Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > Monitoring Your Medicines
You may wonder, "Why would I need to have tests to check on medicine that's meant to help me?" Your doctor may want you to have tests to be sure that the medicine isn't harming you and that you're getting the right dose. Sometimes the amount of medicine that helps you is very close to the amount that can cause harm to your body.
Monitoring your medicines helps you and your doctors to:
Your doctor will likely let you know when you need to have the tests. If you think a medicine you're on should be monitored but you're not sure how long it's been since your last test, talk to your doctor. He or she can let you know if and when you need to be checked.
It's important to know how to prepare for the test, such as knowing when you took the last dose of the medicine for which you are being tested. Ask your doctor for instructions about the timing of the test.
Tell your doctor about all the prescription and nonprescription medicines you are taking and any drugs (such as alcohol, marijuana, or cocaine) you are using. Sometimes these can interfere with testing.
These medicines lower blood pressure, treat heart failure, and help prevent heart attacks and strokes.
They may affect how well your kidneys are working and the level of potassium in your body.
At least once a year or as often as your doctor suggests
Angiotensin II receptor blockers
These medicines lower blood pressure and help treat heart failure.
These medicines help prevent or control seizures and help treat chronic pain.
It may take time and careful, controlled adjustments to find the right combination, schedule, and dose for you.
It helps control heart rate and helps make your heart beat stronger.
When you start taking this medicine,
you may need to have frequent
blood tests to monitor the level
of the medicine in your body.
If your kidneys aren't working properly, the medicine can build up to a dangerous level. Also, the level of potassium in your body may affect how the medicine works.
These medicines reduce the fluid in the body and lower blood pressure.
Other Works Consulted
Fischbach FT, Dunning MB III, eds. (2009).
Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests, 8th ed.
Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
November 5, 2012
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Theresa O'Young, PharmD - Clinical Pharmacy
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2014 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.