Thursday, August 9, 2012

IMPORTANT ALERT: Blood Pressure Medication and Lip Cancer

This is a special alert for patients taking blood pressure medications such as hydrochlorothiazide (a diuretic) and Nifedipine (calcium channel blockers).  According to a new observational study, both of these drug classes appear to increase a patient's hypersensitivity to sunlight. The study shows a link between these medications and the development of squamous cell skin cancer of the lips. It is believed that the combination of increased sun sensitivity and sun exposure is the culprit.

DO NOT stop taking these medications without the advice of a doctor. However, if you are on these medications, please limit your sun exposure. If you limit your sun exposure, you will unfortunately increase your risk of a Vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, please make sure to get more Vitamin D in your diet from sea kelp, sea vegetables, wild salmon, and vitamin D fortified foods.

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