A recent study has shown that taking a high blood pressure drugs when one is about to dash to bed could provide a shield against heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest.
The study published in the European Heart Journal proves the effects of taking antihypertensive at bed time.
This Spanish study included over 19,000 individuals on medication for high blood pressure. There were a total of 19,084 Spanish Caucasian participants with high blood pressure and of these 10,614 were men and rest was females.
The average age of the participants was 60.5 years. The patients were put into two groups randomly and one of the groups took the drugs in the morning (9,532 participants) while the other took it at bed time (9,552 participants).
These participants were then followed up for a period of around 6 years. Results showed that those who were taking their medication before bed time had halved their risk of dying from heart attacks, stroke or heart failure. Over the period of follow up there were a total of 1,752 participants who experienced heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, needed coronary intervention or died due to cardiovascular disease.
According to the researchers there is a natural drop in blood pressure during sleep. The risk of heart attacks and strokes remain if the pressure does not dip and remains high throughout the night. If the BP medication is taken at bed time, they wrote, the pressure remains controlled during the night and the risk of heart attacks and strokes is decreased.
This study showed that the participants taking the medications at bed time had a lower average BP during the day as well as night compared to their counterparts who took them in the morning.
The team also took into account other factors that contributed to heart attacks, strokes and raised blood pressure including age of the patient, gender, smoking status, history of similar events, fall in BP while asleep etc. before they concluded the benefits of taking the medications at bed time.
Their results showed that there was a 56 percent lowered risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, 49 percent lower risk of stroke and 44 percent lower risk of heart attacks if the drugs are taken at bed time compared to the other group.
Lead researcher Prof. Ramon Hermida, from the University of Vigo, in a statement said, “It’s totally cost-free. It might save a lot of lives.” He said that physicians need to recommend this to their patients. He added, “Current guidelines on the treatment of hypertension do not recommend any preferred treatment time. Morning ingestion has been the most common recommendation by physicians based on the misleading goal of reducing morning blood pressure levels.”
“The same antihypertensive medication, the same molecule, at the same dose, ingested at two different times have totally different pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and therefore they behave as two totally different medications,” said Hermida. He went on to explain, “The results of this study show that patients who routinely take their anti-hypertensive drugs at bedtime, as opposed to when they wake up, have better-controlled blood pressure and, most importantly, a significantly decreased risk of death or illness from heart and blood vessel problems.”
According to the findings on MedicalNewsToday, the team called for more studies involving different populations across the globe to see if the same hypothesis was applicable to all patients and also applicable for different BP lowering medications and their brands.
Vanessa Smith, a scientist from the British Heart Foundation, warned that if one is currently taking blood pressure medication, it is important to check with the pharmacist before changing the time to take it.
She added that there may be specific reasons why the doctor has prescribed medication in the morning or night.