Many prescription instructions say “take once a day”
But because of your circadian rhythm—the biological clock that governs sleep, hormone production, and other processes—your body doesn’t respond to medications in the same way at different times of the day. “Some drugs are not as effective or as well tolerated if they’re taken at the wrong biological time,” says Michael Smolensky, adjunct professor of biomedical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. “It’s not that they’re not effective at all, but they’re certainly much less effective or tolerated.”
Now a cutting-edge field called drug chronotherapy advocates syncing your medication regimen with your circadian rhythm to maximize effectiveness and minimize side effects. Here we describe the best times to take meds based on chronotherapy and other factors. Note: Before you alter a current drug routine, be sure to first talk to your doctor or pharmacist. Diverging from your prescribed med schedule is just one of the everyday medication mistakes that can make you sick.
Best in the morning: Depression meds
Disrupted sleep is a common side effect of some SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), such as Prozac and Paxil, which is why experts often recommend that patients take them when they wake up.