Sep 13, 2022
Drug Study: When Is The Best Time to Take Blood Pressure Drugs?
When you are prescribed medications, your healthcare provider or pharmacists will always provide you with specific instructions on taking the medicine. This usually includes how to take it- by mouth, apply to skin, how many times a day, with or without food, etc.
But for certain medications like blood pressure medicine, there's been an ongoing debate about when to take it- in the morning, afternoon, or night.
Look to the internet or ask someone in the medical community, and you are bound to find different recommendations. However, one new study supports a surprising answer to the age-old question- when is the best time to take blood pressure medicine?
What is blood pressure medication used for?
Around 50% of adults in the United States suffer from hypertension, which causes blood pressure to be higher than usual for long periods of time. High blood pressure can lead to heart damage and other severe medical conditions left untreated.
Types of blood pressure medications
According to the American Heart Association, 11 different types of blood pressure medicines are available in the United States. These classes of medications include:
Alpha-2 Receptor Agonists (Methyldopa)
Central agonists (Catapres, Wytensin)
Peripheral adrenergic inhibitors (Hylorel, Serpasil)
Possible side effects of blood pressure medicine
With any medication, there is always a chance you may experience side effects. The most common side effects for blood pressure medications include:
Swelling in the legs or ankles
Pain in the stomach
Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or fast heartbeat (palpitations)
Abnormal muscle movement or tremors
Is there a better time of day to take blood pressure medicine?
Another study published inDiabetologiafound that taking blood pressure drugs at night may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes for people with high blood pressure.
(Exceptions were noted, such as those taking diuretics (fluid pills), because they increase how often you urinate.)
New study suggests no right time
However, the most recent research, published by the European Society of Cardiology in August 2022, recommends something completely different.
This study followed some 21,000 people taking high blood pressure medications for five years (one of the largest cardio studies conducted in reference to blood pressure medications). Some took their medications at night and others in the morning. The data showed no significant effect on heart attack, stroke, or vascular death, regardless of the administration time.
So what does this mean? Experts say you should take your high blood pressure medicines at times that work for your schedule and give you fewer side effects. It's critical that you take these medications simultaneously every day, though.
You should talk to your physician to determine when is the best time for you to take blood pressure drugs, as well as any other medications. Never change dosage times without consulting with your healthcare provider first.
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