Cardiac Rehab Questions for Your Healthcare Professional

Updated:Oct 13,2016

The American Heart Association encourages you to actively discuss all aspects of your treatment regimen — including diet changes, exercise and medicines — with your healthcare team. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists can help you avoid problems associated with taking too little or too much of your medication. They can also help you avoid dangerous interactions or side effects between other medications or foods in your diet. Ask your local hospitals if they participate in Get With The Guidelines, or if they are certified as a Primary Stroke Center* by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.

Your healthcare professionals will keep working with you to adjust your treatment plan if you have serious side effects. Below you'll find questions to ask your healthcare team to help you take an active part in your heart and stroke health. Print out these questions and take them to your next doctor's appointment.

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Taking medications isn't as simple as swallowing a pill. Medicines can only help if you take them as prescribed. Take part in decisions regarding your treatment, follow the treatment plan you and your doctor agree on, watch for problems and become actively involved in solving them with your healthcare team. By following these guidelines, you can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke and achieve the fullest benefits from your treatment plan. Review the following questions with your healthcare team and take an active role in your health.

  • What is the name of the medicine?
  • Is this the brand or generic name?
  • What is the medicine supposed to do?
  • How and when do I take it, and for how long?
  • What foods, drinks, other medicines or activities should I avoid while taking this medicine?
  • Is there any written information available about the medicine?
  • What happens if I miss a dose of my medicine?
  • How often will I have to get the medication refilled?
  • How will I know that my medication is working?
  • What are the risks of taking this medication?
  • What are the risks of NOT taking this medication?
  • Are there less expensive medications for my condition?

This content was last reviewed July 2015.