Taking Medications for Your Heart
If you have questions about your medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Medication can be a key tool in managing heart disease. You may need several
types. Some medications can help prevent the blood clots that cause heart
attacks. Others can help control cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Know Your Medications
Medications are prescribed in just the right doses for your heart condition.
They work only if you take them exactly as directed. Take heart medications
at the same time every day. This will keep the amount of medication in
your bloodstream at a steady level.
Set Up a Routine
Some medications are best taken on an empty stomach. Others are taken with
meals. A medication organizer can help you take your pills at the right
time each day. You can set your watch to beep when it's time to take
a pill. Or post a note on the fridge or bathroom mirror.
Beware of Drug Interactions
Vitamins, herbal supplements, and some over-the-counter drugs can be dangerous
to take with your heart medications. Tell your doctor about all products
you're taking, even simple remedies for headaches, allergies, colds,
Cope with Side Effects
Some medications have side effects, such as nausea or headaches. If you
have side effects, your doctor may reduce or change your medication. Never
stop taking a medication or lower your dose on your own. This may cause
sudden heart problems.
Fill all your prescriptions at the same drugstore. This keeps your records
in one place.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a "fact sheet" or other patient
information when you start any new medication.
Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you have allergies to any medication.
Also, mention if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Order refills a few weeks before you run out.
Take plenty of pills when you travel.
Store medications in a cool, dry, dark place.
Never share medications with someone else.
Give a copy of your medication list to your spouse or a close friend.