Heart Disease Medication – does it matter what time you take it ?
Millions of heart disease sufferers around the world are prescribed vital medication to treat their condition, and keep it under control. Yet how many people actually give a thought to the significance of the daily timing of taking their medicine, and the effect it could have on their condition ?
You are Three Times More Likely to have a Heart Attack in the Early Morning
A newly published study from the United States in March 2012, using mice, seems to indicate that it may have a significant effect. The study, published in the Medical Journal ‘Nature’ examines and investigates the evidence that confirms that heart problems such as Arrhythmia, Stroke, and Heart Attack are more commonly experienced in the early morning hours.
The key reason behind this may lie in the body’s internal rhythm clock, known as the Circadian Rhythm, which runs a kind of internal 24 hour timer system. It is controlled from a special gland within the brain called the Hypothalamus gland, and it is this gland that controls many essential bodily functions, including blood pressure, amongst others.
It has long been observed and recorded that heart attacks and strokes are much more likely to occur in the morning – evidence suggests up to three times more likely, but until recently it has not been fully understood why. However the most recent study, carried out by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio has identified a type of protein within the body, code named KLF-15, that appears to be a key factor in controlling heart rate.
Levels of this protein fluctuate on a 24 hour cyclical basis, and have a direct impact on the pulse rate, and the blood pressure. The outworking of this is that during the periods when the heart is beating more slowly, i.e. in the early morning hours, the heart is more likely to suffer a heart attack. So now that we understand a little more about why you are more likely to suffer a heart in the morning – what time of day is it best to take your heart and blood pressure medication ??
Best time of day to take High Blood Pressure Medication
All people with normal heart health experience a drop in blood pressure during the night. This can vary from 10% to 20% depending on the individual. The problem for people suffering from high blood pressure is that their blood pressure does not drop at all at night, or by a lesser amount. This is why they are more likely to suffer from cardiovascular problems.
A separate scientific study carried out over a five year period at the University of Vigo in Spain, has confirmed that it is very important to try and reduce your high blood pressure at night. This is according to the head of the research team – Ramon Hermida. According to the findings of this study if you take your high blood pressure medication just before bedtime, this can reduce your risk of suffering from a heart attack or stroke, and help to reduce the level of hypertension.
The study looked at a total of over 2000 men and women who had existing high blood pressure, and took their blood pressure medication at night, and compared them with those who took their blood pressure medicine in the morning. The results showed a one-third reduction in the risk of having an Angine episode, Stroke or Heart Attack in the late night group.
IMPORTANT – YOU MUST NOT SWITCH THE TIME YOU TAKE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE MEDICATION FROM MORNING TO NIGHT WITHOUT SEEING YOUR DOCTOR AS THIS CAN CAUSE SUDDEN LOW BLOOD PRESSURE IN THE MORNING AND MAY CAUSE YOU TO SUFFER A STROKE
Best time of day to take Anti-Coagulant Heart Medication
Completely opposite to blood pressure medicine, the best time of day to take anti-coagulant heart medication to protect against the risk of having a stroke is in the early morning !!
This is according to Professor Russell Foster who is a leading academic at Oxford University in England. His advice is to take any anti-stroke medication before you have fully awakened and risen from bed, and before any exertion.