Genpower Ltd

Breathe Better, Sleep Better, Live Better

When Is the Best Time to Take Your Daily Asthma or Allergy Medication?

Once daily medications can help you manage your symptoms by reducing inflammation and blocking key chemical pathways.  You already know these medications should be used regularly in order to be effective.  But does it make a difference if you decide to take them in the morning, afternoon or evening?

Yes, to some extent.

Unlike inhalers and anti-histamines designed to deliver instant relief, 24-hour medications work through timed-release.  They breakdown gradually in your body to continue delivering medication over the course of the day.  Many people make the mistake of taking their daily medication when they feel their symptoms could flare up, not realizing that it will take several hours before the medication really starts to work.

Instead, you’ll want to time your daily medication so that it reaches its peak effectiveness when you need it most.  This is at the midway point of the medication cycle, which would be 12 hours for a 24-hour medication.

For this reason, people with seasonal allergies to trees, grass or ragweed should consider taking their medication in the evening before bed.  Plants typically begin pollinating in the morning and produce their highest concentrations of pollen around midday.  By taking your daily medication at night, you help ensure it will be working by mid-morning the following day.

Asthma symptoms, on the other hand, are usually at their worst around 4am.  This has to do with several factors relating to the conditions of sleep as well as our bodies’ natural sleep/wake cycle.  Sleep disturbances can be caused by indoor allergens such as dust mites or pet dander as well.  If you’re taking a daily medication for either of these conditions, you’ll be more likely to sleep through the night if you take your medication in the afternoon.

Understanding the timed-release cycle of regular asthma and allergy medications can also help you tailor your medication schedule to your needs.  Individuals with exercise-induced asthma might want to take their medication in the morning if they workout in the afternoon, for example.  Twice daily, 12-hour medications can be timed in the same way for maximum effectiveness.

The most important point is to take your allergy or asthma medication every day.  But try scheduling these medications according to your symptoms and you may find it makes a real difference!