Tips for Taking Your Medications Safely
Many medicines are used to help treat heart failure. Some help lessen your symptoms. Others can help slow the progression of heart failure. It is important you know all the medicines you are taking and why and that you keep an up-to-date list of your medicines.
- Learn about your medicines
- Know the names of your medicines and why you take them
- Know the doses of your medicines and how often you should take them
- Know what side effects your medicines can cause
- Take your medicines as prescribed
- Take your medicines as prescribed by your doctor. Know what to do if you miss a dose.
- Take your medicines at the same time each day, such as when you are brushing your teeth or getting ready for bed.
- Use an alarm on your phone or sticky notes to remind yourself to take your medicines. Use a pillbox to keep track of your daily pills. One of the most common reasons people with heart failure are admitted to the hospital is because they forgot to take their medicines.
- Never take someone else's medicines and do not share your medicines with others.
- Never change or stop your medicines without talking to your heart doctor first.
- Be safe
- Don’t take over-the-counter medicines, herbs, vitamins or supplements without first talking to your heart doctor or nurse.
- Tell your heart doctor or nurse if there are any changes to your medicines.
- Keep an up-to-date list of your medicines at home and in your wallet. Tell a family member or friend where you keep the list, in case of an emergency.
- Take your medicine bottles or a copy of your medicine list to each doctor visit.
- If you have problems taking your medicines as prescribed or if you think you are having side effects, call your heart doctor or nurse.
- Refills and paying for your medicines
Call your heart doctor’s office and ask for a refill if you are running low on your medicines. If you use a mail order pharmacy, order your refills early so you don’t run out.
Talk with your heart doctor or nurse if you are having problems paying for or getting your medicines. They may be able to direct you to places or programs that can help.