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Blood pressure news
Why taking your medication at the same time helps to avoid side effects
Research from China suggests that the time you take your blood pressure medications could be important.
If you take your blood pressure medication at the best time for that particular treatment, you may reduce the risk of side effects and increase the effectiveness of the medicine. This could mean that your blood pressure will come down even further and avoid the need for more medications to be added in.
The Chinese researchers looked at the medical studies that have been published on the best time to take once-daily oral medicines. It found that that the effect of the medication could be improved simply by taking it at its optimal time (and potentially reduce any side effects). Also, because many blood pressure medicines are designed to work over a 24-hour period, the scientists advise people to take their medication at the same time every day to get the most benefit.
For some medications, the optimal time to take it is written in the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) that comes in the medicine's pack. However, if you find that your medicine doesn't have a stated optimal time, then it is most important to choose a time that suits you to take your medication and then stick with that time every day.
For most people, taking their medication first thing in the morning is best - usually with the first cup of tea or when brushing their teeth. This way it becomes part of their daily routine.
However, some people will be told by their doctor that they should take their medication at a different time - for example, just before going to bed. If you are asked to take your medicine at night, it could be that your blood pressure isn't falling as low as it should at night, so taking your medicine at this time will have the greatest benefit.
But the key message is: when you have found the best time to take your medicines - stick with it and make sure that you don't miss a dose. That way you will be able to keep your blood pressure as well controlled as possible.
Zhu LL, Zhou Q, Yan XF, Zeng S. Optimal time to take once-daily oral medications in clinical practice. International Journal of Clinical Practice 2008;62:1560-1571
Topics: Research, High Blood Pressure in the news, Medicines