Taking many medications over the course of a day can be confusing. For medications to work they need to be taken at the right time and in the correct amount. Not taking your medicine or taking too much can be harmful; you might get sicker.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR MEDICATIONS
Understanding the benefits of your medications and why they are ordered to be taken at particular times can help you better remember to take them.
To better understand your medications ask your Healthcare Professional or Pharmacist the following questions:
- What is the medicine’s name and what is it for?
- When and how do I take this medicine?
- What are the possible side effects?
- When should I expect the medicine to start working?
- Will the medicine interact with any of my other medicines?
- Is it okay to take this medicine with my supplements (e.g., vitamins, omega-3, etc.)?
- What should my medicine look like?
- What do I do if I forget my dose?
- What will happen if I stop taking this medicine altogether?
- Besides time of day, is there anything else I should know about taking my meds (e.g., on a full stomach, with milk, etc.)?
- Are there foods I need to avoid when taking this medicine?
STROKE RELATED MEDICATIONS
Stroke-Related Medications—following is information about some of the common medications that are prescribed following a stroke.
|Drug Class||What They Do||Examples|
|Anticoagulants||Reduce the risk of blood clots and prevent existing blood clots from getting bigger by thinning the blood||Heparin ®, Pradaxa ®, Coumadin ®|
|Antiplatelets||Prevent platelets (blood cells) from sticking together||Plavix ®, Aggrenox ®, Persantine ®, Ticlid ®|
|Angiotensin II receptor antagonists||Block angiotensin II, a chemical that triggers muscle contraction around blood vessels, narrowing them. By inhibiting the chemical, blood vessels can enlarge and blood pressure is reduced.||Micardis ®, Cozaar ®, Hyzaar ®|
|GABA (gamma-Amino butyric acid) receptor antagonists||Inhibit the action of GABA, which inhibits neurotransmitters and regulates the nervous system.||Kemstro™, Gablofen ®, Lioresal ®|
|Miscellaneous central nervous system agents||Affect physiological and psychological processes in the central nervous system||Nuedexta™|
|Neurotoxins||Interact with proteins in nerves to relax muscles||Botox ®|
|Statins||Lower cholesterol by inhibiting the enzyme in the blood that produces cholesterol in the liver||Lipitor ®, Crestor ®, Zocor ®, Mevacor ®, Lescol ®|
|Thrombolytics||Break up blood clots||Activase ®|
TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR MEDICATIONS
One of the best ways to manage your medications is to use tools to help you remember to take them.
- Set reminders on your phone or an alarm to remind you when a dose is due.
- Use pill boxes to organize your medications by day and time of day.
- Make sure your family members and caregivers know and understand your medication needs.
- One of the best ways to manage your medications is stay organized with a medication tracker.
Download, print and personalize the Medication Tracker here: Medication-Tracker
Medication Assistance Programs, also known as patient assistant programs, can help you pay for medications that you have been prescribed.
MEDICATION ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
|Generic Name||Brand Name||Assistance Program||Class||Condition It Treats|
|Atorvastatin calcium||Lipitor ®||Pfizer||Statin||High cholesterol|
|Baclofen||Kemstro™, Gablofen ®, Lioresal ®||Medtronic Inc.(Contact information only)||GABA receptor antagonist||Spasticity|
|OnabotulinumtoxinA||Botox ®||Allergan||Neurotoxin||Upper limb spasticity and incontinence|
|IncobotulinumtoxinA||Xeomin®||Merz||Neurotoxin||Adult upper limb spasticity, cervical dystonia, blepharospasm|
|Dextromethorphan hydrobromide and quinidine sulfate||Nuedexta™||Avanir||Miscellaneous central nervous system agent||Pseudobulbar affect (PBA)|
|Dipryidamole||Persantine ®||Boehringer Ingelheim||Antiplatelet||Prevents blood clots|
|Aspirin/Extended-release dipyridamole||Aggrenox ®||Boehringer Ingelheim||Antiplatelet||Prevents blood clots|
|Clopidogrel bisulfate||Plavix ®||Bristol-Myers Squibb||Antiplatelet||Prevents blood clots|
|Dabigatran etexilate||Pradaxa ®||Boehringer Ingelheim||Anticoagulant||Atrial fibrillation (Afib)|
|Losartan potassium||Cozaar ®||Merck||Angiotensin II receptor antagonist||High blood pressure|
|Rosuvastatin calcium||Crestor ®||AstraZeneca||Statin||High cholesterol|
|Telmisartan||Micardis ®||Boehringer Ingelheim||Angiotensin II receptor antagonist||High blood pressure|
|Ticlopidine hydrochloride||Ticlid ®||Roche Laboratories||Antiplatelet||Prevents blood clots|
|Alteplase||Activase ®—Also known as tPA (tissue plasminogen activator)||Genentech||Thrombolytics||Breaks down blood clots|
|Warfarin||Coumadin ®, Jantoven ®, Marevan ®||Bristol-Myers Squibb||Anticoagulant||Prevents blood clots|
Article Source: stroke.org