Summertime is here and that means sunshine, warm temps and hopefully this year, some travel as well. Before heading out, review these medication safety tips for summer to help ensure smooth sailing.
1. Check for Sun Sensitivity
Some medications can increase your sensitivity to the sun, causing you to burn faster, develop a rash or experience other reactions. This includes many antibiotics, acne medications, cholesterol medications, chemotherapy drugs—even over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and naproxen. Read the labels on all medications, pay attention to warnings and ask your pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns.
2. Pack Smart
When traveling, pack extra doses of your medications so you are covered in case delays extend your trip unexpectedly. If traveling by plane, bring medications in your carry-on bag so you have access to them if needed, and to avoid the temperature extremes checked baggage is subjected to. We also recommend you carry your medications in their original containers to avoid issues with security.
3. Keep it Cool
Many medications can degrade and lose their effectiveness when stored in areas with high temperatures and humidity. At home, this means you should avoid keeping medications in your bathroom. When traveling, don’t pack your medications in suitcases that will be stored in a hot car trunk or cargo hold. Even when picking medications up from the pharmacy, it’s best to avoid keeping them in a hot car while running other errands.
4. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
When you take your medications, take them with plenty of water—ideally eight ounces. Then make sure you are staying well hydrated for your environment and level of activity. Dehydration can impact the effectiveness of medications and increase the risk of potential unpleasant side effects.