The Best Time of Day to Take Blood Pressure Medications

Timing Considerations for Hypertension Treatment

Taking high blood pressure medication.
Taking high blood pressure medication. BSIP/UIG/Getty Images

The best time of day to take your high blood pressure medication varies and is primarily based on the type(s) of medication you’re taking and your blood pressure and treatment goals. Timing considerations for high blood pressure treatment are based more on personal routines and lifestyle considerations than differences in drug effectiveness.

How Do Blood Pressure Medications Work?

Blood pressure tends to vary during the day, being higher when you wake up in the morning and during the morning hours, and lower late and night and while you’re sleeping.

Most blood pressure medications have been designed for ease of use, meaning they are meant to be taken once per day.

Even so, these medications are not equally effective over the entire 24-hour period during which they are active. The action of blood pressure medicines begins about 1 hour after ingestion and peaks anywhere from 4 to 15 hours later. After that, the medicine’s effect slowly decreases until it’s time for the next dose.

For people with normal sleep cycles, this makes sense, as the action of the medicine tends to be the greatest during the period when blood pressure is the highest and slows down at a time when most people are getting ready for sleep. If you work a second or third shift job, though, or have other reasons to consistently be awake at non-standard hours, you may want to adjust your dosing routine to account for these differences.

Should I Take My Medicine at Bedtime?

Some blood pressure medications are usually taken at bedtime because they can cause drowsiness.

These drugs are typically taken at bedtime and are formulated so the peak drowsiness effects happen while you’re asleep. They tend to be designed to have a slower release of medication so that they still most active in the morning hours when blood pressures tend to be at their peak.

Taking Medication Based on Lifestyle

In general, the best time to take your blood pressure medication is the time that fits the best with your lifestyle and makes you the most likely to take the medicine as directed.

If you would like to adjust the timing of your medications, talk with your doctor. There are some medications that, while they can be taken at any time, cannot be quickly switched from one time to another without some monitoring and adjustment. Your doctor will be able to help you design an administration plan that meets your schedule and lifestyle needs.

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