To optimize the results of your medications for high blood pressure or hypertension it is best to take them just before bedtime. This is the conclusion of research published in the European Heart Journal that adds that following this advice can “save lives”.
The study, conducted at the University of Vigo in Spain, found that pills offer better protection against strokes and heart attacks when taken before going to sleep rather than in the morning.
Experts believe, based on the study, that each person’s biological clock alters our response to the drug. “Current guidelines on the management of hypertension do not advise any preferred treatment time.
Morning ingestion has been the most common recommendation by physicians based on the misleading goal of lowering blood pressure levels in the morning,” explained Ramon Hermida, the leader of the research.
The researchers were also clear that more study is needed to confirm that these findings apply to all patients of the different brands of pills used to fight hypertension.
There is abundant evidence that different medications, included with hypertension, may have better effects if taken at a certain time of day. This latest study is the largest known to date to investigate the phenomenon with high blood pressure pills and included 19,000 people taking this type of medication.
In the University of Vigo study, patients were randomly placed in two groups. One group took pills in the morning and the other before going to bed. For more than five years, scientists monitored these people.
One of the main findings is that patients who took their medications at night had half the risk of dying or having a heart attack, stroke or heart failure. Blood pressure drops naturally during the night, when we’re resting.
And if it doesn’t happen and it stays high, that makes the person more at risk for a heart attack, experts said. They added that taking this medication at night helps control blood pressure while sleeping, especially in patients with hypertension.
And her blood pressure naturally dropped a little more during the night compared to patients taking their medications each morning. Hermida said doctors should recommend it to their patients. “It’s free. And it might save a lot of lives,” she explained.
“The results of this study show that patients who routinely take their blood pressure medications at bedtime, unlike when they wake up, have better controlled blood pressure and, more importantly, a significantly lower risk of death or heart disease and blood vessel problems,” he added.
Several experts, including the researchers themselves, indicated that despite supporting the results, the research should be extended to all ethnic groups.
“While this study supports previous findings in this area, more studies among other ethnic groups and people who have established patterns for taking their pills will be needed to really prove that taking medications at night is more beneficial to cardiovascular health,” explained Vanessa Smith, of the British Hearth Foundation.
“If a person is taking blood pressure medications, it’s important to talk to their doctor before making any changes to their routine. There may be a reason why your doctor recommended that you take your medication in the morning or afternoon,” she added.