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Fall 2011
Volume 7, Issue 2
Health Chronicle
heart failure
Managing Your Medications After a Hospital Visit
After being discharged from the hospital, you are more
vulnerable to complications, especially those involving
medications. Research indicates that almost two-thirds
of post-discharge complications involve medications.
Ask the Right Questions
Find out as much as possible about each medication
before taking it. Here are some questions you may
want to ask the doctors and nurses at the hospital,
your doctor and/or your pharmacist:
What is this medication for?
Should I avoid certain prescription and
over-the-counter medications or foods,
supplements and activities while taking this
What side efects might occur? What should I
do if I experience them? Can I do anything to
minimize or avoid them?
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Should I take this medication before, during
or after meals?
Make sure you understand the answers and write
them down, if necessary.
Make a List — and Check It Twice
It may help to make a list or chart of all your
medications. Share it with family members and
caregivers. Bring the document with you when you
visit your doctor, the pharmacy and the hospital. You
might include these items:
The medications’ names and amounts
Why you’re taking them
What time a day to take them
How to store them
If they should be taken before or after meals
How much you should take
How long to take them
How and under what conditions you should
stop taking them
A list of medications for common ailments,
such as headaches, that you can safely take at
the same time as your prescribed medications