October 7, 2015 – Meds at Night


Anchor lead: Do blood pressure medicines work better at night? Elizabeth Tracey reports

If you take blood pressure medicines, would you be better off taking them at bedtime rather than in the morning?  A new study concludes that some types taken at night may reduce the risk of diabetes.  Gregory Prokopowicz, a blood pressure expert at Johns Hopkins, explains the rationale.

Prokopowicz: Previously we didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to when our patients took their medications as long as they took them everyday. But increasingly we’re gathering data that suggests that the timing of blood pressure medication is actually important.   This current study is done by a group in Spain that has done a number of studies looking at bedtime dosing of blood pressure medication.  The thinking is that by taking the medication at nighttime you have lower pressures during sleep and lower pressures when you first wake up in the morning, and those blood pressures in the morning are typically some of the highest in the whole 24 hour cycle.  :33

Prokopowicz says it’s too early to make a wholesale shift to pm dosing but it may be something to ask your doctor about.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.