Cholesterol Drug Guidelines
When you are taking drugs to treat high cholesterol, it is important to follow your health care professional's recommendations carefully. If you do not take medications exactly as prescribed, they can make you sick.
Cholesterol Drug Tips
Take all drugs as advised by your health care provider.
- Take your medications as scheduled, at the same time every day. Do not stop taking or change your medications unless you first talk with your doctor. Even if you feel good, continue to take your medications. Stopping them suddenly can make your condition worse.
- Have a routine for taking your medications. Get a pillbox that is marked with the days of the week. Fill the pillbox at the beginning of each week to make it easier for you to remember.
- Keep a medicine calendar and note every time you take a dose. Your prescription label tells you how much to take at each dose, but your doctor may change your dosage periodically, depending on your response to the medication. On your medication calendar, you can list any changes in your medication dosages as prescribed by your doctor.
- Do not decrease your medication dosage to save money. You must take the full amount to get the full benefits. If cost is a problem, talk to your doctor about ways you can reduce your drug costs.
- Do not take any over-the-counter drugs or herbal treatments unless you ask your doctor first.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, ask your doctor about skipping the missed dose and going back to your regular dosing schedule rather than taking two doses to make up for the dose you missed.
- Regularly fill your prescriptions and ask your pharmacist any questions you have about your prescription. Do not wait until you are completely out of medication before filling your prescriptions. Let your doctor know if you have trouble getting to the pharmacy, have financial concerns, or have other problems that make it difficult for you to get your medications.
- When traveling, keep your medications with you so you can take them as scheduled. On longer trips, take an extra week's supply of medications and copies of your prescriptions, in case you need to get a refill.
- Before having surgery with a general anesthetic, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist in charge what medications you are taking.
- Some medications may alter your heart rate. Ask your doctor if you need to check your heart rate regularly.
- Ask your doctor if you should avoid alcohol as it may increase the side effects of medications or interfere with their effectiveness.
- Understand your medication. Know what it's for, and how and when you're supposed to take it.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist about adjustments if your medication routine is too complicated.
- If you have trouble understanding your doctor or pharmacist, ask a friend or loved one to go with you and help you.
- If you don't feel like your medication is making a difference, speak with your doctor.