Medicines: Advices for the Summer
With the arrival of summer and the increased exposure to sunlight and high temperatures, it is advisable to take some simple precautions to avoid direct and indirect risks to your health. Below are some simple precautions that the Drug Agency suggests for the hot season to avoid the harmful consequences from the use of medicines.
How to store and transport the medicines
1. You should always read carefully the storage conditions specified in the product information. If these were not specified, preserves the product at a temperature below 25 degrees in a cool and dry place. In case you cannot keep in the refrigerator and, in case of holidays or travel away from home, carry the entire system in a thermal container. Weather conditions such as excessive light and/or temperature changes may in fact deteriorate the product. Always avoid, however, exposing the medicines to sources of heat and direct sunlight.
2. If you use any sprays, avoid exposing them to sunlight or high temperatures and use thermal containers for transportation.
3. If you are taking medications with insulin. Remember that these must be kept in the refrigerator; if you are faced with long journeys, carrying medicines in an insulated bag to keep them at the right temperature.
4. Do not confuse the packaging. Avoid using different medicines in one box or mix them into one container to save space in your suitcase: you may have difficulty recognizing the expiration date, the type of medication and dosage.
5. Do not use containers (pill boxes) does not explicitly intended for the transport of medicines, as it could easily overheat or release harmful substances, and thus alter the characteristics of the medicinal product.
6. Better to use tablets and capsules. In the case of a medicine present in various pharmaceutical forms and in the absence of specific contraindications (for example the difficulty in swallowing), it is preferred to use solid formulations compared to those liquid drug which are generally more sensitive to high temperatures (thermolabile).
7. By car, carrying the drugs in interior packaging and/or a thermal container. Avoid the trunk that could become extremely hot.
8. By plane: placing medicines in hand luggage. In case of bottles of liquid medicines which are already open, keep them in vertical position. The subjects in therapy with life-saving drugs you may carry them into the cabin with their recipes limitation, as it may be necessary to perform the control phases.
9. If the appearance of the medicinal product that you usually use appear different from usual or found to have defects (presence of solid particles in suspension or on the bottom, change of color or odor, change in consistency) always consult a qualified health professional before taking this product.
10. If you have to send drugs always choose, if possible, the tablets or however the solid forms.
Attention to sun exposure
- Verify the compatibility of the drug.
Some medicines can cause photosensitivity reactions following exposure to the sun. Check the instructions carefully when taking antibiotics (tetracyclines, quinolones), sulfa drugs, oral contraceptives (birth control pills), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), promethazine (antihistamine).
In particular, avoids exposure to the sun after the application of gel/patches based on ketoprofen (up to two weeks after treatment) or creams based on promethazine, the latter often used for insect bites or skin allergies . In the case thoroughly washed the affected area, in order to avoid the appearance of spots, or worse, real burns.
- In case you suffer from hypertension or cardiovascular disease.
The heat can cause low blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Therefore, treatment of arterial hypertension or high blood pressure and other cardiovascular diseases may require readjustment by your doctor/specialist during the summer period. Keep in mind that the current therapies must never be suspended independently. You should also make it a more intensive blood pressure control.
- Watch out for products that you are using.
Around the eyes, in the summer, do not use products with the heat may come in contact with the surface of the eye (creams or ointments are not suitable for ophthalmic use).
- Talk to your doctor
Inform the doctor about any discomfort, even slight, in conjunction with drug therapy, because not all drugs can have effects that are easily correlated to the heat.