Summer Heat and Sun Risk for Antipsychotic Mediation Users: Report from the State of New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services These medications may impair the body's ability to regulate its own temperature. During hot and humid weather, individuals taking them are at risk of developing excessive body temperature, or hyperthermia, which can be fatal. Individuals with chronic medial conditions are especially vulnerable e.g. heart and pulmonary disease, diabetes and alcoholism, etc.

Heat Exhaustion This can occur in both active and sedentary individuals. It happens suddenly and may be quite brief. A doctor should be called. Recovery may be spontaneous or intravenous fluids may be needed to prevent unconsciousness.


Heat Stroke This occurs mostly during heat waves. Persons with chronic illness are most vulnerable. Heat stroke, the most serious heat illness, can lead to death if left untreated.


Irritability or change in behavior Agitation, confusion, seizures, lethargy, or coma (all may be first symptoms) Low or normal temperature High body temperature (105 degrees F or above) Slightly low blood pressure High blood pressure initially (shock may follow, resulting in low blood pressure) Rapid. full pulse and heartbeat Rapid pulse and heartbeat Rapid breathing Rapid, shallow breathing if person is moving about: slow and deep breathing if the person is still Cold, pale skin Hot dry, flushed skin Profuse perspiration   Dizziness, headache and weakness   Nausea, vomiting   Cramps in the abdominal area or in the extremities       Treatment: Treatment: He or she should be As soon as recognized. immediately:
  • Moved to a cooler place as soon as possible
  • Call a physician
  • given water or other liquids immediately (there is no need for salt)
  • Loosen or remove outer layers of clothing
  • Encouraged to rest for a short period
  • Immerse individual in ice water or make efforts to bring down body temperature with cold compresses, or cold water shower
  • Replace fluids and sodium only under medical orders

Prevention of Heat Illness:

  • Avoid over exertion, particularly during warmer periods of the day
  • Apply sun screen lotion as needed
  • Keep windows shut and draperies, shades, or blinds drawn during the heat of the day. (Open windows in the evening or night hours when the air outside is cooler)
  • Move to cooler rooms during the heat of the day
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Dress in loose fitting, light colored clothing
  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Eat a little more salt, unless your diet prohibits it

Anti-psychotic medications include: Trade (generic) Clozaril (clozapine); Geodon (ziprasidone); Haldol (haloperidol); Loxitane (Ioxapine); Mellaril (thIoridazine); Moban (molindone); Navane (thiothixene); Prolixin (fluphenazine); Risperdal (risperidone); Serentil (mesoridazine); Seroquel (quetiapine); Stelazine (trifluoperazine); Thorazine (chlorpromazine); Trilafon (perphenazine); Zyprexa (olanzapine)