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Med Watch – Heart Medications


When you take medications for heart conditions – such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, clogged arteries or stroke prevention – it’s important to know their purpose and how they interact. A pharmacist is an important part of your healthcare team, and a great resource about medications. In this article, prepared by the pharmacists at La Porte Hospital, you can learn about heart disease medications. This is informational only; please be sure to follow your doctor’s orders with all your medications, and don’t make changes until you speak with your healthcare provider.

Blood Pressure
Maintaining compliance with prescribed medications, at-home blood pressure monitoring, and journal keeping are all healthy habits of stroke and heart disease prevention. Blood pressure medications are well tolerated overall but may cause frequent urination, dizziness, and fatigue. It is important to maintain balance when standing from a chair or sitting upright and getting out of bed to prevent falls. Over time, as our bodies get accustomed to the medication, side effects should diminish. Your doctor or nurse practitioner may prescribe more than one drug class to treat blood pressure. There are several, affordable options for blood pressure medications that can cost as low as $4 per month. At-home testing and journaling of blood pressure readings can help assure the medications are working as intended. You can find at-home blood pressure machines at most pharmacies and the pharmacist staff can show you how to use them.

Get Moving!
Exercising is affordable and easy at The Crossing of La Porte Hospital! A full gym with friendly wellness specialists awaits you, and group exercise classes including Zumba, Yoga, and Strength Training are available. For $5, individuals can sample a full week of unlimited classes before becoming a member. A Wellness & Rehab membership is $30 a month and includes the use of all exercise equipment at any of the five Wellness & Rehab locations in La Porte, Knox, New Carlisle and Michigan City, warm water pools in La Porte and Michigan City, and access to unlimited classes. Those interested in chair yoga only can join for $10 a month. Membership also includes access to wellness specialists who can provide blood pressure checks, health screenings, health coaching, massage, reflexology, healing touch, nutrition education, diabetes prevention, and tobacco cessation (fees may apply). A one-time $25 orientation fee includes equipment orientation, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar screenings, resting heart rate, height, and weight measurements. For more information, call (855) 214-3681.

Cholesterol
In many cases it is possible to manage cholesterol with a healthy diet and exercise. When that isn’t possible, medications may be needed. Cholesterol medications target the bad cholesterol in our bodies, also known as LDL. The most commonly prescribed drugs aimed at lowering LDL are statins. They are believed to be most effective if taken at bedtime, and you should discontinue and call your doctor right away if you experience muscle pain in your legs or extremities. A monthly supply of medication in this class can also be purchased as low as $4 depending on the medication and pharmacy.

Diet & Exercise
Don’t forget diet and exercise! Lifestyle changes like a heart healthy diet and routine exercise can greatly decrease stroke risk and help you control your blood pressure. In fact, research shows that you can even reverse the effects of heart disease, diabetes and stroke with proper prevention techniques in your life. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to prevent heart disease and stroke. Eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, nuts, and cooking with olive oil can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol while keeping vessels healthy.

 

La Porte Hospital
1007 Lincolnway
La Porte, IN 46350
(219) 326-1234
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