Howard LeWine, M.D.

Taking blood pressure pills at bedtime may prevent more heart attacks, strokes

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.”

That oft-quoted passage doesn’t apply just to rending and sewing, weeping and laughing, or gathering stones together. Your body has its own set of “seasons,” many of them following the turn of a complete day. Taking some medications at specific times of the day can help them work better. A new study suggests that blood pressure drugs taken at night might improve blood pressure and prevent more heart attacks and strokes than taking the same medications during the day.

Spanish researchers tested the timing of blood pressure medicines in a 661 men and women with mild kidney disease, all of them taking one or more blood pressure medicines. Half were asked to take all of their blood pressure pills in the morning. The others took at least one of their pills before going to bed.

After an average of 5½ years, study participants who took at least one blood pressure medicine at night had better blood pressure control. They also were about one-third as likely to have a heart attack or stroke or to develop heart failure, as those who took morning pills. The results were published online today by the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

In most people, blood pressure begins to rise just before getting out of bed in the morning, and reaches its peak around mid-day. It falls during sleep, reaching its lowest point of day between midnight and 3:00 or 4:00 am. This drop is sometimes called “dipping.” But people with high blood pressure often have little or no decrease in their blood pressure at night. One possible reason for this is blood pressure medicines taken around breakfast time have worn off.

Based on this and other studies, it’s time to reconsider the best timing for blood pressure medicines.

In deciding when to take your blood pressure pills, the most important thing is to pick a time that ensures you will take your medicine every day.

If you take only one pill, ask your doctor whether taking it at night might be better for you. If you take more than one drug, then taking at least one of them at night before bed makes sense.

Don’t start doing this on your own. There might be specific reasons why your doctor prefers you take your medicine in the morning. For example, older people need to be careful about taking blood pressure pills at night. Standing up too quickly in the middle of the night can lead to a sudden blood pressure drop and a fall.

Comments:

  1. Elaine

    This is interesting and informative. I’ve wondered why more doctors don’t advise their patients on the best way and time to take medications when first prescribing them.

  2. bed bug removal los angeles

    The post is very helpful to know about the good steps for the conservation of the environment. It guides everyone in reaching the perfect types of things for everyone to prove it. It helps others in knowing about the good things in a proper manner.

  3. Heather Smith

    Taking medications before sleeping is really convenient and a good practice may better control hypertension and significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, study shows.Thank you for this informative post.

  4. Rex Emanuel

    Taking blood-pressure pills at night, rather than in the morning, may better control hypertension and significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, new research suggests.

  5. Anonymous

    very nice message for all of them because all the problems are affected to the peoples now a days one of the most problem is blood pressure they causes kidney failure,heart attacks, brain problems etc, so we must manage our works and healthy minds.

  6. velz

    Taking our meds at bedtime is really convenient. I tend to do it much religiously because I’m much more free from other activities to forget taking my meds and Especially now with this post which shows research that says there are better results for people if they do it before sleep.

    Taking medications before sleep is really good practice.
    Thanks for the post.

    Velz

  7. Liz Aitken

    I personally think that taking any medication at night is easier, if you can. We tend to have a more repetitive routine for going to bed than when getting up, and it’s much easier to add ‘taking pills’ to the bedtime ritual.