Taking medications isn't as simple as swallowing a pill.

Medicines can only help if you take them as prescribed. Take part in decisions regarding your treatment, follow the treatment plan you and your doctor agree on, watch for problems and become actively involved in solving them with your healthcare team.

By following these guidelines, you can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke and achieve the fullest benefits from your treatment plan.

Review the following questions with your healthcare team and take an active role in your health.

  • What is the name of the medicine?
  • Is this the brand or generic name?
  • What is the medicine supposed to do?
  • How and when do I take it, and for how long?
  • What foods, drinks, other medicines or activities should I avoid while taking this medicine?
  • What are the possible side effects?
  • What do I do if they occur?
  • Is there any written information available about the medicine?
  • What happens if I miss a dose of my medicine?
  • How often will I have to get the medication refilled?
  • How will I know that my medication is working?
  • What are the risks of taking this medication?
  • What are the risks of NOT taking this medication?
  • Are there less expensive medications for my condition?

This personal medication record can help you keep track of your medication schedule.