As many as 100 different prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs can become dangerous when exposed to the rays of the sun.
Millions of Americans are currently taking medications for acne, diabetes, cancer, infections, depression and many other types of sickness or disease risk reactions including dizziness, rashes, itching and blisters in exposed areas of the skin.
In some rare cases the reactions can cause hair loss, skin peeling and even fingernail loss.
Even various sunscreens (those containing PABA - para-aminobenzoic acid) which are supposed to protect you from the sun - can actually make you more sensitive to the rays.
Approximately 3 percent of people are sun-sensitive to various drugs, according to Dr. Robert Jordan, a renowned dermatologist.
One of the most severe reactions may be triggered by antibiotics like Tetracycline or in a similar drug family. It can make fingers swell up if the person goes out in the sun. Fingernails can become so loose that they fall off, according to the late Dr. Alexander Fisher, a prominent clinical dermatologist.
Know Your Drugs And Act Accordingly
If your drugs are known to cause reactions either arrange with your physician to take an alternative formulation if you're going to be in the sun. Also, cover up and avoid the sun as much as possible. Finally be aware of possible side effects so you can respond appropriately.
When A Reaction Occurs Immediately Check With Your Physician
Experts advise, if you have an usual reaction from the sun after taking any type of mediation - prescription or other - you should immediately check with your doctor for a possible change in treatment.
Listed below are some of the drugs which may potentially trigger a reaction in some people after they're exposed to sunlight. Keep in mind that not all of the drugs below will cause a reaction in everyone who takes them. Also consider that there are other drugs which are not listed which may also cause a variety of sun related reactions.
Before taking any type of drugs always consult with your physician and/or pharmacist to find out possible side effects. It's also important to read any documentation provided with your medications since known side effects are required by law to be included.
Listed below are drugs which may cause sun related reactions. Note that the drugs' general name is listed first followed when appropriate by the brand name.
Keep in mind that some of these drugs may no longer be available or have been replaced by new formulations:
Acne Medications: (Doxycycline, Tretinoin (Retin-A)
Anticancer Drugs: Dacarbazine (DTIC-Dome), Fluorouracil (Fluoroplex and others), Methotrexate (Mexate and others), Mitomycin (Mutamycin), Vinblastine (Velban).
Anticonvulsants: Carbamazepine (Tegretal), Phenytoin (Dilantin products)
Antidepressants: Amitriptyline (Elavil and others), Desipramine (Norpramin, Pertofrane) Doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan), Imipramine (Tofranil and others), Nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor) Protriptyline (Vivactil), Tranylcypromine, Trimipramine (Surmontil)
Antihistamines: Cyproheptadine (Periactin), Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and others such as Promethazine (Phenergan), Triprolidine (Actifed and others), Trimeprazine (Temaril)
Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: Oxyphenbutazone (Oxalid), Phenylbutazone (Azolid), Piroxicam (Feldene).
Antimicrobials: Chlortetracyclines (Aureomycin), Clindamycin, Demeclacycline (Declomycin), Demethylchlortetracycline, Doxycycline (Vibramycin) and others), Griseofulvin (Fulvicin-U/F and others), Lincomycin, Methacycline (Rondomycin), Nalidixic Acid (NegGram), Oxytetracycline (Terramycin and others), Pyrazinamide, Sulfacytine (Renoquid), Sulfamethizole (Thiosulfil and others), Sulfamethoxazole (Gantanol and others), Sulfamethoxazoletrimethoprim (Bactrim, Septra), Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine), Sulfonamides, Sulfanilamide, Tetracycline (Achromycin, Vibramycin, Minocin, Fulvicin).
Antipsychotic Drugs/Sedatives: Chlordiazepoxide, Chlorpromazine (Thorazine), Diazepam (Valium), Fluphenazine (Permitil Prolixin), Haloperidol (Haldol), Mesoridazine, Promazine, Perphenazine (Trilafon), Phenobarbitol, Piperacetazine (Quide), Prochlorperazine (Compazine), Thioridazine (Mellaril), Trifluoperazine (Stelazine), Triflupromazine (Vesprin).
Diuretics: Bendroflumethiazide (Naturetin and others), Benzthiazide (Exna and others), Chlorothiazide (Diuril), Chlorthalidone, Cyclothiazide (Anhydron), Furosemide (Lasix), Hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL, Esidix and others), Hydroflumethiazide (Diucardin and others), Methyclothiazide (Aquatensen, Enduron), Metolazone (Diulo, Zaroxolyn), Polythiazide (Renese), Quinethazone (Hydomox), Thiazides (Diuril, HydroDIURIL), Triamterene (Dyazide), Trichlormethiazide (Metahydrin and others).
Hormones: Diethylstilbestrol, Estrogen (oral contraceptives), Progestin.
Hypoglycemics/Antidiabetics: Acetohexamide (Dymelor), Chlorpropamide (Diabinese), Sulfonylurea, Tolazamide (Tolinase), Tulbutamide (Orinase and others).
Miscellaneous: Chloroquine, Gold preparations.
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