Heart disease medication safety

Take your medications as directed

If you are on medications for high blood pressure or high cholesterol, it is important to take them as directed, even though you may not have symptoms. 

Some over-the-counter medications may increase blood pressure or interfere with your prescription medications, so check with your doctor or pharmacist to learn which medications are safe to take.

Tips to help ensure safe medication use

  • Take medications according to the instructions on the label.
  • Make your doctor and pharmacist aware of all prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, herbals, and other dietary supplements you take so dangerous interactions can be avoided.
  • Medications have expiration dates. Don’t take something that’s expired.
  • Your pharmacist can tell you how to dispose of expired or unused medications.
  • If you’re not clear on how to use your medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Types of heart disease

The most common type of heart disease is called coronary artery disease. This is when the vessels that supply blood to the heart are narrowed or blocked and can lead to heart attacks.  Other kinds of heart disease affect the heart valves or the heart’s ability to pump blood, as in congestive heart failure.

Reduce your risk of heart disease

Many people don’t realize they have heart disease or risk factors for developing heart disease. 

You can help reduce your risk of heart disease by

  • Controlling your blood pressure
  • Lowering your cholesterol
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Getting enough exercise
  • Eating a low fat diet
Last reviewed: 
June 2017

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