The first step to staying on your medication is understanding
what you are taking and why. Ask your doctor what you are being
treated for and how each medicine helps. For example: If you are
taking a statin, you should know that it is for lowering your
LDL-cholesterol to lower your heart disease risk.
- You can find out about side effects by asking your doctor or
- Ask your doctor how your medicine works with your other
medications and the foods you eat. For example: Some medicines work
best if you take them with food, and others work best if you take
them at bedtime.
- Ask your doctor what to do if you miss a dose of medicine or
have problems with side effects.
- It is important that you keep your doctor informed of how the
medicine is working for you.
- It may be useful to ask your doctor for help in completing a
chart on all of your medicines that includes the name of the
medication, what the medication is being taken for, when to take
it, what side effects to watch for, and whom to call if you should
have a problem.
Daily reminders are often helpful when scheduling your
medication doses. Try to time taking your medicine around
activities that you do daily such as setting your alarm clock,
brushing your teeth, eating your meals, going to work, or doing
other daily activities. Other ways to help yourself remember to
take your medicine could be:
- Set your watch alarm to go off when it's time to take your
- Place a reminder card in a visible place.
- Have a family member or a friend remind you.
- Use a medication box that will hold your entire day's supply of
medicine. This will let you know if you missed a dose of
If you have tried these tricks and still have trouble
remembering your medicine, talk to your doctor or pharmacist. It
may be possible to simplify your medication schedule or to put your
medicine in special containers called blister packs to help
The National Heart Lung and
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a
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