PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- As extreme heat continues to sweep the Valley, it’s hard to keep anything cool.

But did you know that extreme temperatures can physically change your medications, even affecting their potency?

[WATCH: How Arizona extreme heat can physically impact medication]

So with extreme heat comes the need to take some extra precautions with your health.

That’s because when temperatures rise, so does the risk of your medication losing its potency and degrading its active ingredient.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Extreme heat]

Heat can muddle a medicine’s active ingredient to the point where it will never be the same, said Brandon Luke, pharmacist with Melrose Pharmacy in Central Phoenix.

“All of a sudden, you’re not getting your full dose and your blood pressure is not going down as much or your cholesterol is not being controlled," said Luke.  

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No medications should be exposed to hot temperatures. Those most at risk include allergy medicines (antihistamines), blood pressure and heart medicines and antidepressants or antipsychotics.

Medications should never be stored in a car, especially in the trunk.

Capsules and gels can melt and stick together.

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Liquids will dry up and could cause you to take the wrong amount or dose.

People with mail-order medications need to be extra vigilant, according to Luke.

“I definitely recommend staying on track when it was mailed out and when it was supposed to arrive to your house. But I would get the medicine out of my mailbox as soon as I could. It’s still going to most likely be fine if you leave it in there for a day, but that’s not guaranteed,” said Luke.

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Some medications are more vulnerable than others, so Luke recommends checking the labels.


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