Circadian Rhythm Affects Asthma Medication

Published Online: Wednesday, May 1, 2002
Asthma and allergy sufferers can maximize the benefit of their medications by working with their circadian rhythm, Richard Martin, MD, explained at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Asthma symptoms generally peak at about 4 AM. To reduce nighttime symptoms, those with asthma should take oral steroids at 3 PM and inhaled steroids between 3 PM and 5:30 PM. However, most inhaled steroids are taken 2 or more times a day, and research has not yet determined the best times to take the multiple doses. Allergy symptoms generally peak early in the morning, shortly after waking up. To reduce these morning symptoms, allergy medication should be taken at night before going to bed.

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