Drugs With Highest Risk for Dehydration or Heat-Related Illness

Drugs With Highest Risk for Dehydration or Heat-Related Illness
Drugs With Highest Risk for Dehydration or Heat-Related Illness

People who start certain drugs, such as blood thinners (anticoagulants), cardiovascular medicines, over-the-counter pain killers (NSAIDs/non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), antipsychotics, antidepressants and anticholinergic agents (used to treat asthma, incontinence) face a higher risk of heat-related illnesses and dehydration that may require a trip to the hospital.

Australian researchers conducted an analysis, published in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics, of the prescription drug intake of 6,700 veterans who were admitted to a hospital for a heat-related illness or dehydration.

Among drug classes with a higher than normal risk of hospital admission for dehydration or heat-related illness, patients who had started SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), a common type of antidepressants, had the lowest additional risk with 1.17.

But the highest risk — 2.79 — was seen in veterans who had initiated treatment with an ACE inhibitor, drugs used to treat high blood pressure, and diuretics, which are pills used to rid of the body of water and salt as part of high blood pressure treatment.

There was no additional risk for hospital admission for dehydration or heat-related illness associated with anticonvulsants, Parkinson’s disease drugs, hypnotics, anti-anxiety drugs or antihistamines.

“Prescribers and patients should be aware of the potential for medicines to be associated with increased risk of dehydration and heat-related illness,” the researchers conclude.

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Hilda Courter

I have started taking Warfarin. As I have A-fib, my doctor is concerned that I might have a stroke. However, the side effects from Warfarin are pretty unpleasant. I feel dehydrated all the time…headache, dryness of nose, eyes and mouth, frequent cystitis…all which seem to stem from dehydration. Yet, my Coumadin nurse says that he has never heard of these problems being caused by Warfarin. Do you have any comments about this, or is it all in my head?

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