or pharmacist if you need to take special precautions for any medications you take, and check the drug-package inserts, too.

Used For Drug Common Brands
May cause increased sun sensitivity
Acne, aging skin Tretinoin Avita
Renova
Retin-A
Allergies Promethazine Phenergan
Arthritis Naproxen
Piroxicam
Naprosyn
Feldene
Diabetes Chlorpropamid eDiabines
Irregular heart rhythm Amiodarone
Quinidine
Cordarone
Cardioquin
Psoriasis Methoxsalen 8-MOP
Oxsoralen
May cause increased heat sensitivity
Allergies Diphenhydramine Benadryl Allergy
Genahist
Congestion Pseudoephedrine Sudafed
Dimetapp
Heart disease, hypertension Timolol Blocadren
Parkinson’s disease Selegiline Eldepryl
May cause increased sun and heat sensitivity
Depression Amitriptyline
Doxepin
Elavil
Sinequan
Hypertension, heart failure Chlorothiazide
Hydrochlorothiazide
Diuril
HydroDiuril

Nausea Prochlorperazine
Atropine
Compazine
Donnatal


To stay safe this summer, you need to learn as much as you can about how to avoid the hidden dangers of sun and heat.


This site is for your information only. For medical advice, consult a health professional.