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Can Taking Medicine at Specific Times Really Affect Its Effectiveness? This Is What Experts Have to Say

While some pill bottles do offer some instructions, a simple ‘take once a day’ doesn’t really offer much help to the taker in terms of determining the optimal time of taking medication. Fortunately, a group of Spanish researchers did a study seeking to find answers to this specific query. These are their findings.

Nighttime Routine

Experts say that the best time to take medicine for high blood pressure is at night before bed

As it turns out, people who have to take medication for high blood pressure will benefit the most from ingesting their prescriptions during bedtime than other times of the day. These findings came after the researchers observed 19,084 men and women, who were diagnosed with high blood pressure.

They were then divided into two groups instructed to take their medicine at bedtime and when they awoke, respectively. The observations were done over the course of six years, in which 310 deaths from cardiovascular disease were reported. They also considered factors like a person’s gender, age, smoking habits, and many others.

In the end, those who included their medicine in their night routine were found to be 43% less likely to suffer from cardiovascular events than their counterparts. They were also found to have reduced chances of having a stroke, heart attacks, and heart failure. Even more interesting, the same group was found to have a 45%  lower risk for death from any cause and a 56% decrease in the chances of dying from cardiovascular disease.

Additional Benefits

The study’s results remain significant regardless of a person’s age or gender

Additionally, the researchers found that ‘bedtime therapy’ leads to healthier cholesterol levels as well as improvement in the function of the kidneys. Meanwhile, the study’s lead author Ramón C. Hermida from the University of Vigo emphasizes than changing one’s medicine taking routine can be a cost-free intervention, especially beneficial for people who have hypertension. However, he did warn patients against making changes in their routine without checking with their physician first.

Called the Hygia Chronotherapy Trial, the project is believed to be the largest one yet to investigate the effects of the time when patients ingest anti-hypertensive medication on the risk of cardiovascular issues. Their recent findings were published in the European Heart Journal. It currently has 40 care centers located in the northern part of Spain.

Medicine & Timing

Experts say that medication for other health issues may be best taken right before certain meals

This concept of timing medication isn’t entirely new though. Other experts have touted the benefits of taking statin drugs, for cholesterol, at bedtime as well, according to the British Heart Foundation.

The medication is still best used with proper exercise and diet to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the body, which can lead to strokes and other heart problems. Statins are believed to be work most effectively at night because the liver produces the most cholesterol after midnight.

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