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Hypertension Tidbits


1. Know your medications

While it may be hard to pronounce, let alone remember long, complicated medication names, it is important that you have instant access to your medication list and know what each drug is for. You never know when you may end up in an emergency room and your doctor may not be available when you need him. Even an overnight stay in the hospital for observation after a fender bender can put you in a predicament if your doctor has no clue what medications you take. Pharmacies typically close late at night, your doctor, even if available, probably will not remember all of your medications if called, and if you get your prescription medications thru the mail, you can pretty much forget reaching a live person at 10 pm on a Sunday night.

There are easy solutions. For instance, jot down your medication names, both generic and brand names, and keep the list in your wallet. Note what each drug is for, the strength, and how often you take it. Also write down which doctor prescribes it. You can also use one of many apps to keep an updated medication list.

Take your medication on time

If your doctor has prescribed blood pressure medication, take it as prescribed, around the same time each day. If you are to take a pill once daily, it is assumed that that time will not vary significantly. Of course, the time may fluctuate slightly from day to day, but the variation should be minimal. Do not take it in the mornings sometimes, mid-afternoon on other days and just before bedtime At other times. This wide fluctuation not only leaves significant gaps of time when your blood pressure can rise sharply as a result of the drug essentially being metabolized out of your system, it can also cause a significant drop in blood pressure if the interval between doses is too short, such as if you take a pill late one night and then again first thing the next morning. The goal is consistency. Keeping the pressure within your blood vessels in a safe range throughout the day can decrease the potential for organ damage that may result from wide fluxes in blood pressure levels.

If you mistakenly miss a pill, your pharmacist can tell you when you should take your next dose. Never just double up on pills on your own.

Get all of your medications filled at the same pharmacy

Tempting as it may be, resist the urge to use multiple pharmacies for convenience. If one doctor prescribes a medication for you, it is always safer to go that extra mile to drive to the pharmacy where you get medications from your other doctors. However, if you only take 1 or 2 medications and you can tell the pharmacist what they are, you may be safe getting your new prescription there on a one-time basis. Remember, however, that some medications have the potential to cause side effects that come to light long after you stop taking the medication. In addition, the potential for drug interactions must be considered, so it is always best to get all medications filled at the same place.

Get your medication refilled on time<\b>

Never risk running out of your blood pressure medications. Many a stroke and heart attack have occurred when people put off refilling their medication.
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Content copyright © 2014 by Maria Hester, MD. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Maria Hester, MD. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Maria Hester, MD for details.

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