If you have heart disease, you know it’s important to take your heart disease medications properly. But what exactly does that mean? Here are some tips from Hired Hands Homecare, a professional Marin County, CA home care agency, that will help you get the most from your medications:
- Know what medications you’re taking. Learn their generic and brand names and make sure you understand what each one does. Read the patient leaflet so you’re aware of possible side effects.
- Take your medications at the same time every day. When you partner with Hired Hands Homecare, your home care companion can remind you when it’s time to take your doses. Don’t stop or change any medication without speaking to your doctor first.
- Make a list of all your medications. Include the daily dosage of each one. Keep a copy at home and one in your purse or wallet.
- If you’re having a hard time paying for your medications, ask your doctor for advice. Don’t skimp on dosages to try to save money. Doing so could harm your health.
- Check with your doctor before taking over-the-counter medicines or herbal remedies. Some could worsen 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 have trouble getting to the pharmacy, a home care companion can assist you in picking up the medication.
- Take your medications with you when you travel and continue to take them on 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 make you cough. If you’re coughing too much and can’t sleep or perform your daily activities, call your doctor.
- If you take diuretics (often called water pills), you’ll probably have to visit the bathroom more often. If you’re told to take one dose of a diuretic daily, take it in the morning. If you take two doses, be sure to take the second one by late afternoon to avoid extra trips to the bathroom overnight.
- Be alert for signs of dehydration when taking diuretics. These include extreme thirst, dry mouth, dark-colored urine or reduced urine output, constipation and dizziness. If any of these symptoms occur, consult your doctor before making any changes in medication or fluid intake.
Professional home care companions from Hired Hands Homecare can make life with heart disease easier to manage. They can assist you with daily activities, prepare healthy meals, offer medication reminders and take you to doctors’ appointments and the pharmacy. Call 866-940-4343 to learn more about our home care services in Napa, Sonoma and Marin counties and the Tri-Valley.