Is nighttime the right time for blood pressure drugs?

Taking these medications at bedtime rather than in the morning may make them more effective.

Many people take their medications as part of their morning ritual, along with a cup of coffee and the daily newspaper. But for blood pressure drugs, evening may be a better option. Last year, a large study found that taking blood pressure drugs before bed may lower the risk of serious heart-related complications more than taking the drugs in the morning (see "Benefits of bedtime blood pressure dosing").

The concept of chronotherapy, or adjusting medication dosing to a specific time of day, isn't new. There's not a great deal of evidence to support the practice with cardiovascular drugs, but it makes sense, says Dr. Naomi Fisher, director of the Hypertension Specialty Clinic at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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