Treatment of heart disease usually requires a variety of heartmedications. If you are tracking your heart medications, make sure to take the prescribed dose at the prescribed time, and get refills before they run out.
If you are caring for a loved one with heart disease, you may need to remind him or her when it's time to take different drugs, or you may actually need to give out the medication when it's time to be taken.
It's the news you don't want to hear from your cardiologist: One or more of your coronary arteries -- the blood vessels that supply blood to your heart -- is blocked. You have coronary artery disease, the No. 1 killer of U.S. adults.
So does this mean you're headed for bypass surgery? Maybe not, if your situation isn't an emergency.
You might have other options -- including less drastic procedures to reopen those arteries, medication alone, or even radical lifestyle change.
What's your best option?...
Following are pointers on tracking your heart medications and taking them safely.
Daily Heart Medication Tips:
Know the names, dosages, and side effects of your heart medications and what they are used for.
Always keep a list of the medications with you so that ALL your doctors know exactly what you are taking.
Heart medications need to be taken as scheduled, at the same time every day. Medications should not be stopped or changed without first consulting with your doctor. Continue taking a heart drug even if you feel better; stopping medications suddenly can make your condition worse.
Develop a routine for taking your heart drugs. Get a pillbox that is marked with the days of the week, and fill the pillbox at the beginning of each week. This is an easy way to tell when each day's medications have been taken.
If a dose is missed, take it as soon as you remember to take it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, ask your doctor about skipping versus making up the missed dose. Two doses should never be taken to make up for the dose missed; nor should they be taken if you don't feel well.
Make sure prescriptions are filled regularly, and if you have questions, write them down and ask the pharmacist. Don't wait until you're completely out of medication before filling prescriptions.
Use one pharmacist to fill your prescriptions. That way, you can make sure you don't get medications that counteract each other.