When you have
heart failure, it is very important that you take your medicines exactly as recommended by your
doctor. If you do not, your heart failure may get worse or
sudden heart failure may develop, and you may need to
Develop a system to keep track of when and how
you take your medicines.
The symptoms of heart failure can be related to the pooling of fluid in the body or can be secondary to decreased blood flow to the body. Some people with heart failure don't experience symptoms, but here are some of the more common signs:
Shortness of breath with exercise or difficulty breathing at rest or when lying down
Swollen legs, ankles, or abdomen
Dry, hacking cough, or wheezing
Other symptoms may include:
Fatigue, palpitations, or pain during normal activities
Ask your doctor whether you can simplify your pill schedule. This may make it much easier for
you to remember to take your medicines as directed. You may be able to
substitute longer-acting medicines for shorter-acting ones. Longer-acting,
once-a-day drugs are easier for people to remember to take.
Use a pillbox that holds a week's worth of pills. This may be
especially helpful if you are taking pills every other day.
Post reminders near clocks or on the
bathroom mirror to keep yourself on schedule.
Ask your doctor for a clear explanation of the actions and
purpose of each medicine prescribed. If you understand what you are taking and
how it is helping you, it may be easier to stick to your schedule.
If your medicines are expensive, the following may
help you keep costs down.
Ask your doctor whether less expensive, equally
effective generic brands would be appropriate for you.
prices between several pharmacies.
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Theresa O'Young, PharmD - Clinical Pharmacy
August 9, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
August 09, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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