Take an inventory of all the drugs you have used in the last month, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs. When you see your doctor, bring along the list. You may discover that you are taking too many medications or that some are inappropriate or redundant. The fewer drugs you need to take, the lower the possibility that you will develop side effects.
Learn how much of the medication you should take, how often you should take it, and whether or not it should be taken with food. Be consistent with your schedule and dosages. Use pill organizers or dispensers if you need help in remembering to lake your pills.
Take exact doses as prescribed by your doctor. Never intentionally skip or add doses. Consult your doctor before you stop taking a cardiovascular medication. Keep your medicines in their original containers; do not mix them in with other bottles.
Take your medicine at the same time each day, at a time it is easy to remember, such as before meals, after work, or at bedtime.
Do not take any over-the-counter (non-prescription) medications such as aspirin, Alka-Seltzer, vitamins, and so on, without consulting your doctor or pharmacist. Many drugs can cause harmful reactions when taken in combination with other drugs.
Store your medicines at room temperature, away from moisture and direct sunlight. Do not store them on your bathroom sink or in your refrigerator. Some medications lose their strength after a few months; if a medication is more than six months old, contact your doctor or pharmacist to determine if it should be discontinued or replaced. If you are going on a trip, plan ahead. Take twice as much medication with you as you would expect to need. Pack half of your drugs in your luggage; carry on your person a second supply which would last several days. This way, if your purse or carryall is lost or stolen, you will have an adequate supply for your trip.
It is very important to remember that your drugs are intended only for you, not your spouse, neighbor, or friend. Likewise, you should never take another person's medication.
Many cardiovascular drugs are very powerful and may have side effects, such as fatigue, depression, fainting and dizziness. If you experience such side effects, contact your doctor.
The point about cardiac drugs is the fact that they work. This can seduce you into thinking that your problem is solved. The reality is that this is the positive effect of the drug. Stop the drug, and the problem returns. Many people resist being put on a drug indefinitely. If you are taking several medications, the scheduling can be complicated. But keep in mind that it is because of these drugs that the vast majority of people with heart disease live longer and lead active lives, too. Discuss the drugs you take with your doctor. Once you verify you are taking the proper drugs, figure out an easy-to-remember schedule. Clean out your medicine chest. Throw out any drugs which have surpassed expiry dates. Destroy or discard them completely, so children or animals cannot have access to them.