Does Timing Really Matter?
When a person picks up a new prescription, the pharmacist usually has a few key pieces of instruction about the medication. Often, the medication timing is among these directions. But does timing really matter? Consider these tips for medication adherence.
Best before bed
Most patients want prescriptions to be effective. Some medications work more effectively when taken at specific times. For example, one study found that taking blood pressure medication at night instead of in the morning can cut the risk of stroke or heart failure in half. Why? Researchers found that high blood pressure during sleep can be a significant risk factor for mortality. Taking the necessary medication before bedtime helps provide better blood pressure control during sleep. The findings are significant; still, the key is to take any medication consistently, whether that’s morning or night.
Take these first thing
In contrast, some prescriptions work best in the morning. In most cases, this is because taking medicines before breakfast can improve absorption. For example, some osteoporosis medications should be taken at least 30 minutes before eating or drinking anything. Other drugs, like antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), can interfere with sleep cycles and should not be taken at nighttime.
What is medication adherence?
Medication adherence is a term that describes how well a patient follows the doctor or pharmacist’s instructions about when and how to take medications. This might include medicating timing, as well as remembering to get a prescription refilled before running out. Cost is another factor that can have a significant impact on whether or not a patient adheres to a medication schedule. Taking medications incorrectly can significantly reduce the effectiveness of a drug. Always ask a pharmacist what factors are most important in making sure that medication works effectively.
Tips and tricks
Remembering to take medication can be a challenge for some people. Try to set a daily routine that involves taking medication at specific times, such as right before breakfast or right before going to bed. Store prescriptions in easily noticeable spots around the house, such as on the counter or bedside table. Many people also prefer to use daily dosing containers that are labeled with days of the week.
The most crucial factor for effectiveness
Always ask the doctor or pharmacist about medication timing when picking up a new prescription. The time of day, as well as whether or not a person has eaten, can impact the effectiveness of a specific medication. Overall, taking any prescription consistently is the most important factor in effectiveness. Consistently means taking the medication as often as prescribed at around the same time every day. For more information about medication adherence, speak with a pharmacist.