Can medications make you more sensitive to the sun?

Posted by Susan Brown on August 29, 2017 0 Comments

This summer's must-reads aren't romances or thrillers; they're the warning labels and package inserts for your drugs and supplements. As Consumer Reports on Health warned in a recent article, “[s]ome widely used medications can make you far more sensitive to summer’s sunlight and heat than you’d usually be.”

That sensitivity can mean anything from a reduced ability to sweat to an increase in the amount of fluid you lose through your urine. So it’s important to revisit whatever safety info you have, and to check in with your doctor, who can let you know about potential risks during the brightest, warmest time of year.

Here are some of the better-known substances that may allow summer's sun and heat to hit you harder:

Antibiotics

 

“Antibiotics can cause photosensitivity and phototoxic reactions, meaning that they’re going to worsen your sunburn,” Rech says. “The one that comes to mind right away is Bactrim, or sulfamethoxozole trimethoprim.” Bactrim is prescribed to treat everything from bronchitis to bladder infections. “That’s a big offender, and so are tetracyclines and fluoroqinolones.” That said, you should never, ever skip an antibiotic for the sake of sunbathing, warns Rech. Your doctor can help you juggle your plans and your meds. 

Allergy medications

 

Some users find that oral antihistamines like diphenydramine (found in products like Benadryl and Dramamine) reduce their ability to sweat. In extreme cases, as the Consumer Reports medical advisory board noted, the overheating that can result leads to cramps, exhaustion, and even heat stroke. If you find that your allergy meds make it difficult for you to cool down, plan outdoor activities for the morning and evening, and try to spend the hottest hours of the day indoors.

Antidepressants

 

Tricyclic antidepressants may cause problems in hot weather because they "prevent the area in your brain that regulates heat response from knowing you’re overheating,” Rech explains. “They can also decrease sweating, which leads to a decrease in heat loss.”

When you’re taking a drug that increases the likelihood of overheating, stay alert for warning signssuch as headaches, lightheadedness, nausea, and weakness. If you experience any of those symptoms, get out of the sun and reach for water or a sports drink with sodium (which will help your body retain fluid until balance is restored). In the event of a severe reaction such as confusion, fever, or fainting, contact your doctor or call 911.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

 

“The main non-steroidals that cause phototoxicity are probably not ones that we commonly use," Rech says. But still, caution should be used, especially if you're on other medications. "Any time you’re taking a non-steroidal and going out in the sun I would recommend barrier protection with sunscreen and avoidance if possible, because any of the non-steroidals can worsen [phototoxicity],” Rech explains.

Vitamins and herbs

 

“A lot of over-the-counter herbal medications [can have phototoxic effects]—for example, St. John’s Wort is a big inducer of photosensitivity, and that medication in particular has a number of drug interactions. Anyone [interested in taking it] should ask their doctor or pharmacist first,” says Rech. Another pill that might put you at risk: Niacin, a form of Vitamin B3 that’s used to treat high cholesterol. It can cause skin reactions, Rech says, "so it could potentially cause [sun sensitivity].”


Topical medications

 

Significant sun exposure can amplify the effect of transdermal patches (such as Fentanyl, a powerful pain reliever, or Clonidine, which lowers blood pressure) that deliver medication directly through the skin. When you get a sunburn, the blood vessels in the surface of your skin dilate, explains Rech, and that can lead to increased absorption of your meds. So if you’re wearing a patch, it's a good idea to consider long sleeves.

Source: http://www.health.com/family/heat-sun-sensitivity-medication

 

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Should I use natural cleaning products while pregnant?

Posted by Susan Brown on August 23, 2017 0 Comments

There are some household cleansers that pregnant women should avoid. Check the labels and avoid products that say they're toxic, since they may contain risky solvents. For example, oven cleaners and window cleaners often contain glycol ethers, which have been known to increase a woman's risk of miscarriage, and most mildew removers contain phenols, which may increase risk of birth defects or fetal death. Plus, most cleansers contain strong-smelling chemicals like ammonia or chlorine, which won't hurt your baby but may make you queasy.

Whether you’re trying to minimize your carbon footprint or are concerned about the effect harsh chemicals may have on your family’s health, switching to natural bathroom cleansers is a great choice. Although there are tons of “green” bathroom products available in stores, in most cases it’s cheaper and more effective to make them on your own. And, chances are, your kitchen cupboard is already stocked with many of the ingredients. From cleansers made with grapefruits and lemons to vinegar and baking soda, here are some of our favorite natural and homemade bathroom cleansers. Check out this link for more information how to clean your house naturally...

http://www.modernbathroom.com/blog/post/2015/10/27/how-to-clean-your-bathroom-naturally

 

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SHOPPING LIKE A MOM

Posted by Susan Brown on July 18, 2016 0 Comments

    

     I'm waiting outside Marshall's Home Goods at 10:48am on a Sunday morning. I didn't even know the store didn't open until 11:00am but that's fine. I'll relax outside on the bench because today...today I don't have my two kids with me. If I did, I would have to create a quick contingency plan. 12 minutes?! Ok, I have 12 minutes. I can't sit in the car because my 2-year-old son screams and cries if I park the car and we don't immediately get out and head to our destination. These 12 minutes can be critical in setting the stage for the whole experience. If my kids were with me. Today, though, I bask in the relaxation and get about 15 texts done in five minutes flat. Sometimes, with the kids one text can take three and a half hours. And then I forget to hit send because (insert Mom interruption 10,462 of the day). 

 

Here are some of the highlights of shopping without kids that I completely took for granted before children. 

 

    • My purse gets to ride shotgun! My handbag collection is kind of like the family dog after the first child is born...it doesn't get nearly as much attention as it once did and loses the cushy spot in the bed for a swaddled newborn.

    • I get to peruse every section and some twice! When shopping with kids, you never know when you may just need to abandon the cart and get out while you can. Seeing a tantrum coming on is sort of like watching a slow-motion scene in an action movie…you see the pin coming out of the grenade and the hand cocking back to get ready to launch and you know that grenade is coming right at you.

    • I’m not a walking 7-11 when I shop alone. Snacks? Check. Water sippies? Check. Gum, wipes, Kleenex? Do you need a hair clip or an organic granola bar? Boys size 3T undies? I’ve got it all in my purse. Shopping with kids can also be compared to camping in the deep woods for three days. If you are not prepared, bears can eat you.

    • While in the fitting room, I don’t have to constantly say things like, “please don’t open the door, Mommy’s not dressed” or “I’m almost done, and just give me one more minute, please”. I don’t have to listen to Dora on the Kindle or answer questions about why I have dimples on my legs. It’s pretty quiet in there on a Sunday morning.

    • I’ve made it to the check out and since I’m not shopping with kids I get in line, make some small talk with the cashier and I’m on my merry way. Otherwise, I spend that time talking my kids out of all the things they “need” while snaking through the rate maze prior to approaching the cashier.


    Shopping today was glorious! I should definitely do this more often. Said every Mom on the planet.

     

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