Pills in Hand

You've heard it before: Remember to take your medicine.

But as a CHF patient, do you know why it's so important? Taking your prescribed medications regularly and at the correct dose will:

  • Make you feel better.
  • Help you live longer.
  • Reduce the number of times you have to say in the hospital.

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Sticking to your medication plan is one of the best ways you can take care of yourself and manage your CHF. Stay on track with these helpful tips:

  • Take your medicine, even when you feel better. Even if you aren't experiencing symptoms, your medications can help your heart pump better.
  • Take your medicine at the right times. CHF medicines are designed to work with each other to improve your heart's ability to pump blood. Taking each one at the right time is essential to keeping you healthy.
  • Don't skip doses. Skipping a dose can affect your health, as well as how other medicines you are taking impact your body.
  • Call your doctor if you experience side effects. Some side effects are common but others can be extreme. Your doctor can help you manage these side effects or change medication if needed. Keep taking your medication until your doctor tells you not to.
  • Stay on top of refills. As soon as you notice your medicine supply dwindling, be sure to refill your prescription. If you don't have any refills left, contact your doctor at least a week in advance.
  • Keep a list of your medication names, strengths, doses and number of remaining refills handy. Don't forget to add any over-the-counter medicine you take, including vitamins and herbal supplements.
  • Use tools and resources to stick to a schedule, such as:
    • Set an alarm
    • Use automatic pill dispensers
    • Add to calendar (and set it to give you alerts)
    • Download apps on your mobile device
    • Get help from friends and family members
    • Use a pillbox

Have your medicines become too expensive? First, tell your doctor, who can share resources to help. Or visit the American Heart Association for a list of medicine assistance programs.

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