Should you switch blood pressure medicines if you’re worried about sunburn? Elizabeth Tracey reports

June 7, 2021

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Sunburn is associated with an increased risk of skin cancer and should be avoided. Yet a very common blood pressure medicine, hydrochlorothiazide, is associated with increased sun sensitivity, with new research by Anna Chien and colleagues at Johns Hopkins showing that for certain groups of people, sunburns are increased.

Chien: For hydrochlorothiazide many studies have shown that women and non-Hispanic Black patients actually respond quite well to this medicine in treating their blood pressure. And what we found in our study population that hydrochlorothiazide was indeed used more commonly in this group but yet this was the exact group that had the greatest odds of developing sunburns. So there are other medications out there as well for high blood pressure, in fact some of them have also been associated with sun sensitivity so I think more research is needed.  :30

Rather than switch from a medicine that might be working well, Chien recommends a range of sun protection practices for people taking this medicine. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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