Health experts say antidepressants can make patients more sensitive to heat

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – The summer sun serves us in plenty of positive ways, but for some taking antidepressants, it can be life threatening.

There are two main groups of antidepressants: tricyclic and SSRI’s. Doctor Rajiv Parinja is a psychiatrist with Mercy Health. He says they both can cause concern for patients, but for entirely different reasons.

Tricyclic antidepressants can effect the hypothalamus, where the brain regulates the body’s internal temperature. Because they are less commonly used, Doctor Parinja says they are less of a concern.

“They had more side effects and they cause people to kind of dry out, and those are the ones that we really worry about if you think about heat,” Doctor Parinja says.

SSRI’s can have the opposite effect on patients, causing them to sweat more and leading to a higher risk of dehydration.

If you are spending time in the sun, below are some red flags to be aware of:

  • headaches,
  • hot but dry skin,
  • light headedness,
  • nausea
  • weakness

“Take a break, make sure that you’re drinking enough and cool down… and not spend all the time outside, because you might get heat exhaustion or heat stroke,” Doctor Parinja says.

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