The importance of taking 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 several medicines for your heart failure, and that you need to take them at different times of the day. The following 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 – and don’t forget the prescription from your doctor.
- Order repeat prescriptions in plenty 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 Dosette 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 that you can buy without a prescription can also interact with your heart failure medicines. Make sure you check with your doctor/pharmacist before you start taking any other prescription or over-the-counter medicines.