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Medications that Increase Sun Sensitivity

Posted Sep 26th, 2012 by Patient Assistance Team
It is well understood that spending too much time in the sun can increase your risk for skin cancer, in addition to premature aging and wrinkles. But many of us only put sunscreen on when we are about to head out to the beach or an outdoor picnic. Yet researchers warn us that because of the dangers of sun, sunscreen should be worn every day, irrespective if you are poolside or simply going about your day-to-day routine, and this is even more important information to heed if you take medication.

Certain medications make your skin more sensitive to sunlight. In fact, known as drug-induced photosensitivity, this condition can develop into a skin disease or rash that is a consequence of combining certain medications with UV light. Some of the most common medications that are known to produce drug-induced photosensitivity are many non steriod anti-inflammatories, certain antibiotics, diuretics, retinoid, antifungal medication and many arthritic medications like Arthotec, Enbrel, Prednisone, and methotrexate (MTX).

If you take these medications, it is important to wear protective sunscreen, especially covering your face, arms and legs. Talk with your doctor about your risk for drug-induced photosensitivity. While sunscreen and protective clothing is your best barrier against developing a skin condition in reaction to the sun, your medical provider may be able to prescribe you an alternate medication that won’t produce such side effects.