Remembering to Take Your Blood Pressure Medicine

Remembering to take your blood pressure medicine is a vital part of hypertension treatment. Not remembering to take your blood pressure medicine can increase the risk for stroke or kidney failure. Most people taking blood pressure medications need to stay on them for the rest of their lives, so it helps to implement tips that help you remember to take your blood pressure medicine.

Remembering to Take Your Blood Pressure Medicine: An Overview

Between 21 percent and 66 percent of people with high blood pressure stop taking their blood pressure medication for reasons such as:
  • Undesired side effects
  • Complexity of regimen
  • Misperception of the disease
  • Lack of motivation to comply.
This lack of compliance with prescribed high blood pressure treatments can have unwelcome effects, increasing the risk for a heart attack, stroke, or kidney failure (see Effects of High Blood Pressure).

Suggestions for Remembering to Take Your Blood Pressure Medicine

Because most people have to take high blood pressure medicine for the rest of their lives, it can be difficult to always remember. How does a person remember to take their medicine every day and at the same time every day? The following are some suggestions:
  • Put a favorite picture of yourself or a loved one on the refrigerator with a note that says, "Remember to Take Your Blood Pressure Medicine."
  • Keep your blood pressure medicine on the night stand next to your side of the bed.
  • Take your high blood pressure medicine right after you brush your teeth, and keep it with your toothbrush as a reminder.
  • Put "sticky" notes in visible places to remind yourself to take your high blood pressure medication (such as on the refrigerator, on the cabinet where you keep your favorite morning mug, on the bathroom mirror, or on the front door).
  • Ask a friend or relative to call your telephone answering machine to remind you to take your hypertension medication, and DO NOT erase the message.
  • If you use the telephone company's voice mail service, record a reminder for yourself and the service can automatically call you every day at the same time.
  • Establish a buddy system with a friend who also is on daily medication, and arrange to call each other every day with a reminder to "take your medicine."
  • Ask one or more of your children or grandchildren to call you every day with a quick reminder. It's a great way to stay in touch, and little ones love to help the grownups.
  • Place your blood pressure medication in a weekly pill box, available at most pharmacies.
  • If you have a personal computer, program a start-up reminder to take your high blood pressure pills, or sign up with one of the free services that will send you reminder e-mail every day.
  • Remember to refill your prescription. Each time you pick up a refill, make a note on your calendar to order and pick up the next refill one week before the medicine is due to run out.
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