Your heart medication is more effective at bedtime

(Globe and Mail) — A new study on heart medications adds credence to that old saying, “timing is everything.”

Canadian scientists found that drugs known as ACE inhibitors – used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure – are far more effective when taken before going to sleep. In fact, when administered during wake time, they are no better than placebos, according to the findings published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

This new study is part of a burgeoning field of research known as chronotherapy, in which medical treatments are timed to correspond with the body’s natural 24-hour circadian rhythm.

The researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph already had good reason to believe the principles of chronotherapy may apply to these drugs. Previous research has shown that the cardiovascular system goes through a daily cycle, with blood pressure normally rising in the morning and dipping at night.

For their study, they gave a short-acting ACE inhibitor, called captopril (brand name Capoten), at different times of day to laboratory mice with high blood pressure. Heart tissues from the rodents were then examined as part of the analysis.

“We found that when we gave this drug at sleep time, the structure and function of the heart was significantly improved,” said the study’s lead author, Tami Martino of the University of Guelph. However, when the drug was given while the rodents were awake, it seemed to “have no effect at all” in terms of protecting the heart from the damage caused by high blood pressure, she added.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 3.71 out of 5)
Loading ... Loading ...