Spain’s health ministry warns of risks with prescription drugs in heat

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Spain’s health ministry has sent out a warning that those who are taking certain prescription drugs could be more sensitive to hyperthermia and heat-stroke.

These medications include various types such as diuretic, SSRI (Selective Seratonin Receptor Inhibitors), anti-depressants, drugs for heart and circulatory disorders and diabetes medication.

The Spanish Agency of Medication and Healthcare Products (AEMPS), which is part of the ministry of health, warns that even without any heat wave crossing the nation, many of the named drugs and others can cause hyperthermia at any temperature.

This means that long time, life time or elderly users are the ones who are most at risk says AEMPS.

In regards to body hydration or electrolyte balance – diuretics or laxatives – or anything that may affect the kidney’s function, and all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, heart function pills and a few antibiotics can all heighten the risk of heart-stroke and major dehydration. Both of these can lead to organ failure which is deadly. 

Statins, fibrates and many other cholesterol-reducing drugs, arrhythmias (medication for the heart) and epilepsy and diabetes pills also increase this risk.

Tablets which reduce blood pressure and medication that we associate with angina, anti-psychotics and anti-depressants can also raise the body temperature and aggravate the risk of suffering hyperthermia.

The AEMPS recommends avoiding taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, especially those toxic to the kidneys as they are the cause of dehydration.

They stress for those who suffer dehydration or heat-stroke should not take or be given Paracetamol as it has been proven to be relatively ineffective and can aggravate liver damage which is a result from this condition. 

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