Taking this drug at night may harm heart health

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Midazolam is a common medication used to relax and sedate patients before surgeries, making the procedure less stressful and often leaving them with no memory of the event afterward.

However, an intriguing discovery from researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has shed light on a potential risk associated with this drug when administered at certain times.

The research team embarked on a comprehensive analysis, reviewing over 1.7 million medical records of patients who received midazolam during various procedures. Among these cases, they identified 16,404 instances of heart injury.

A deeper look into these incidents revealed a concerning pattern: the risk of heart damage was significantly greater in surgeries performed at night, especially among patients who were otherwise healthy.

This led the researchers to explore the underlying mechanisms that could explain why the timing of medication administration could influence its effects on heart health.

They focused on a gene known as PER2, which is involved in the body’s circadian rhythms—internal processes that respond to the natural light-dark cycle and regulate various biological functions, including heart protection.

Their studies extended to laboratory mice, where they could closely examine how midazolam affects the PER2 gene. It became apparent that midazolam increases levels of a brain chemical called GABA, which is known for its calming effects.

Interestingly, this increase in GABA simultaneously reduces the activity of the PER2 gene during the night.

Since the PER2 gene plays a crucial role in shielding the heart from damage, its suppression at night coincided with a higher susceptibility to heart injuries following midazolam administration.

These findings underscore the importance of considering the time of day when administering drugs, as it can significantly influence their safety and effectiveness.

The research, spearheaded by scientist Tobias Eckle and published in the journal Frontiers of Cardiovascular Medicine, emphasizes the need for more tailored approaches to medication schedules.

This is particularly relevant for drugs like blood pressure medications, which are known to be more effective when taken at night.

The study not only contributes to our understanding of how drugs interact with our biological clocks but also highlights the potential to enhance patient safety by aligning medical treatments with our body’s natural rhythms.

This could lead to more personalized medicine practices, where treatments are optimized based on the time of day to minimize risks and maximize benefits.

This research stands as a testament to the ongoing efforts of scientists dedicated to improving healthcare outcomes and ensuring the safety of treatments, reminding us of the complex interplay between our body’s internal clocks and the medications we rely on.

If you care about heart disease, please read studies that herbal supplements could harm your heart rhythm, and how eating eggs can help reduce heart disease risk.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies that apple juice could benefit your heart health, and results showing yogurt may help lower the death risks in heart disease.

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