Two unlikely factors found to alter the effectiveness of blood pressure medication

New research from a Canadian University has unveiled that a patients sex and the time of day can disturb the effectiveness of certain blood pressure medications.  

Announced today, a team based at the University of Waterloo used a series of mathematical models to stimulate kidney function in male and female mice to assess the effectiveness of various kinds of blood pressure drugs including, loo diuretics, thiazide diuretics and potassium-sparing diuretics.

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Experts discovered that biological sex and the body’s circadian clock – a natural, internal process that regulates things like the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours – are critical factors in managing blood pressure. In addition, the body clock also regulates kidney functions, which play a vital role in regulating blood pressure.

‘One important class of blood pressure medication is diuretics, sometimes called water pills,’ said Anita Layton, a Professor of Applied Mathematics at Waterloo University and the study’s Co-Author. ‘Diuretics lower blood pressure by targeting kidney function to increase the amount of urine the body excretes. If they don’t work correctly, they can negatively impact blood pressure.’

To reach the results of their study, researchers simulated active and inactive cycles of each mouse’s circadian cycles for when they went to the toilet. Active cycles were examined when the animals were awake and inactive ones when they were asleep.

The academics measures the predicted urine output and sodium excretion for each kind of medication in the male and female mice – they found that, for each category of diuretic, sex and time of day impacted the drugs efficiency.

However, even though mice are nocturnal creatures, meaning they are awake when humans are typically asleep, the results suggest that people can make their blood pressure treatment plans more effective by choosing the right time to take their medication.

Professor Layton concluded that: ‘Chronotherapy, which is the tailoring drug administration to match the body’s circadian rhythms, can play a major role in improving modern personalised medicine.’  

The study, titled ‘Influence of administration time and sex on natriuretic, diuretic and kaliuretic effects of diuretics’, was published in the American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology.

Image: Mockup Graphics


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