Soaking In Hot Tubs May Be Dangerous Watch Out If You Are On Medication UPDATED: 10:12 a.m. EST February 10, 2003 CLEVELAND -- A soak in a hot tub may sound like the perfect way to unwind, but there are some dangers you should know about. Doctors warn that hot tubs are not for everyone. Dr. Jason Chao of University Hospitals in Cleveland said anyone on blood thinners, blood-pressure medication or painkillers is at a higher risk for complications. In fact, if you're on any medication, you should ask your doctor about it. It's all because of the heat. It causes your blood vessels to open up and allows you to absorb more heat faster. "You can run into problems. It can affect the heart and the kidney and other organs in the body," Chao said. URVEY A letter in last week's issue of the journal The Lancet emphasized jacuzzi dangers. German Dr. Lutz Liefeldt wrote about a 36-year-old man with kidney disease who spent time in a hot tub after going swimming. Eighteen hours later, the man underwent routine kidney dialysis, but one hour after that reported severe abdominal pain. A computed tomography scan revealed internal bleeding originating from his left kidney -- which Liefeldt blamed on the hot tub. Women who may be pregnant need to be extra careful because too much time in the spa can harm their unborn child. But Chao said hot tubs do have healing properties. Therapists use them for their patients all the time. What you have to remember is to use your common sense -- and after one too many cocktails, that can be a problem. Alcohol can impair your judgment, and often drunken people stay in the hot tub longer than they should. Also remember that hot tubs should never get any hotter than 104 degrees. As always, talk to your doctor if you have any questions.