How many different medicines do you take? Most people with heart failure
or other cardiovascular illnesses take several. It’s no wonder you might
sometimes puzzle over which medicines to take and when, how much to
take, or what symptoms the drugs treat.
To prevent missed or double doses, side effects, and drug interactions,
keep your medications organized. Try following these tips to avoid
Make a note of the basics about each of your medicines. Here’s what to
record: medicine name (generic and brand name), what you use it for,
when to take it, how much to take, how to take it, and for how long to
take it. Make sure you note whether to avoid mixing the medicine with
any others or with any foods or drinks.
Tell your health care providers which medicines you take. This includes
all prescriptions and any over-the-counter drugs, nutritional
supplements, herbs, and other remedies. Keep an up-to-date list of
everything you take. Bring it whenever you see your health care
provider. Ask whether any of the items can cause problems when combined.
These boxes have seven compartments, one for each day of the week. Some
have additional slots for different times of day, such as morning,
midday, and bedtime. If you stock your pillbox at the beginning of the
week, then all week long it’s easy to tell whether you’ve taken a dose
instead of trying to remember. You also can link taking your medicine
with another routine activity, such as brushing your teeth, so you get
used to taking it regularly.
Ask your health care provider what side effects may occur with each of
your medicines and learn what you can do to avoid them. Find out when to
report any side effects to your health care provider. He or she may be
able to adjust your dose or schedule, or substitute another drug, if
side effects bother you.
For more information, call 1.866.CALL.MLH.