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How can I get the most from my heart medicine?

In conjunction with a healthy diet and appropriate physical activity, medication therapy can help some people with a history of heart and blood vessel disease improve their condition. Some medications may even help protect people from future cardiovascular events. So take your medications exactly as directed by your doctor; they can be a real lifesaver.

Learning all you can about your prescription medications promotes safety and helps you get the most out of your treatment. The more you know about your medications, the better you'll be able to manage your condition. Be a smart, proactive patient.

If you're taking medication to treat your heart or blood vessel disease, follow your doctor's instructions for taking the medication. And notify him or her right away if you experience any side effects. The doctor may need to reassess your condition and adjust your treatment if you're having problems.

Forgetting or neglecting to take your medication may weaken its effectiveness and could put your health at serious risk. Remembering to take your medications, especially newly prescribed ones, may be easier if you use these helpful reminders:
  • Set specific times to take your medicine each day. Associate your medications with activities that occur during those times.
  • Post a note in a prominent place, such as on your dining room chair if you take your medicine with meals, or on your nightstand if you take your medication while getting ready for bed.
  • Create a calendar that lists the designated time(s) and days for taking your medicine, and mark it when you've taken a dose.
  • Keep your medication in a divided pill box, preferably one that is separated into the days of the week. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.