What can I do if I have side effects from my heart disease medicines?

Keep in mind that not everything you feel is related to the medicines you take. Talk with your doctor about what side effects you might have from your medicines. Ask what you should do if you notice these side effects. Be sure you understand which are serious, which you need to report, and which you simply need to keep track of. If you have any doubts about any symptoms, call your doctor or your pharmacist right away. If you're bothered by side effects, your doctor can often help by making changes in the following areas.

The dose of medicine you take. Sometimes reducing the dose can stop or minimize side effects. Or your doctor may lower the dose temporarily to see if this gets rid of the unwanted side effects. If it does, then your doctor may try to gradually raise your dose again. Your doctor may also try lowering your dose and combining your medicine with a low dose of another medicine. This may help to reduce side effects. And, it may do so without lessening how well your medicines work. The goal will be to get you to the best dose for your condition, while minimizing any side effects.

When you take your medicine. You may be able to reduce the impact of some side effects by taking your medicine at a different time of the day or night. Ask your pharmacist about this.

How you take your medicine. Taking your medicine in smaller doses several times a day rather than in one larger dose may be an option. But never make this kind of change without talking with your doctor first. Ask your pharmacist if eating a meal or drinking water with your medicine would help.

The type of medicine. A different medicine may be able to do the same thing with fewer or less severe side effects.

Remember, though: Don't make any changes on your own. Always talk with your doctor before you make any changes in how you take medicines. Making changes on your own can be dangerous, even life threatening.

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