Circadian variations in blood pressure and their implications for the administration of antihypertensive drugs: is dosing in the evening better than in the morning?

J Hypertens. 2020 Aug;38(8):1396-1406. doi: 10.1097/HJH.0000000000002532.

Abstract

: Blood pressure (BP) follows a circadian rhythm with a physiological decrease during the night. Studies have demonstrated that nocturnal BP as well as its dipping pattern during night-time have a significant prognostic importance for mortality and the occurrence of cardiovascular events. Therefore, hypertension management guidelines recommend to ascertain that patients treated for hypertension have well controlled BP values around the clock. To improve hypertension control during the night and eventually further reduce cardiovascular events, it has been proposed by some to prescribe at least one antihypertensive medication at bedtime. In this review, we have examined the data which could support the benefits of prescribing BP-lowering drugs at bedtime. Our conclusion is that there is no convincing evidence that the administration of BP-lowering drugs in the evening provides any significant advantage in terms of quality of BP control, prevention of target organ damage or reduction of cardiovascular events. Before changing practice for unproven benefits, it would be wise to wait for the results of the ongoing trials that are addressing this issue.

MeSH terms

  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Hypertension / physiopathology

Substances

  • Antihypertensive Agents