Tips for Being a Better Patient

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You can improve your chances of recovery after a stroke by being a good patient. That means staying vigilant and organized with any prescription medications. Here are a few tips:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist to make a “medication map.” This will organize your medications into a daily schedule, help ensure you take them at the best times, check for any drug interactions and separate any medicines that shouldn’t be taken together.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if they offer “brown-bag sessions,” where you bring all your current medications in a bag. Your doctor or pharmacist can review them for dosage, strength, appropriateness, interactions and expiration dates.

Use caution and common sense with your medications. Never order medication over the Internet without a prescription, and don’t automatically trust information you get from the Internet. Never take prescription drugs on the advice of friends or neighbors.

Use a dosing calendar so you can check off each dose as you take it. When refilling a prescription, verify that the drug in the bottle is the same as the drug in your original supply. If it’s different, ask your pharmacist to explain the difference. (Generic drugs from different manufacturers often vary in size, shape, color, etc.) If you take medicines prescribed by more than one doctor, check the generic names for duplicate drugs with different brand names. This could cause serious overdoses. It also helps to fill all of your prescriptions at the same pharmacy.

Always ask that the prescription include both the name of the drug and the disorder. Keep follow-up appointments, and always double-check your order before you leave the pharmacy.

Get Happy

Happy the App is a platform with trained compassionate listeners who can offer support and encouragement to you, 24/7. For each caller referred by the American Heart Association through May 31, 2021, Happy will donate a free first-time call valued at $24 to the American Heart Association’s Support Network, for a minimum donation of $50,000.

Life after stroke - our path forward

There is life – and hope – after stroke. With time, new routines will become second nature. Rehabilitation can build your strength, capability and confidence. It can help you continue your daily activities despite the effects of your stroke.

View the Life After Stroke Guide for Patients and Caregivers.

The Life After Stroke Guide is also available in Spanish. View the Guía De La Vida Tras Un Ataque Cerebral.