When you have hypertension and are taking daily medication, you might wonder what will happen if you skip a day. You might also wonder if you will have to take medication for the rest of your life. Here are some reasons that it is important to take your medication every day when you have high blood pressure.
How You Should Take Your Medication
When you are prescribed medication for high blood pressure, it is best to take it at the same time every day. It should become a habit that’s as much a part of your routine as brushing your teeth.
Partner with your healthcare provider and be sure to inform them of any other medications you may be taking. You should also tell your doctor about over-the-counter (OTC) medications you take. Some OTC medications, such as decongestants, can affect your blood pressure and may interfere with your prescribed medication.
If You Miss a Day
About half of patients don’t follow their doctor’s instructions. Even if you have missed medication in the past without consequences, it’s still important to take your blood pressure medication every day.
Missing a day of medication can increase your risk of having a heart attack. You could also experience a stroke, kidney, or other problems. If you miss a day, call your doctor and ask them how you should proceed.
What Happens If You Stop Your Medication Abruptly?
You may think you can stop taking your medication if your blood pressure returns to the normal range. Your blood pressure medication is meant to bring your blood pressure into a normal range, so this is a sign that it’s working.
If you stop taking your medication abruptly, your blood pressure will rise again. Your increased blood pressure puts you at risk for heart attacks, strokes, and other complications related to hypertension.
If you’re experiencing unpleasant side effects as a result of your medication, tell your doctor. You may be able to take a different medication that will manage your blood pressure without the side effects. Don’t let side effects deter you from keeping yourself safe and healthy.
Tips to Remember Your Medication
If taking your medication becomes a part of your routine you are less likely to forget. Until it’s a habit, however, it may be helpful to set reminders on your phone. You can also get a spouse, coworker, or friend to be an accountability partner. Your accountability partner should be someone you see every day and who will be responsible enough to ask you if you took your medication.
You can also try keeping a calendar that requires to check off each day that you’ve taken your medication. Pillboxes that are labeled for days of the week work well too. Keep your calendar or your pillbox in a place that you look every day.
Managing high blood pressure is a life-long journey. You may not always be on medication, but there is also a chance that you will be. Your best bet to remain healthy is to eat well, take care of yourself, and continue to take your medication as your doctor recommends.