Cholesterol Drug Guidelines
When you take medication to treat high cholesterol, you need to follow your health care provider’s directions carefully. If you do not take them exactly as prescribed, they can make you sick.
Cholesterol Drug Tips
- Take all drugs the way your health care provider tells you to.
- Know what your medicine is for, and how and when you are supposed to take it.
- Take your medicine, at the same time every day. Do not stop taking it or change it without talking with your doctor first. Even if you feel good, keep taking it. Stopping suddenly can make your condition worse.
- Have a routine for taking your medicine. Get a pillbox that is marked with the days of the week. Fill the pillbox at the start of each week to make it easier to remember.
- Keep a medicine calendar. Make a note on the calendar every time you take a dose. Your prescription label tells you how much to take each time, but your doctor may want to change that from time to time, depending on how you respond. On your calendar, list any changes your doctor makes about how much to take or how often to take it.
- Do not decrease how much you take 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 unless it’s almost time for the next dose. Ask your doctor what you should do in that case.
- Fill your prescriptions promptly, and ask your pharmacist any questions you have about your medicine. Do not wait until you are completely out of a medicine before getting a refill.
- Let your doctor know if you have trouble getting to the pharmacy, have financial concerns, or have other problems that make it hard for you to get yourprescriptions filled.
- When traveling, keep your medicines with you so you can take them at the right time. On longer trips, take an extra week's supply along with copies of your prescriptions. That way you can get a a refill if you need to.
- Before having surgery with a general anesthetic, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist in charge what medicines you take.
- Some medicines may affect your heart rate. Ask your doctor if you need to check your heart rate and how often you should do it.
- Ask your doctor if you should avoid alcohol. Alcohol can increase the side effects of of some medicines. It can also interfere with how effective they are.
- Ask your doctor or pharmacist about adjustments if your medicine 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 medicine is making a difference, tell your doctor.