Maximum Effectiveness May Vary with Time of Day

MARCH 01, 2003

It has long been known that blood pressure typically climbs most rapidly after you get up in the morning, levels off during the middle or late part of the day, and then drops to its lowest level when you go to sleep. Now, according to a 24-patient study published in the January edition of the American Journal of Hypertension, it may be that different blood pressure drugs exert their most powerful effect at different times of the day, regardless of when they are taken.

Australian researchers evaluated the following drugs: a diuretic (hydrochloro-thiazide), a beta-blocker (atenolol), an angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitor (perindopril), and a calcium-channel blocker (felodipine). The study found that the calcium-channel blocker and the diuretic tended to lower blood pressure at all hours, the beta-blocker appeared to work only during the day, and the ACE inhibitor exerted its greatest effect at night.

Much more work needs to be done, but there may be good reason to switch from high-dose monotherapy to a regimen that includes lower doses of different drugs, each of which is most effective at lowering blood pressure at different times of the day.


A Fast, Easy Way to Inform Parents About Vaccinations

Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have prepared an informational video on this topic.

Pharmacy Times Strategic Alliance

Pharmacist Education
Clinical features with downloadable PDFs

Next-Generation Pharmacist® Awards

Personalize the information you receive by selecting targeted content and special offers.