If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, you know it is vital to take your heart disease medications exactly as prescribed. But what exactly does that mean? Here are several medication management tips from Live Well at Home to help you get the most from your medications:
- Be aware of which medicines you’re taking. Learn their generic and brand names and make sure you fully comprehend what each one does. Read the patient leaflet so you’re alert to potential side effects.
- Be sure to take your meds at the same time each day. When you partner with Live Well at Home, your caregiver can help remind you when it’s time to take your next dose. Don’t stop or alter any medication without talking to the doctor first.
- Create a list of all of your medications. Include the daily dose for each one. Maintain a copy at home as well as one in your wallet or purse.
- If you’re having trouble paying for your medications, ask your doctor for recommendations. Don’t cut corners on dosages to try to save money. This could harm your health.
- Check with your doctor before taking OTC medicines or herbal remedies. Some may intensify heart failure symptoms. These include antihistamines (such as Benadryl), antacids and NSAIDS (like Motrin or Advil).
- Refill your prescription before you run out of medicine. If you find it difficult to get 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 on your normal routine. If you’ll be away from home for a long time, take an extra week’s supply. Be sure to bring a copy of your prescriptions with you in case you need a refill.
- Sometimes ACE inhibitors can cause coughing. If you’re coughing excessively and are unable to sleep or take care of your daily activities, call the doctor.
- If you take diuretics (also known as water pills), you’ll likely have to visit the bathroom more often. If you’re advised to take one dose of a diuretic daily, take it in the morning. If you need to take two doses, be sure to take the second dose by late afternoon to prevent additional trips to the restroom overnight.
- Watch for warning signs of dehydration when taking diuretics. These may include intense thirst, dry mouth, dark-colored urine or lower urine output, constipation and feeling dizzy. If any of these warning signs occur, check with the doctor prior to making any adjustments to medication or fluid intake.
Professional caregivers from Live Well at Home can make life with heart disease more manageable. They can provide support with day-to-day activities, prepare nutritious meals, provide medication reminders and take you to doctors’ appointments and the pharmacy. Call us at 916-459-3220 to learn more about our award winning home care services, including live-in caregivers in Sacramento and the surrounding area.