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Should I take blood pressure medications at night?

March 01, 2020

Ask the doctor

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Q. I've taken blood pressure medicines every morning for many years, and they keep my pressure under control. Recently, my doctor recommended taking them at bedtime, instead. Does that make sense?

A. It actually does make sense — based on recent research. For many years, there have been at least three theoretical reasons for taking blood pressure medicines before bedtime. First, a body system that strongly affects blood pressure, called the renin-angiotensin system, has its peak activity during sleep. Second, circadian rhythms cause differences in the body chemistry at night compared with daytime. Third, most heart attacks occur in the morning, before medicines taken in the morning have a chance to "kick in."

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