Pharmacists In Spain Warn Of Possible Risks When Taking Certain Medications During Hot Weather

Image of various medications.

Image of various medications. Credit: SharonDawn/Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0

Members of the public have been warned about the possible dangers involved in taking certain medications during the hot weather in Spain.

In a statement posted on Twitter this Thursday, June 22, Vicenta Carbonell, the Public Health spokesperson from MICOF, Valencia’s Very Illustrious Official College of Pharmacists advised: ‘extreme precautions when being treated with any drug’.

Among the drugs with which special care must be taken,  Carbonell highlighted diuretic drugs, which can ‘promote greater fluid loss.

She also warned about tranquilisers and antidepressants, which can ‘prevent heat loss from the body, and antihypertensives, which ‘lower blood pressure and aggravate the effects of heat’.

In addition, the medical expert also focused on over-the-counter medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

These contain acetylsalicylic acid and ibuprofen, which can: ‘alter kidney function in case of dehydration’. Users should also be aware of antacids, which have a possible laxative effect due to magnesium salts, or laxatives, which present the risk of dehydration due to osmotic diarrhoea.

In case of fever, paracetamol should be avoided she stressed: ‘due to its ineffectiveness in treating heat stroke’. Anybody doubting its use should: ‘consult a health professional to see how to proceed in order to avoid any possible adverse effect’.

Another aspect that must be taken into account is the correct conservation of medicines: “It is estimated that close to 50 per cent – some 7,000 presentations of those authorised and dispensable in community pharmacies – require special precaution during a heat wave. If we talk of active principles or drugs, it would be about 680 drugs”, she indicated.

According to the MICOF, the adequate conservation of medicines during periods of high temperatures can be achieved by keeping them in a fridge, at a temperature of between two and eight degrees.

These medicines should be administered as soon as they are removed from the fridge they stressed. In the case of medicines to be kept at no more than 25ºC or 30ºC, they do not degrade in a heat wave because temperatures above 40ºC in Spain are punctual, not constant.

“For this type of drug, the recommended places for storage are cool and dry locations, since the temperature is always lower. It would not be advisable to store them in kitchens or bathrooms”, explained Carbonell.

The health spokesperson indicated that it must be taken into account that some pharmaceutical items such as creams, ovules or suppositories are more sensitive to heat, so if their appearance has changed when opened: ‘they should not be used’.

During the transportation of medicines, the same conservation precautions must be applied: “using a portable refrigerator if necessary, and not leaving them in cars, glove compartments, or boots exposed to full sunlight’.

This year, for the first time, there is a coordinated strategy by MICOF indicated Carbonell. It is being carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Health’s coordination committee within its prevention and care programme.

The initiative is designed to advise the public about health problems that could be derived from extreme temperatures in the Valencian Community. It: “began on May 15 and will remain active until September 30”, she confirmed, as reported by

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at