Blood Pressure at Bedtime

High blood pressure patients with type 2 diabetes benefit from taking drugs at bedtime

(RxWiki News) Doctors often tell patients to take their medications at the same time each day. But what time of day is best? When it comes to blood pressure drugs, that time may be right before bed.

Researchers found that diabetics who took one or more of their blood pressure drugs at night had better blood pressure control than those who took all of their drugs in the morning. Those who took their drugs at night also had a lower risk of heart-related events such as heart attack and stroke. Normally, patients are told to take all of their blood pressure drugs upon waking up or with breakfast.

"Diabetics should take their blood pressure drugs before bed."

Ramón C. Hermida, Ph.D., from the University of Vigo in Spain, and colleagues wanted to see if bedtime was a better time for diabetes patients with high blood pressure to take their blood pressure drugs.

The researchers studied 448 patients with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. The participants were assigned either to take all their blood pressure drugs when they woke up or to take one or more of their drugs at bedtime.

After following the participants for five and half years, the researchers found that patients who took their drugs at bedtime had a much lower risk of heart attack and stroke, compared to those who took all their drugs in the morning.

Of the patients who took their drugs at bedtime, 62.5 percent had their blood pressure under control, compared to 50.9 percent of those who took their drugs in the morning. Patients who took their drugs at bedtime also had much lower blood pressure.

These findings suggest that people with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes may find it more helpful to take their medication before going to sleep. Doing so may help them avoid serious heart problems and an early death.

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Review Date: 
June 6, 2011