Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

First Aid & Emergencies

Font Size

Understanding Heat-Related Illness -- Treatment

What Are the Treatments for Heat-Related Illness?

Heat cramps can usually be alleviated by escaping the heat, resting, drinking clear juice or a sports beverage, and eating moderately salty foods. Gentle massage or firm pressure applied to cramping muscles may help alleviate spasms. In severe cases, the victim may need intravenous fluids and salts. If heat cramps do not go away within the hour, or if you have heart disease or are on a salt-restricted diet, seek medical help.

For Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

First, GET HELP. It is critical that emergency medical assistance be called as soon as possible. Then, if possible, get the victim to drink, but don't force fluids if the person is confused or has passed out. Avoid alcohol or caffeine.

The primary treatment for heat exhaustion is replacement of lost fluids and salt. Victims should be moved to a cool environment, lie flat or with their feet raised slightly above head level, and sip a cool, slightly salty beverage -- such as a sports drink, tomato juice, cool bouillon, or other vegetable or fruit juices.

Heat stroke usually develops rapidly and can cause permanent brain damage or death if not treated promptly. Anyone with heat stroke needs emergency medical attention.

  • While help is on the way, move the victim into the shade and wrap him in cool, wet bedding or clothing. Or, remove the victim's clothes and sponge his body with cool water until help arrives.
  • Ice packs can be placed on the groin, neck, or underarms, or the victim can be fanned by hand or with an electric fan or a blow-dryer set on cold (do not use a blow-dryer that blows only hot air).
  • If possible, use a thermometer to monitor the person's temperature and stop cooling treatments if his temperature normalizes.
  • Once at the hospital, a person who has suffered heat stroke may be given intravenous drugs to control seizures or other complications, may receive additional intravenous fluids, and will likely be confined to bed rest and monitored for 24 hours to several days.


WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 20, 2015

First Aid A-Z

  • There are no topics that begin with 'O'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Q'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'U'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'X'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Y'
  • There are no topics that begin with 'Z'

Today on WebMD

Antibiotic on hand
3d scan of fractured skull
Father putting ointment on boy's face
Person taking food from oven
sniffling child
wound care true or false
caring for wounds
Harvest mite

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

WebMD the app

Get first aid information. Whenever. Wherever... with your iPhone, iPad or Android.

Find Out More