Summertime means many of us are spending more time outdoors, and our daily routines and schedules are disrupted by vacations, holidays and summer camp.
While we all welcome the lifestyle changes that come with the season, it’s important to consider how these changes affect those taking a chronic medication.
Since skin cancer has become the most common form of cancer in the U.S., there will be no shortage of tips on protecting yourself from ultraviolet radiation this season.
What we don’t hear often enough is that sun exposure could adversely affect a person using an over-the-counter, prescription or chronic medication.
Some medications affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and respond appropriately to heat, while others may cause skin sun sensitivity. For example, exposure to excessive sunlight can lead to adverse skin reactions with antibiotics, blood pressure medications, hormones and oral diabetic medications.
Check medication labels for information about sun exposure, or ask your pharmacist or doctor if your medications make you more susceptible to heat exhaustion or sunburn. If so, you’ll need to take extra precautions to protect your body like drinking plenty of fluids, limiting sun exposure and reapplying sunscreen.
Many patients receive their medication through home delivery. At Express Scripts, we use innovative technology to keep medication shipments cool and safe, even in the summer heat. Our complex algorithms combined with National Weather Service data to determine the best packaging for safe delivery.
Still, if your medication looks or smells differently, this may be a sign your medication has been effected by sun exposure. Call your doctor or specialist pharmacist to make sure the medication is safe for you to take.
Summer schedules, vacations and holidays impact daily routines, which could affect medication adherence. Prepare extra reminders on your smart phone so you can stay on track, especially when traveling. The Express Scripts mobile app can help you, too.
Be sure to pack a full supply of your medication, plus extra in case you experience travel delays. Keep all medication together and in the original containers.
If your travels will take you to a different time zone, you may need to alter your dosing regimen. Contact your pharmacist before you leave to learn more about any changes you may need to make.
Preparing Children for Summer Camp
If your children attend camp this summer, ask about the camp’s medication policy and familiarize yourself their healthcare team. Instruct the camp about your child’s medication regime including dosing and storage requirements. Also make sure your child is well informed about his or her treatment.
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