You head out into the sun to forget your troubles. But if those troubles include an illness for which you're taking medicine, the sun may not be so fun.
Stormont-Vail Pharmacy Director Kevin Waite says many common medications have a side effect called drug-induced photosensitivity. He says the medications cause a chemical reaction in the skin tissue that causes it to become more light-sensitive. As a result, he says, you absorb more of the bad UV rays, and you can burn almost in a matter of minutes.
Waite says not all drugs affect everyone the same way, but it is a possibility with several common antibiotics and some of the antihistamines that you purchase over the counter.
To know if photosensitivity is a possible side effect, read all the labels and literature, or, better yet, ask a pharmacist. Then, take extra precautions. Waite suggests wearing a hat and long sleeves, plus using a high-protective sunscreen and reapplying it more often than normal.
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