Cardiac Medications

















Introduction

Your doctor may prescribe medicine for you to take at home to help your heart continue to heal and function efficiently. The medication is carefully chosen to meet your needs. There are points you need to remember about taking medication.

Know the name of your medicine and how you are to take it (i.e.: on an empty stomach, with food, times, frequency, how long will you be taking, etc).

Know what to do if you forget a dose of the drug. Know why you are taking the medicine, what it is supposed to do for you. Know possible problems that can be caused by the drug (side effects).

Know what to do if they occur.

Some drugs available in drug stores have warning attached against use by cardiac patients. When looking for cold or cough preparations or other medications not prescribed by your doctor, read labels carefully for warnings and avoid taking them.

  1. Never use medications prescribed for someone else or allow others to use your medications.

  2. It is dangerous to mix drugs or to try to prescribe medication for yourself.

  3. Consult your doctor before making any changes in your medication plan. Do not stop taking your medication without instructions from your doctor.

  4. Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have any questions about your medications.

Most cardiac medications have two names, which causes some confusion. There are brand names, which may be given to the same medication by several different companies. In addition, there is the generic name, which is the same name for the same medication manufactured by different companies. Pharmacies are permitted and expected to substitute less expensive generic medications for brand name medications unless otherwise specified by the physician. The active ingredients in these medications are generally the same, although other constituents may vary. In the following discussion, brand names will be listed in brackets.

It is the patients' responsibility to know the names and doses of his/her medications or to carry a list of medications with him/her.

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  Version 2.0, July 2004
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