Ways to manage multiple medications

A senior organizes medications into a pill box.

About 40% of patients with chronic heart failure have 5 or more other serious conditions,1 such as diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obesity and depression. This creates special challenges, such as making sure all medicines are taken at the right times.

5 tips to keep track of multiple medications

If your loved one takes more than 1 drug, you can help him or her develop a schedule. Here are 5 ideas:

  1. Match taking medications with his or her daily activities, such as brushing teeth, eating meals (keep drugs at the table), walking a pet or drinking the first cup of coffee or tea in the morning.
  2. If medications are taken several times a day, set up a daily/weekly pill box divided into morning, noon and night. This reminds your loved one if doses are missed.
  3. Set up alarms or sign up for daily text reminders. 2 options are visit Taking your medications as directed page and download the Humana Pharmacy® mobile app.
  4. Find a pill buddy to remind him or her to take medications—and your loved one can remind the buddy as well.
  5. Talk with the doctor about possibly switching drugs to fit your loved one’s daily schedule, using combination products or changing dosage forms (i.e., transdermal patch). Ask if any drugs are no longer needed.

Common medicines for heart failure

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors⁄angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs): Make it easier for the heart to pump, help the heart muscle work better and can lower blood pressure
  • Beta blockers: Block the body’s response to some substances that can damage the heart, help the heart muscle work better and can lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Statins: Block a step in the body’s production of cholesterol
  • Diuretics: Get rid of excess water in legs, feet and lungs if fluid buildup is a problem

Sources:

  1. Chim C. Lang and Donna M. Mancini, “Non-Cardiac Comorbidities in Chronic Heart Failure,” Heart 93, no. 6 (June 2007): 665–71, accessed January 28, 2019, doi: 10.1136/hrt.2005.068296 , opens new window.