Data needed on drugs that impair heat regulation

DATA on adverse events caused by widely used drugs that impair patients’ thermoregulation should be collected by Australia’s medicines regulatory bodies, a GP and public health advocate suggests.

Dr Peter Tait, co-investigator on the Heat and Adaptation Project run by the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University, said education was needed for healthcare professionals and the public on the relationship between heat and medicines.

It may be helpful for the TGA to “actively solicit” reports of relevant adverse events through existing reporting systems, he wrote in a letter to the MJA.

Dr Tait, a GP in Alice Springs, said common drugs including antidepressants could directly increase body temperature by altering thermoregulatory mechanisms.

“Despite these risks, hyperthermia and reduced sweating each rate only one mention in the 2010 Australian Medicines Handbook