Taking Your Blood Pressure Medication at the Right Time of Day?by Lisa Nelson, RD, LN Health Professional
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75 million Americans have high blood pressure (32 percent of Americans).
Antihypertensive medication is a commonly prescribed treatment plan to control high blood pressure. There are many blood pressure medication types, and each works in a different way to lower blood pressure.
Approximately 50 percent of patients do not take their medications as prescribed, which reduces treatment effectiveness. It is important to take your blood pressure medication exactly as it is prescribed.
Over the years, research has investigated the effect of taking blood pressure medication in the morning versus before bed.
The HARMONY (Hellenic-Anglo Research into Morning or Night antihypertensive drug deliverY) study, conducted in the UK and Greece, was a small study including 95 hypertensive patients. The study found results to be almost identical between taking medication in the morning (between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m.) and at night (between 6 p.m. and 11 a.m.).
The greatest difference was seen for nighttime systolic blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure was 1.68 mm Hg lower in the morning with nighttime medication. However, this is not considered a statistically significant difference. Again, this was a small study that lays the groundwork for additional research.
Follow your prescribed treatment plan
When determining the best time of day for YOU to take your medication, consider the following:
1. Pick a time that ensures you will take the medication consistently without missing a dose. This time should be agreed upon with your doctor.
2. If you take more than one blood pressure medication, discuss with your doctor the effectiveness of taking one in the morning and one at night to determine if “splitting” the medication in this way would be optimal for you.
3. Don’t make changes to your treatment plan without consulting your doctor. Your doctor may have a specific reason for wanting you to take your medication at a certain time each day. If you are older and at risk for falling, taking blood pressure medication before bed may not be the right choice for you due to risk of sudden blood pressure drops if you stand too quickly during the night.
Increase the effectiveness of your medication
Don’t forget to make necessary diet and lifestyle changes to promote a healthy blood pressure. Following an appropriate diet and lifestyle will increase the effectiveness of your medication and could reduce the dosage you need to control levels.
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet is an effective diet plan to control high blood pressure.
For further guidance to lower blood pressure via diet and lifestyle, access my free ecourse "7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure" here.