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Tips For Living With Hypertension

Tips to Help You Remember to Take Your Blood Pressure Drugs

  • Take your drugs at the same time every day. Try to link it with something else that you do regularly, like brushing your teeth. If your doctor told you to take your pills with food, try taking them at the same time as you have your meal every day.
  • Write it down. Put a reminder note on the refrigerator, by the phone, on the medicine cabinet, or even on the bathroom mirror. Try changing the message frequently, using different colors to get your attention, or moving the notes to a different spot.
  • Try keeping a chart or calendar to write down when you take your drugs. Keep this calendar posted so you can quickly see if you’ve taken your drugs. Use colored pens to help you keep track of more than one type of medication.
  • Try using a special pillbox that helps keep your pills organized. You can buy these containers at most drugstores or pharmacies.
  • Ask for help. Family or friends can be a great support system. Put together a team. If you have friends who also take medication, help remind each other.
  • Put a favorite picture of yourself or a loved one on the refrigerator with a note that says, "Remember to Take Your High Blood Pressure Medicine."
  • Take your high blood pressure drugs right after you brush your teeth and keep them with your toothbrush as a reminder.
  • Ask a friend or relative to call your telephone answering machine to remind you to take your high blood pressure drugs and DO NOT erase the message.
  • If you use the telephone company's voice mail service, record a reminder for yourself and the service can automatically call you every day at the same time.
  • Establish a buddy system with a friend who also is on daily medication and arrange to call each other every day with a reminder to "take your medicine."
  • Ask one or more of your children or grandchildren to call you every day with a quick reminder. It's a great way to stay in touch and little ones love to help the grown-ups.
  • If you have a personal computer, program a start-up reminder to take your high blood pressure drugs or sign up with one of the free services that will send you reminder email every day.
  • Remember to refill your prescription. Each time you pick up a refill, make a note on your calendar to order and pick up the next refill one week before the medicine is due to run out.

Questions To Ask Your Doctor If You Have High Blood Pressure

  • What is my blood pressure reading in numbers? (Ask your healthcare provider to write it down for you.) Doctor
  • What is my goal blood pressure?
  • Is my blood pressure under adequate control?
  • Is my systolic pressure too high (over 140)?
  • What would be a healthy weight for me?
  • Is there a diet to help me lose weight (if I need to) and lower my blood pressure?
  • Is there a recommended healthy eating plan I should follow to help lower my blood pressure (if I don't need to lose weight)?
  • Is it safe for me to start doing regular physical activity?
  • What is the name of my blood pressure medication? Is that the brand name or the generic name?
  • What are the possible side effects of my medication? (Be sure the doctor knows about any allergies you have and any other medications you are taking, including over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and dietary supplements.)
  • What time of day should I take my blood pressure medicine?
  • Should I take it with food?
  • Are there any foods, beverages or dietary supplements I should avoid when taking this medicine?
  • What should I do if I forget to take my blood pressure medicine at the recommended time? Should I take it as soon as I remember or should I wait until the next dosage is due?

If you have high blood pressure, it is important that you:

  • Keep track of your blood pressure. Learn to take your own blood pressure at home or have it regularly checked by a health care professional. Write it down each time (with date).
  • Talk to your health care provider about the names and dosages of your blood pressure medicines and how to take them.
  • If you think you're having other problems (side effects) from taking your medicine, talk to your doctor. Another medicine may be better for you, or the problem may not be related to the medicine.
  • Refill your blood pressure medicines before they run out.
  • Take your blood pressure medicines exactly as directed.
  • Keep your followup appointments with your health care provider.
  • Choose healthier habits--for example, eat a heart healthy diet, exercise regularly, and don't smoke.
  • Ask your doctor or health care provider questions about your treatment and what you need to do to take care of yourself and lower your high blood pressure.

Remember, high blood pressure has no symptoms. If you have it, you cannot tell by the way you feel when your blood pressure level is high.


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This information is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice