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Medicine checklist

  • Having to take regular medicines may be new for you. You may need to get into new habits or schedules for taking your pills at the same time each day.

    Here are guidelines to follow when taking medicines:


    Call your doctor if you have severe or unusual reactions to your medicine(s).

    • Learn the generic and brand names of your medicines. For instance, warfarin is the generic name and Coumadin┬« is the brand name.
    • Learn why you are taking your medicines. Always keep a list of your medicines handy.
    • Know when to take your medicines. Take them as directed at the same time each day. If you have any questions, ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
    • Take the amount your doctor told you. Do not take larger or smaller doses or replace medicines without asking your doctor or pharmacist.
    • If your medicine is prescribed for a certain number of days, take all of the medicine as directed.
    • If you forget, take your medicine as soon as you remember. Do not try to "catch up" by taking two or three doses at one time. If you miss more than two doses, call your doctor or pharmacist.
    • Some foods may affect your stroke medicines. Carefully review the medicine information sheet you receive from your pharmacist.
    • Keep your scheduled doctor's visits. Ask any questions you have about your medicines. Write down your questions before your visit.
    • Call your pharmacy at least 1 week before your prescription runs out.
    • Do not let anyone else take your medicines.
    • Always read the labels before taking medicines.
    • Always keep the medicines in their original bottles or in a medicine organizer.
    • Keep the medicines in a cool dry place. Do not keep them in the refrigerator unless you are told to. Keep them away from places with lots of humidity or heat. This includes the bathroom medicine cabinet or window ledge above the kitchen sink.
    • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before using over-the-counter medicines. These include antacids and herbal medicines. They may affect your stroke medicines.

    Medicine tips

    Bring all of your medicines or a list of them to your doctor visits or to the hospital. This includes:

    • eye drops
    • inhalers
    • over-the-counter
    • medicines
    • vitamins
    • herbals or natural medicines
    • ointments
    • patches.

    Always show the medicines or list to your doctor, surgeon, nurse, dentist or anesthesiologist (if you are having surgery). It is a good idea to always carry a current list in your wallet or purse.

  • Source: Allina Health Patient Education, Understanding Stroke: Information about Stroke and Recovery, fourth edition, ISBN 1-931876-13-4
    Reviewed by: Allina Health Patient Education experts
    First published: 02/01/2006
    Last reviewed: 12/09/2011