If you have heart disease, you know it is essential to take your heart disease medicine just as prescribed. But what exactly does that mean? Here are several helpful tips to manage heart medications safely:
- Be aware of which medicines you’re taking. Find out their generic and brand names and make sure you understand what each one does. Read the patient information sheet so you’re alert to possible side effects.
- Be sure to take your medications at the same time each day. When you work together with Endeavor In-Home Care, your home care companion can help remind you when it’s time to take your next dose. Don’t stop or change any medication without first speaking to the doctor.
- Create a list of all your medications. Include the daily dose for each one. Maintain a copy at home as well as one in your purse or wallet.
- If you’re having difficulty paying for your medications, ask your physician for recommendations. Don’t cut corners on dosages to try to save money. This could be harmful to your health.
- Check with your doctor before taking OTC drugs or herbal remedies. Some may worsen heart failure symptoms. These include antihistamines (such as Benadryl), antacids and NSAIDS (such as Motrin or Advil).
- Refill your prescriptions prior to running out of medicine. If you struggle with getting to the pharmacy, a caregiver can assist you in picking up the medication.
- Take your prescriptions with you whenever you travel and continue to take them according to your normal schedule. If you’ll be away from home for an extended time, take an extra week’s supply. Keep a copy of your prescriptions with you in case you need a refill.
- Sometimes ACE inhibitors can cause you to cough. If you’re coughing excessively and can’t sleep or take care of your daily activities, call your physician.
- If you take diuretics (often called water pills), you’ll most likely have to visit the restroom more frequently. If you’re told to take one dose of a diuretic every day, take it in the morning. If you take two doses, be sure to take the second one by late afternoon to avoid additional trips to the bathroom during the night.
- Watch for symptoms of dehydration when taking diuretics. These might consist of extreme thirst, dry mouth, darker-colored urine or reduced urine output, constipation and feeling dizzy. If any of these red flags occur, consult the doctor prior to making any changes in medication or fluid intake.
Professional caregivers from Endeavor In-Home Care can make life with heart disease more manageable. They can assist with everyday activities, prepare nutritious meals, provide medication reminders and take you to medical appointments and the pharmacy. Call us at 480-498-2324 to learn more about our home care in Gilbert and the surrounding areas.