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Heart Disease Health Center

Keeping Track of Your Heart Medicines

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Safety Tips for Heart Medication:

  • Don't take less heart medication than your doctor prescribes in order to save money. You have to take the full amount in order to get the full benefits. If medication costs are too high, talk with your doctor about ways to reduce the costs.
  • Don't take any over-the-counter medications or herbal therapies until you've consulted with your doctor or pharmacist. These drugs can make heart disease symptoms worse and/or change the effect of prescribed medications. Even common drugs such as antacids, salt substitutes, cough/cold/allergy medications (including Benadryl, Dimetapp, Sudafed, or Afrin nasal spray), and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs, such as Advil, Motrin, and Aleve) can worsen heart disease symptoms or cause harmful effects when taken with some heart medicines.
  • Don't store medications in the bathroom or where they are exposed to light. Moisture and heat can destroy their effectiveness.
  • If you're going to have surgery -- including dental surgery -- be sure to tell your doctor or dentist what heart medications you're taking.

Heart Medication Travel Tips:

  • Keep heart medications with you when traveling. Don't pack them in luggage that you don't plan to keep with you at all times; luggage that is checked can be lost or delayed in getting to you.
  • Keep a separate list of all the medications you're taking, along with your doctor's phone number, dosing intervals, and dosage sizes -- in case you lose your medications.
  • If you are taking a flight that crosses time zones, make sure you maintain the right dosing frequency.
  • If you're taking a long trip, pack an extra week's supply of medications, the phone number of your pharmacy, and your prescriptions' refill numbers in case you need a refill.

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