Regardless of which medications your doctor prescribes, it’s very important that you take your medications exactly as your doctor instructs you to. That means taking your medications safely: • Continue to take your medications unless your doctor tells you to stop. • Set a medication schedule, and stick to it. It’s helpful to take your medications at the same time every day so you’re less likely to forget. • Read medication labels carefully. The labels usually contain vital information, such as whether to take the medication with food or drink, whether to avoid any types of food or drink while on the medication (for example, people who take statins should avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice, which can interfere with how well the statin works), what the proper dosage is, and whether to avoid any activities while taking the medication. • Sort your medications into a pillbox. If you take medications as instructed at different times of the day, a pillbox with time-of-day compartments can be really helpful. Most drug stores carry pillboxes. • Set up a pill calendar or medication reminder. Many people find using an alarm on their watch or smartphone to be helpful, too. Ask your family or friends if they can help you remember. Apheresis Lifestyle changes and medications are nearly always part of the treatment plan for FH. But sometimes even they are not enough to help people with FH get their LDL cholesterol into a healthy range. For these people, a procedure called apheresis may be the next step. In apheresis, blood is extracted from the body and run through a machine that cleanses the excess LDL cholesterol through filtering and returns it to the patient. Whatever the treatment plan is, sticking to it is absolutely vital for a person with FH. Taking medication exactly as directed, keeping all health care appointments, and managing diet and exercise according to the plan are all important. What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor? It’s extremely important that you understand what your cholesterol profile is, what it means for your heart health, and what you need to do to bring your cholesterol levels into a healthy range. Asking your doctor the right questions can help. Some questions you may want to consider asking your doctor are in the downloadable tool on this page. 11 Questions to Ask Your Doctor It’s extremely important that you understand what your cholesterol profile is, what it means for your heart health, and what you need to do to bring your cholesterol levels into a healthy range. Asking your doctor the right questions can help. Here are some questions you may want to consider asking: • What are my cholesterol levels? • What type of FH do I have? • What is my risk for developing cardiovascular disease? • Do I need to be treated for anything other than cholesterol to help control my risk? • Can I lower my cholesterol levels enough by making changes to my diet and exercise habits? • How much exercise should I get when I start exercising more? • Are there any foods I should avoid or eat more of? • Do I need a medication? If so, which medication and why? • How long will it take to see improvement in my cholesterol levels? • What side effects should I be aware of? • Besides statins, what other medications are available for treating FH? • How often should I get my cholesterol levels checked? © 2016 ABC and StayWel . All rights reserved. A PATIENT RESOURCE GUIDE Living With Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH) P1161_ABC_Pfizer_Living with FH_GTG.indd 1 10/20/16 8:44 PM Questions to Ask Your Doctor Click here to download and print this helpful list of questions for your doctor.
P1161_ABC_Pfizer_Living with FH
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