Drug-Induced Sun Sensitivity: Avoid these Drugs

Fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome is a long-lasting disease. Patients suffer from muscle pains, tenderness, digestive problems, and problems, and sleepiness. This disease makes the patient restless and uncomfortable. Other than these symptoms, in some patients body rash is also developed.

Sun is the most powerful and effective source to get Vitamin D. The patients of fibromyalgia cannot get the benefit from this source. Fibromyalgia patients have sun sensitivity. Exposure to the sun can result in a skin rash. If you are thinking that only the sun is responsible for this sun sensitivity than you are wrong. Researches showed that this sun sensitivity in the patients is the result of the medicines.

Medicines reaction

There are few medicines that are given to fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome patients. Sun sensitivity is the side effect of a few medicines that patients are using.

Consequences with direct sunlight exposure

When the patients of fibromyalgia who are taking those medicines get the direct sun exposer they suffer from sun sensitivity. In its consequences a patient suffers from skin rashes like reddish and swollen patches appear on the skin of his whole body. These rashes can also cause pain. And that pain is terrible that makes the patient vulnerable.

Drugs that are the reason behind the sun sensitivity

There is a huge list of the medicines that are given to the fibromyalgia patients that cause sun sensitivity. These medicines are important that’s why a patient cannot leave the medicine. But while taking these medicines he/she needs to avoid the direct sun exposure. Here is the list of the medicines causing sun sensitivity.

Tricyclic antidepressants

Fibromyalgia patients most of the times suffer from depression. Therefore, it is compulsory for the doctor to prescribe antidepressants to the patients. These medicines like Sinequan (doxepin), Elavil (amitriptyline), Norpramin (desipramine), and other such antidepressants cause sun sensitivity. Because these medicines prevent your brain area that regulates your heat response from knowing that you are overheating. One more reason is that these medicines decrease the sweating. This decrease ratio leads to a decrease in your body’s heat loss.

These medicines increase the chances of overheating. Therefore, a patient needs to be alert with its alarming signs of overheating. For example lightheadedness, weakness, headaches, and nausea.


To control the inflammation, anti-inflammatories are given to the patients. Motrin (ibuprofen), Anaprox/Aleve (naproxen), Relafen (nabumetone) are the anti-inflammatories used by fibromyalgia patients. These medicines are also causing sun sensitivity in the patients.


Paxil (paroxetine), Lexapro (escitalopram), Celexa (citalopram), and other medicines that are used in its cure are also effecting patients with sun sensitivity.


To relax the muscles the Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine) is used by the patients. Sun sensitivity is also a side effect of this medicine. This medicine cannot stop by the patients as it decreases the muscle tenderness in the patients.


Symmetrel (amantadine), and Zovirax (acyclovir) has the side effect of overheating in the patients.


These medicines that include Benadryl, Zyrtec (cetirizine), Claritin (loratadine), and other medicines with the same ingredients can cause sun sensitivity.


Lyrica (pregabalin), and Neurontin (gabapentin) has the qualities of sun sensitivity.


Sedative or hypnotics like Xanax (alprazolam), Librium (chlordiazepoxide), Sonata (zaleplon), and Ambien (zolpidem) also affects the patient with overheating.

Precautionary measures

To avoid sun sensitivity or overheating you can take some simple precautionary measures. For example:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Apply sunblock
  • Use skin moisturizer
  • Take a shower with mild-warm water
  • Avoid the direct sun contact
  • Do not scratch a rash
  • Use simple without perfume lotions and soaps
  • Use an ice pack on your skin
  • anti-itching creams are also helpful.

You need to drink water a lot. Whenever you go out it is important to apply sunblock on your skin. Use moisturizer frequently to keep your skin soft. The chances of rashes are developed more on the dry skin. Take shower daily with the mildly warm water. You can take shower twice a day as well. Try to avoid to go outside when it’s too hot. If there is a skin rash do not scratch it. Because with scratching it will become worse. It is also recommended to use soaps and lotions without perfume or with less perfume. Because these can also trigger the itching on your skin. To keep your body cold you can use ice packs on your skin twice a day for 20 to 30 minutes. It will help your body from overheating.  Try Using anti-itching creams to avoid more damage to your skin rashes.

Bottom Line

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease and if you will ignore its symptoms it will get worse. The direct exposure to sunlight the fibromyalgia patients can develop skin rashes. It is very important to never take it for granted. You need to give proper attention to any symptom. Because if you will not take care of yourself and will not take proper precautionary measure it will cause terrible pain. It will become unbearable. Sun only is not the culprit. The medicines make a fibromyalgia patient vulnerable to the sun.  

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