Summertime Strategies Part One

In summertime: the living might not be easy for people diagnosed with schizophrenia who are taking medications. You can beat the heat and enjoy yourself by taking a few precautions to stay healthy.

Stay cool.

Antipsychotic medications can impair the body’s ability to regulate its own temperature; thus during hot and humid weather, individuals taking these drugs are at risk of hyperthermia or excessive body temperature. This can be fatal.

Drink one 8-ounce glass of water every hour.

From the official Zyprexa website:

“You can become very hot, for instance, when you exercise a lot or stay in an area that is very hot.  It is important for you to drink water to avoid dehydration. Call your doctor right away if you become severely ill and have some or all of these symptoms of dehydration: sweating too much or not at all, dry mouth, feeling very hot, feeling thirsty, not able to produce urine. Tell your doctor if you exercise a lot or visit hot places often.”

Engage in outdoor activities like walking, running or cycling during off-peak hours (before noon or after 4 pm) when the sun is not as strong.

Maintain proper hydration when exercising.  Be careful exercising in a gym for long periods of time if it seems the air conditioner isn’t cool enough for comfort.

Stay out of the heat.

The body’s temperature regulating center’s set point is increased because of the antidopaminergic effects.  The body’s ability to sweat and eliminate excess heat is decreased, leading to a heat buildup internally that can cause heat stroke and a shutdown of critical bodily functions.

Be careful exercising because it can cause the body to overheat to dangerous levels as well.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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