It’s important to know the truth about your treatment when it comes to heart failure. Below, we set the record straight on some of the biggest myths when it comes to heart failure meds.
Myth 1: “I can stop taking my pills as soon as I feel better.”
People with heart failure need to take their meds for life. These pills can improve heart health, even normalizing ejection fraction. They lessen symptoms, improve quality of life, and slow the progression of heart failure. If you feel well, that means they’re working.
Myth 2: “The dose I’m on now is the dose I will be on forever.”
Heart failure meds will need to be adjusted regularly. Your doctor may need you to add in a new med or trade one for another. Or, you may need to slowly increase your dose. Expect to see changes to your treatment plan over time.
Myth 3: “One med should be enough to help.”
It’s common for people with heart failure to take eight or more different meds to treat all of their conditions. Each type of heart failure med your doctor will put you on works differently to improve heart health. The meds work together to decrease symptoms and cut back on how hard your heart has to work.
Myth 4: “It’s okay to miss a dose.”
Don’t skip meds, whether on purpose or by accident. Missed meds is one of the top reasons that people with heart failure wind up in the hospital. Stay organized to avoid making this mistake. And talk to your doctor about what to do if it happens. Being prepared with specific instructions will help limit the risk.
Myth 5: “If I’m taking meds for heart failure, I don’t have to worry about eating right.”
Meds are just one part of your treatment when you have heart failure. Lifestyle changes are also important. In addition to meds, eating heart-healthy low-sodium foods, exercise, and other healthy habits go a long way to help your health.
Myth 6: “I can take any over-the-counter meds if I have heart failure.”
Even drugs like pain relievers and cold meds can give you problems if you have heart failure. Before trying anything new, talk with your doctor about what meds are safe for you.