People should take blood pressure tablets at the time of day that suits them best, new research suggests.
According to the study, whether the medication is taken in the morning or the evening does not have an impact on how effective it is.
A trial of more than 21,000 patients with high blood pressure followed for over five years found that protection against heart attack, stroke and vascular death is not affected by what time the drugs are taken.
Principal investigator Professor Thomas MacDonald, of the University of Dundee, said: “Time was one of the largest cardiovascular studies ever conducted and provides a definitive answer on the question of whether blood pressure lowering medications should be taken in the morning or evening.
“The trial clearly found that heart attack, stroke and vascular death occurred to a similar degree regardless of the time of administration.
“People with high blood pressure should take their regular antihypertensive medications at a time of day that is convenient for them and minimises any undesirable effects.”
Professor Sir Nilesh Samani, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, which funded the research, said: “This is important news for the millions of people in the UK who take medication to lower their blood pressure.
“High blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
“We know that effective treatment with blood pressure lowering medication is vital to reduce this risk.
“These results show that the time of the day people take their blood pressure tablets does not matter and they should take them at the time that suits them best.”
Research suggests that more than a billion people have high blood pressure worldwide, and it is the leading global cause of premature death, accounting for almost 10 million deaths in 2015.
Blood pressure at night is a better predictor of cardiovascular outcomes than daytime blood pressure.
Previous studies indicated that medication taken in the evening rather than in the morning reduced nighttime blood pressure to a greater extent.
However, the Time study looked at whether evening dosing improved major cardiovascular outcomes compared with morning dosing.
It found the results did not vary between the groups of people taking the tablets in the morning and those taking them in the evening, and that taking the medication in the evening was not harmful.
The findings are presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress 2022.