Let me lead with the moral of the story. It’s important to follow prescriptions carefully. And if you have concerns about a drug you’re taking, talk with your doctor before quitting the drug or making changes.
That is message we should take away from the following study:
For heart attack survivors, it really is important to follow doctor’s orders: A Canadian study shows you may be less likely to die if you continue taking the drug he prescribes.
The study of 31,455 heart attack survivors found 24% of the patients worst about continuing their medicine died over the course of the study, compared to 16% of those best at taking their medication.
The patients, who were 66 and older, were followed for 2.4 years, on average, after their heart attack.
They had prescriptions for at least one of the following types of heart drugs: statins, beta-blockers, or calcium channel blockers.
Researchers, including the University of Toronto’s David Alter, MD, PhD, FRCPC, studied how long the patients continued refilling their prescriptions. Their report appears in The Journal of the American Medical Association.
The highest death rate occurred in the patients with the lowest drug adherence.
Those patients took their drugs for less than 40% of the days studied. Nearly a quarter of them — 24% — died during the course of the study.
Moral of the story? It’s important to follow prescriptions carefully. And if you have concerns about a drug you’re taking, talk with your doctor before quitting the drug or making changes.