Tips for remembering to take your medicines


Why you need to take them

It is important to take your medicines to ensure you have the best possible results from your treatment.

Tips and tools for remembering to take them

You may find that you have been prescribed a number of medicines for your heart failure, and that you need to take them at different times of the day. The followng tips and tools may help you to remember to take your medicines at the right time:

  • Make a wall chart with the names of your medicines, the dose, and the time of day you need to take them.
  • Buy a pillbox (also called a Dosette box) labelled with the days of the week and times of day. You can usually buy these from your pharmacy. Fill the box at the beginning of the week to help you keep track. Ask a family member or nurse to check the box so that you know you get it right.
  • Set an alarm to remind you if a medicine has to be taken at a particular time.
  • Make family and friends aware of your medication schedule so they can remind you.
  • Make a habit or routine out of taking your medicine to help you remember, e.g. just as you brush your teeth, eat breakfast or dinner.
  • Remember to take your medicines with you when you leave the house, then you can ensure you take them on time.
  • Pack enough medicines with you when you are away on holiday – and always put them in your hand luggage.
  • Reorder your prescriptions ahead of time to make sure that you never run out.
  • If you’re having problems organising your tablets, talk to your pharmacist or GP. Some pharmacists will provide blister packs with the tablets already sorted into daily doses.
  • If you’re housebound and having problems taking your tablets, your GP may be able to arrange for a nurse to visit who can sort out your tablets into a Dossette box. The nurses may be able to arrange to visit daily to help you take your tablets – although this service is usually only available if you can’t take your tablets any other way.

Other prescription and over the counter medicines

Some prescription medicines can interact with your tablets and cause side effects if you take them together. You need to remember that some medicines you can buy without prescription can also interact with your heart failure medicines. Be sure to check with your doctor/pharmacist before you start taking any other prescription or over the counter medicines.

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ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers. is a European Society of Cardiology website

The website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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