The ONE organ responsible for high blood pressure.
Does it Matter when is Best Time to Take Blood Pressure Medication?
Is it better to take blood pressure medicine in the morning or the evening?
New research suggests that taking your blood pressure medication at bedtime may more effectively reduce your risk of illness or death due to heart and blood vessel disease. Timing of medication is important because blood pressure follows a daily rhythm. It rises higher during the day and falls at night when we sleep.
Should BP meds be taken at night?
Blood pressure medication may confer a larger benefit if taken at night, rather than in the morning. A 'robust' Spanish study of more than 19 000 patients found that taking the medication so that it works overnight cuts the risk of heart-related death and disease nearly in half.
What other experts have to say
Dr. Amanda AdkinsShe is a primary care physician with North Bay Health in Fairfield, California, told Healthline as long as people take their medication every day, then the time of day shouldn’t really matter. “There are some medications for blood pressure that were recommended to take at night such as beta blockers like metoprolol as there was study done that thought risk for heart attack was higher in the morning,” Adkins said. “Therefore, taking medication at night should possibly decrease that risk.” “While this may be true, most medications are taken once a day and last in one’s system for 24 hours,” Adkins noted. “There are other medications like diuretics or water pills that are recommended to take during the day because one may need to urinate more often.” “Because most medications last 24 hours the time of day may not be as important,” she added. “I know compliance is a big issue for patients. So, as long as they take the medication every day they will see benefits.”
Dr. Nicole HarkinHe is a cardiologist and founder of Whole Heart Cardiology in San Francisco, told Healthline she goes by a pretty simple premise when telling patients when to take their blood pressure drugs. “I typically recommend that most of my patients take their blood pressure medications when they are most likely to remember to take them,” Harkin said. “There is some evidence, however, that it may be better to take them at night. This is based on research that has shown that individuals with hypertension may not drop their blood pressure at night, which is what occurs in individuals without hypertension. Taking blood pressure medicines at night may help simulate this normal blood pressure dipping pattern.”
Dr. Stephen PickettHe a cardiologist at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center in Houston, told Healthline not all blood pressure medications work the same way. “There are dozens of blood pressure medications and they are not all the same. They have different durations of action, different mechanisms of lowering blood pressure, and different side effects, which can play a role in the ideal time for taking them,” Pickett said. “Some blood pressure medications, for example, need to be taken 3 to 4 times per day due to their short duration of action. Others have a very long duration of action and can be taken any time of day and their effect will likely not vary,” Pickett said. “Others still, such as diuretics, I generally recommend taking in the morning because the effect of taking them at night can be frustrating.”
Pickett said historically different studies get different results. “There have been a number of studies over the years about the optimal time to take blood pressure medications and they have had varying results,” he explained. “Some studies suggested blood pressure control was better when patients took their once-a-day blood pressure medications in the evening. This was done by 48-hour blood pressure monitors.” “I would recommend talking to your doctor about the best time to take your blood pressure medications because not all medications are the same,” Pickett noted. “For my patients on once-a-day blood pressure medications, I encourage them to find a time of day where they will remember to reliably take their medications. It does no good to ‘take it in the evening’ if they routinely forget to take it. “All else being equal, there are several studies suggesting a small advantage to taking blood pressure medications at night, but it is not enough yet to insist on my patients taking their medications only at night,” he concluded. Harkin noted that maintaining normal blood pressure is important for overall heart health. “Elevated blood pressure is one of the top causes for stroke and heart attack,” she said. “Lifestyle changes are typically our first line of treatment. Some of the most effective lifestyle changes are reducing alcohol intake – no more than one drink a night for women and two for men – eating a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) style plant-forward diet low in sodium, including aerobic exercise as well as strength training, and losing weight if above ideal body weight.”