High blood pressure medication: When should I take it?

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High blood pressure medication: When should I take it?

Question

When is the best time to take high blood pressure medication?

Dick
Pennsylvania

Answer

The best time of day to take high blood pressure medication depends on several factors, including:

  • Type of high blood pressure medication
  • Treatment goals for high blood pressure

Blood pressure normally follows a daily rhythm. It's higher when you get up in the morning and during your waking hours and generally lower while you're sleeping. Most types of high blood pressure medications work for 24 hours, allowing you to take them once a day. But the effects of these medications may not be the same over the entire course of the day. The effects typically start about an hour after you take the medication. They peak four to 15 hours later and then start to wear off over the last eight hours.

Some high blood pressure medications are designed to be taken at bedtime and start working in the middle of the night to reduce the increase in blood pressure that occurs when you get active in the morning. Also, some medications may cause drowsiness, which can be a problem during the daytime hours. Generally, you can take those medications at bedtime.

Before determining the best time to take your medication, talk to your doctor about any side effects you're experiencing and your blood pressure goals. You can see how the medication affects your blood pressure by taking measurements at home at different times of the day. Then you can track your side effects with blood pressure changes and the time of day at which you take your medication.

Last Updated: 02/15/2007
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