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February 2020

3 Ways to Stay On Track with Your Blood Pressure Medicine

There’s no denying it. Controlling high blood pressure is a commitment that won’t always feel easy. But it will always be worth the effort—lowering your risk for stroke, heart attack, heart failure, and kidney failure.

woman holding pill organizer

Prescription medicine is likely part of your treatment plan. The tried-and-true advice below can help you stay on track with taking it correctly. 

Fill prescriptions right away

Whether it’s your first one or an umpteenth refill, getting medicine right away is critical to improving and protecting your health. Once you’re taking a medicine, don’t skip it for even one day.

  • Find out if you can schedule one pickup date for all your refills or if some drugs are available in 90-day supplies through the mail.

  • Ask your pharmacist how to sign up for telephone or text messages that remind you to pick up a refill or renew your prescription.

Never stop taking medicine without consulting your healthcare provider. Wondering if you really need a certain drug? Having concerns about possible side effects or interactions with other prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, or foods? Talk with your provider or pharmacist. 

Take the correct dose

You shouldn’t take pills less frequently or break them in half to make a prescription last longer, even if you don’t have symptoms and feel well. Doing so lowers the dosage and may be dangerous.

  • Know what to do if you accidently miss a dose or take too much. Write this information down.

  • Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist about available generic brands and assistance plans. These options can help address concerns about being able to pay for your medicine. 

Follow a routine

Taking your medicine around the same time each day can help it become a habit so you’re less likely to forget. Bedtime and breakfast and dinner times can be good options, depending on the type of medicine and whether you should take it with food.

  • Consider buying a pill organizer with a built-in timer. Use it for every tablet you take. Pick a specific day and time to refill your case each week. Make a standing date with a friend or family member if you need help.

  • Use your smartphone’s alarm or download an app that allows you to set reminders. If you’re not sure what app to use, ask your provider or pharmacist for suggestions.

  • Plan ahead if you know your routine will change, such as when traveling across time zones. Ask for help creating a temporary schedule. Keep a hard copy of it handy and a picture of it on your smartphone.

If you take measures, like the ones above, and still have trouble with your treatment plan, work with your healthcare provider to make one that better meets your needs. Get a detailed copy of your updated plan in writing. You may also want to ask if you can record your conversation during that visit, so you can refer to it as needed while putting your plan in to action. Remember, taking your medicine correctly is a must-do for managing your high blood pressure.

Online Medical Reviewer: Brian McDonough, MD
Date Last Reviewed: 5/1/2019
© 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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