Tips for Managing Your Medications

When you were diagnosed with heart disease, you probably received a prescription for some new medications. Doing the following things will make it easier to manage your medications:

1. Make sure your doctor knows all the medications you were taking previously so that you can both feel confident you are getting the right prescription.

2. When you receive a prescription, make sure you find out from your doctor:

  • The name of the medication
  • Why it is being prescribed
  • When and how it should be taken
  • How long you will need to take it
  • What side effects you should expect to have
  • What you should do about the side effects

3. When you pick up your prescription, ask your pharmacist to:

  • describe the best way to take the medication
  • explain what is written on the labels
  • provide written information about the medication

4. Carry your medication list with you. Make sure the list includes:

  • All of your medications as well as any vitamins or supplements
  • Your allergies, immunizations, and pharmacy phone number

5. Review the list regularly with your doctor or pharmacist.

6. If you have trouble remembering to take your medications, try the following:

  • Take your medications at regular times each day
  • Associate your medications with daily activities like:
    • brushing your teeth
    • eating meals
    • going to bed
  • Use a pill organizer with different compartments for different times of the day
  • Keep a second bottle in your car or at the office
  • If your medications are too complicated, ask your doctor if something simpler can be prescribed
  • Put a note on your calendar to remind you to pick up your prescription refills

7. Take the medication as it is prescribed by your doctor:

  • If you have concerns about taking medications, discuss them openly and honestly with your doctor
  • Discuss troublesome side effects with your doctor-you may be able to take a different kind of medication

8. If you are worried about the cost of your medication, ask your doctor if a less expensive medication can be substituted, or check with the Ontario Trillium Program for possible assistance:

  • Phone: 1-800-575-5386