In the short term, medication helps you feel better; long term, it can reduce the risk of future problems and help you stay engaged in life.
Today there’s a growing array of medications to treat high blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots and improve the strength and rhythm of the heart’s contractions. However, medications work best only when they are taken as intended. It’s important to take a drug in the dose and on the schedule that are prescribed. If it’s difficult for you to follow a prescription, talk to your doctor. He or she should be able to prescribe another medication with the same effects.
Dealing with Side Effects
Because medications for heart disease pass through other organs and systems in the body, they can have some unwanted effects. They can also interact with certain foods, vitamins or other drugs you may be taking. When your doctor prescribes a drug, ask about the most common potential side effects. Once you’re taking a drug, let him or her know if you have a reaction to that medication. Perhaps your doctor can suggest another medication with fewer side effects.
Sometimes it takes a few attempts before you find the drug regimen that works best for you. This is normal. Working together, you and your doctor will find the balance of the greatest benefit with the least risk to you.
Date Last Modified: January 21, 2011
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