And if you’re white, these drugs can make you feel like an albino. It’s a drug side effect called photosensitivity. Let me explain.
I’m a brown person and I never wear sunscreen except on my face to avoid wrinkles. I worry more about osteoporosis and vitamin D deficiency instead of skin cancer and sunburns. My skin is strong and amazing, but one strange day after playing in the water all day …my arms, back, shoulders, and legs started to burn. It was an itchy, prickly feeling. Then a few days later my skin started to flake and fall off. At first I didn’t know what was happening to me. I thought the gods were getting revenge because I’d made fun of my honky relatives who burn to a crisp. “What’s happening to me,” I thought. “I’m turning into a white person. This hasn’t happened since I was a kid.”
I would burn as a kid, but as I got older my skin got tougher….that was until I started taking a new drug that caused photosensitivity.
So I just want to warn everyone, if you are put on a drug that is on the list below, you might want to be extra diligent about using the sunscreen. And if you have a child on one of these drugs, be extra careful.
Photosensitivity doesn’t always happen while on these drugs, but it’s a possibility I think you should be aware of. The following list is NOT all-inclusive. There are many other.
Common Pills that can cause photosensitivity: this list is not all-inclusive.
pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and vitamin A
bitter orange, chlorella, dong quai, gossypol, gotu kola, st john’s wart
Antihistamines like zyrtec, benadryl, claritin, phenergan,
Antibiotics like cipro, levoquin, avelox, noroxin, floxin, tetracycline, azithromycin, flagyl, bactrim, azulfidine,
Antifungals like terconazole, Vfend
Antivirals, like norvior, fortovase, hivid
antimalaria drugs like plaqueil,
amantadine, zofirax, methotreate, plavix, clopidogrel
water pills aka diuretics: hydrochlorothiazide, lasix, triamterene,
blood pressure drugs: captopril diltiazem enalapril nifedipine,
Cholesterol drugs: statins,
amiodarone, carbamazepine, lamotrigine, topiramate, valproic acid, thaldol,, zyprexa, risperidone, paxil, sertralin, wellbutrin, xanax, chlordiazepoxide, ambien
serotonin reuptake inhibitors
All NSAID, iburprofen and naproxen
hormonal drugs, estrogens, birth control pills, testosterone
corticosteriods like prednisone
diabetic agents like glucotrol, diabeta, micronase, glipizide, amaryl