Why you should take anti-inflammatory drugs in the morning after surgery

In a new study, researchers found for the first time that circadian clock genes are involved in healing from surgery.

They demonstrated that anti-inflammatory medications are most effective in promoting post-operative healing and recovery when taken during the active periods of our biological clocks.

This means if you have just had knee, shoulder or hip surgery, you may want to take anti-inflammatories in the morning or at noon, but not at night.

If anti-inflammatories are taken either in the afternoon or at night, during the resting phases of the circadian rhythm, they can severely deter healing and bone repair following surgery.

That’s because these are the periods when cells known as osteoblasts are rebuilding bone.

The research was done by a team at McGill University and elsewhere.

Although prior research has shown that circadian clock genes play a role in diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and Parkinson’s, this is the first study to see the effect of the circadian rhythm in any type of surgery or injury.

Inflammation, following surgery, is crucial to healing since part of the process involves both destroying any bacteria that may be in the area, and signaling to attract the cells that will rebuild the tissues. But the process is not constant.

The team says there are periods of inflammation that are actually very destructive, and there are periods that are constructive and important for healing.

So many pharmaceutical companies have been trying to develop drugs that will inhibit the destructive processes during inflammation but not interfere with the helpful ones.

In the study, the team compared pain and bone healing in two different groups of mice with a fractured tibia.

One group was given constant doses of anti-inflammatories over a twenty-four hour period, while the others were given anti-inflammatories only in the morning—during the active phases of the circadian rhythm—and analgesics at night.

The researchers found that the second group recovered from the pain of the injury, and regained bone strength more quickly and more fully.

Surprisingly, they also noticed differences between the groups in the expression of over 500 genes specifically related to bone healing processes.

It is almost as if morning anti-inflammatories and evening anti-inflammatories were two different drugs.

As a next step, the researchers are collecting preliminary data from a clinical trial monitoring pain and healing related to the extraction of wisdom teeth.

They used two different drug treatments—one involving exclusive use of anti-inflammatories, and the other administering anti-inflammatory medications only in the morning and at noon, and analgesics in the afternoon and evening. The preliminary results are promising.

One author of the study is Faleh Tamimi Marino, the Canada Research Chair for Translational Cranofacial Research.

The study is published in Scientific Reports.

Copyright © 2019 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.