Medication Tips

If lifestyle changes alone are not enough to normalize your blood pressure, your healthcare provider may recommend medication to help control your hypertension. It’s important to follow your provider’s instructions exactly when taking these or any medications.

Tips about medications and their use include:

  • Do not skip doses. If you miss a dose of your medication, call your provider. Do not take an extra dose to make up for the missed dose.
  • Even if you feel well, do not stop taking your medication unless ordered by your provider. Make an appointment to see your provider to discuss prescription continuation.
  • Keep all medications in the original container, or if you use a pill case, hold onto the original prescription labels.
  • Before you leave your provider’s office, make sure you understand what each medication is for, what it looks like, and what side effects you can expect.
  • Ask your provider or pharmacist if there are any special instructions when taking a particular medication, for example to take it with food or on an empty stomach. Most pharmacies will include a leaflet or print the instructions on the label.
  • Take all medications with you when you go to an appointment with your provider. Keep a list of all your medications with dosage schedules and times of administration in your wallet or purse.
  • Do not run out of your medications. Order medication refills well in advance.
  • Take your medications at the same time every day. Try to get into a routine that makes it easy to remember when to take your medicine. It may be helpful to use a special medication dispenser to keep track.
  • Never take a medication that has been prescribed for someone else, and never share your medication with anyone else.
  • If you have any side effects, call your provider right away. Make a note of what happened, when it occurred, and how severe it was.
  • Do not take over-the-counter medications unless you check with your provider first.
  • Do not take herbal or “natural” medications unless you check with your provider.
  • Be sure that your provider, pharmacist, and dentist know about any other medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications, vitamins, supplements, and herbal products.
  • Be sure that your provider knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, if you have any health problems or conditions, and/or if you are allergic to anything.
  • Don’t hesitate to contact your provider if you experience chest pain, difficulty breathing, fainting, severe weakness, or severe sweating. If you cannot contact your healthcare provider, call 911, and
  • Always check your medication labels for expiration dates. Most prescriptions lose their potency after a period of time. Safely discard any unused drugs after their expiration date.