Gastrointestinal chronopharmacology: physiology, pharmacology and therapeutic implications

Pharmacol Ther. 1992;54(1):1-15. doi: 10.1016/0163-7258(92)90049-6.


This chapter discusses the influence of ultradian and circadian rhythms of gastrointestinal motor and secretory function on the action of orally administered drugs. Most drugs exhibit more rapid absorption in the morning compared to the evening due, in part, the circadian alterations in gastric emptying. Gastric acid secretion and gastrointestinal toxicity to oral drugs also display circadian rhythmicity. These observations provide a rationale for use or avoidance of drugs based on time-of-day dosing considerations. The chronopharmacological behavior of a drug may thus play an important role in the effectiveness of any oral medication treatment schedule.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Digestive System / drug effects
  • Digestive System Physiological Phenomena*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Periodicity