If you are unsure about taking any over-the-counter medications, vitamins or herbal supplements, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
You may be taking new medications to treat your atrial fibrillation. Make sure your doctor knows all the medications and supplements that you were taking before, to be sure you are getting the right prescription.
When you receive your prescription, make sure you ask your doctor:
- The name of the medication
- Why it is being prescribed
- When and how to take it
- How long you will need to take it
- What side effects you should expect
- What to do about any side effects
Use the same pharmacy for all of your prescriptions. Your pharmacist can keep a complete and updated list of your medications and make sure that your medications can be safely taken together. When you pick up your prescription, ask your pharmacist:
- The best way to take the medication
- To explain what is written on the labels
- To provide written information about the medication
Make a list of your medications and carry it with you always. Make sure the list includes all of your medications, as well as any vitamins, supplements and herbals. Also list your allergies, your immunizations and your pharmacy phone number.
Review the list regularly with your doctor or pharmacist.
Take the medication as prescribed by your doctor. If you have concerns about taking medications, discuss them openly and honestly with your doctor.
Discuss troublesome side effects with your doctor. You may be able to take a different kind of medication.
If you have trouble remembering to take your medications, the following tips are “tried and true”:
- Take your medications at the same time each day.
- Associate your medications with daily activities like brushing your teeth, eating a meal or going to bed.
- Use a pill organizer (dosette box) with different compartments for different times of day, or ask your pharmacy whether they can organize your pills in blister packs.
- Keep a one-day supply of your medications in your handbag or at the office.
- If your medications are too complicated, ask your doctor if something simpler can be prescribed.
- Put a note on your calendar to remind you to pick up your prescription refills.
If you are worried about the cost of your medication, ask your doctor if a less expensive medication can be substituted, or check with the Ontario Trillium Program for possible assistance: