Medicine at Night


Anchor lead: Should you take your blood pressure medicine at night? Elizabeth Tracey reports

What is chronotherapy? That’s the strategy of taking medicines at different points in the day to maximize their benefit, with a recent trial demonstrating the impact of taking blood pressure medicines before bed. Greg Prokopowicz, a blood pressure expert at Johns Hopkins, describes the study.

Prokopowicz:  The Chronotherapy Trial really took a lot of us by surprise because the intervention that they’re describing is a very simple one. It’s simply having the patient take their blood pressure medications at night time instead of during the day and that would be extremely easy to implement and seemingly have little or no risk. What they found was a massive apparent benefit where cardiovascular outcomes like stroke and heart attack dropped by forty to fifty percent which is way more than most of us would have expected from such a simple intervention.  :29

Prokopowicz says several of his patients have already asked about this study and whether they should switch to nighttime dosing, which he says is likely fine as long as you’ve checked with your doctor. He notes that additional studies must really be done to confirm these results. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.