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What You Should Know


Your doctor has prescribed medication to help treat your condition.  These medications will help you only if you take them correctly.  Here's how:


Filling Your Prescription

  • Have your prescription filled at the pharmacy you  normally use. This way, the pharmacist can keep a     complete record of your medications. Tell him if you're allergic to any medications.
  • If you need to refill your prescription, don't wait until the last minute. Refill it before you run out of medicine.

Taking Your Medication

  • Take your medication in a well-lit room. Double-check the label to make sure you're taking the right medication. If you don't understand the directions, call your pharmacist or doctor.
  • If you forget to take your medication, call your doctor or pharmacist for directions. Do not take two or more doses together.

Storing Your Medications

  • Keep your medication in its original container.
  • Store your medication in a cool, dry place or as directed by your pharmacist. Don't keep it in the bathroom medicine chest or in the kitchen near the stove. Heat and humidity may cause it to lose its effectiveness.
  • If you have children, make sure your medication containers have childproof caps. Always keep the containers out of reach of children. Do not reuse medication bottles for storing other medications.

Avoiding Problems

  • Keep the following information about each of your medications on index cards or on a chart: the drug's name, its purpose, its appearance, how to take it, when to take it, how much to take and special precautions or side effects. Remember, most medications cause some side effects.
  • If you have any questions about symptoms you are experiencing while taking your medication, call your doctor right away.


  • Make sure to remind your doctor and pharmacist about any other medications you take regularly (this includes over-the-counter or prescription medications, herbal medications and birth control pills).
  • Never take medication that doesn't look right or has passed the expiration date. The medication may not work or may harm you.
  • Don't take over-the-counter medications while you're on prescription medication without first checking with your pharmacist. Another medication can change the way your prescription works.
  • Alcoholic beverages and some foods can change the way some medication works. Read the medication label. It may tell you what to avoid. If you are uncertain, ask your pharmacist.
  • Your medication has been prescribed just for you. Don't share it with family or friends. They could be hurt by it.
  • If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before taking any medication or home remedy. Some medications may be harmful to the baby.
 Related Information
 Common Cardiac Medications
 Blood Thinning Medications
 When to Call Your Doctor
Heart Failure Program 
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Nutrition & Weight Loss Links 
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Stop Smoking Links