Best Time of Day to Take Blood Pressure Medications

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Prescription drug labels often state that the tablet should be taken 'once a day', without specifying the best time to take it and, in some cases, the time does not matter. However, taking blood pressure medications can make a difference when you are taking them. The best time of day to take your blood pressure medications depends on which ones you are taking (there are many), the reason you are taking them, and any other health problems you may have.

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How Blood Pressure Medications Work

Blood pressure tends to change throughout the day. It is usually highest when you wake up in the morning and in the morning hours, and lowest at night and during sleep. However, there are people whose blood pressure does not drop at night; the researchers call them "no saucepans. "

Most blood pressure medications are designed for ease of use, which means they must be taken once a day. However, these medications are not equally effective throughout the 24-hour period during which they are active.

Blood pressure medications peak about 4 to 15 hours after taking a dose. Ideally, the drug is prescribed so that the maximum concentration coincides with the time of day when you have your maximum blood pressure.

There are several different types of blood pressure medications that have different mechanisms of action, so it is best to take them at specific times of the day.

Medicines best taken in the morning:

  • Diuretics or "water pills": These include diuril (chlorothiazide) and lozol (indapamide), which help the kidneys remove excess water in the body. Because diuretics can make you urinate more often (leading to nightly trips to the bathroom), they are best taken in the morning. If you need a second dose, take it in the middle of the day.

Some other common blood pressure medications that are best taken before bed include:

  • ACE inhibitors (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors), including Lotensin (benazepril hydrochloride) and vazotec (enalapril maleate)
  • ARBs (angiotensin II receptor blockers) such as Avapro (irbesartan)
  • Beta-blockers such as Lopressor (metoprolol)
  • Calcium channel blockers such as Norvasc (amlodipine besylate)

These medications are usually taken at bedtime because they can make you sleepy. More importantly, they are often designed to release the drug slowly so that they remain most effective in the morning hours, when blood pressure tends to be at its peak. As you age, your blood pressure no longer drops during sleep like it did when you were young, increasing your risk of stroke and heart attack in the morning.

Research supports the importance of overnight dosing. A 2013 study in Spain found that non-drug users whose blood pressure remains high at night may benefit more from taking a dose before bed. This provides better control and can help reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.

A 2015 study published in the journal Diabetologia found that taking these drugs at night reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes in people with hypertension. Based on this, the American Diabetes Association 's 2017 Standards for Diabetes Care says that healthcare providers should consider taking one or more hypertension medications before bed.

It is easier for people with a normal sleep cycle to maintain a normal dosing regimen because increases and decreases in blood pressure will generally be constant.

However, if you work your second or third shift or have other reasons for staying awake during non-standard hours, you can change your routine to accommodate these differences.

Get the word of drug information

Talk to your doctor if you are not sure when to take your blood pressure medicine. There are some medications that, although they can be taken at any time, cannot be changed quickly from one moment to the next without some control and adjustment. Interactions with other medications, foods, and beverages should also be considered.

After all, your blood pressure medicine will work best if you take it consistently, so any changes to your schedule should be carefully considered. Work with your doctor to determine a management plan that fits your schedule and lifestyle.

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