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The Health Chronicle newsletter is part of HAP’s overall program to help members improve their health by ofering practical suggestions for living with chronic conditions. To provide suggestions on improving our programs, e-mail us at HAPsHealthTrack@hap.org or call HAP’s HealthTrack Program toll-free at (800) 288-2902. The information in this publication does not change or replace the information in your HAP Subscriber Contract, Group Health Insurance Policy, Riders or Handbooks and does not necessarily refect the policies or opinions of HAP, its ofcers or board of directors. The information is for general educational purposes and is not a substitution for the advice of your doctor. You should consult your HAP personal care physician for your health care needs. HAP does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, religion, sex or mental or physical disability in its employment practices or in the provision of health care services.
Know the Risks of Your Heart Medicines
Medicines are meant to help you. But it’s wise to watch for side efects you might have from your coronary artery disease (CAD) medicine. Some to watch for:
●● Prescription anticlotting medicines can help prevent heart attacks. Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefts.
●● ACE inhibitors treat high blood pressure. Be aware that some blood pressure medication may cause dizziness.
Tell your doctor about possible side efects from your medicine. But don’t stop taking a medication without your doctor’s OK.
If you have other health conditions in addition to CAD, it’s likely that you will need to take a combination of medications. So it pays to be aware of which combinations can cause a dangerous mix. Discuss other health conditions and the medications you take with your doctor to prevent problems.
It’s always a good idea to read the labels on your medicine. Also use one pharmacy for all your prescriptions. These steps can also help you avoid dangerous interactions.
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Pharmacists with HAP’s HealthTrack program review the medicines you take to help you avoid problems. But whenever you have a question about a prescription, call your doctor or a Nurse Health Coach at (800) 288-2902.
Take Caution with Over-the-Counter Medications
The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that half of all potential medication interactions involve over-the-counter medicine. Some that can afect prescriptions for heart conditions include:
●● Saint-John’s wort
●● Vitamin E
Even combining two over-the-counter medicines can lead to problems. Ginkgo biloba and aspirin taken together can raise the risk of bleeding.
Prevent interactions by letting your doctor know all the medicines – prescription and over-the-counter – that you take.