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Published on Jan 04, 2019 and last reviewed on Sep 14, 2022   -  4 min read


Chronopharmacology is the science of optimizing drug effects concerning the biological rhythm. Read this article to know more.



Chronobiology is the science that studies the rhythm behind every biological process or function of living organisms. On the other hand, Chronopharmacology is the science that deals with the optimization of drug dose that promotes efficacy and minimizes the adverse effects by taking the medications in relation to the biological rhythm. In simple language, if we take our medication according to our body clock, the medicine can be more beneficial and cause minimal side effects. There are three divisions under chronopharmacology in which the chronotherapeutics approach accurately identifies when the patients are at the highest risk and in greatest need of therapy. This principle is used to treat diseases like cardiovascular diseases and many more.

Why Is Chronopharmacology Necessary?

  • Autoinduction: When a drug dose is repeated, the enzyme levels increase for the removal of the drug. This process is called vehicle mobile induction. It can lead to the healing of a particular condition, but it depends on the dose and attention of the drug. The drug gets released by the process of autoinduction whenever required by the body for non-stop management. For example, Carbamazepine works on the principle of time-dependent disposition.

  • Autoinhibition: This is the process of inhibition of the metabolism of the drug. It is also called allosteric or comment inhibition.

  • Food Effects: The diurnal variations occur from the amount of food intake. The gastric emptying of a drug depends upon the food taken along with it. If an individual takes extra food during the night than breakfast and takes the drug, the absorption and transport to the liver for metabolism are lowered. Therefore, consumption of heavy food with tablets can lead to a decrease in the bioavailability of the drug.

How Is Chronopharmacology Classified?

Chronopharmacology is classified into three types. They are:

Chronopharmaceutics: It is a field of therapeutics specialized in designing and assessing a drug transport device that can release the drug at a rhythm based on the requirement for disease therapy.

Chronopharmacokinetics: This is a field that deals with rhythmic changes based on the drug bioavailability and its excretion. It works on drug adjustments in absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. Several researchers worked in this field for better optimization of the drugs. One such research reports that cardiovascular drugs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, anesthetics, anticancer drugs, anti-asthmatic drugs, and psychotropic drugs have better bioavailability when taken in the morning than in the evening.

Chronotherapeutics: It is the remedy approach carried out in vivo where the drug availability is timed to promote healing and minimize adverse effects. One technique to promote pharmacotherapy is the use of medicines at the times they are best tolerated. Prescribing the medicines at spaced durations in a day helps preserve a steady state coordinating with the diurnal variations. This approach is very effective in patients who suffer from cardiac, renal, and hepatic impairment, as the accumulation of medicines can cause toxicity and affect the organs.

What Is Chronopharamcotherapy?

Chronopharmacotherapy is a field that synchronizes the biological rhythm with drug management increasing therapeutic effects. In this process, the biological effects and rhythm characteristics are evaluated.

What Are the Advantages of Chronopharmacotherapy?

The advantages of chronopharmacotheray are as follows;

  • It prevents overdosing on a drug.

  • It makes the best use of any drug taken.

  • It reduces the excessive use of a drug at the same time and facilitates the time-dependent release of the drug.

What Are the Disadvantages of Chronopharmacotherapy?

The disadvantages of chronopharmacotheray are as follows;

  • It is rarely used for patients due to its reduced success rate.

  • The patients have to remain alert until the next relaxation plan.

  • The patients recommend that professionals automatically save the reactions.

  • Need for advanced technology.

  • The process required multiple formulation steps and economy.

What Are the Ideal Characteristics of Chronopharmacotherapy?

  • The application of chronopharmacotherapy helps make the drugs non-poisonous by cutting off the factors causing them to behave so.

  • It has an actual time and a specific biomarker for each diseased state.

  • It works on a command framework.

  • It is biodegradable and biocompatible.

  • It can be manufactured at an economical expense.

  • It can easily monitor the sufferers and improve consistency in their drug routine.

What Are the Examples of Chronopharmacology?

  • In relation to our body clock, maximum synthesis of cholesterol takes place at night. Hence, drugs used to lower cholesterol, like statins, will prove beneficial when prescribed at bedtime.

  • According to our biological clock, maximum production of acid occurs at night between 10 PM to 2 AM. So, for patients having acid reflux problems, it will be beneficial to take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) before dinner. If worsening of symptoms occurs, then it should be given in two doses, morning and night.

  • Antihypertensive medications should be prescribed early morning, as the blood pressure rises in the morning. A circadian rhythm characterizes blood pressure both in hypertensive and non-hypertensive subjects. This pattern is associated with lower BP (blood pressure) values during sleep and periods of minimal activity and higher BP levels during wakefulness and mental and physical activity.

  • According to our biological clock, the severity of cardinal signs in rheumatoid arthritis is three times more common between 8 to 11 AM than at bedtime. Therefore, long-acting NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) at bedtime can better control morning symptoms.

  • In the case of osteoarthritis, the pain is intense between 2 to 8 PM. Therefore, if the pain is worst at night, then the evening dose, and if the pain is worst in the afternoon, a morning dose of NSAIDs should be given respectively to have better effects of the drug on the patient.


Chronopharmacology paves the way for investigating each drug in regards to biological timing and its effects on a rhythmic pattern. It holds the promise of drug safety and enhances the treatment process for a particular disease. The primary goal is to promote the therapeutic effects and minimize the adverse effects without any modification of the drug function. The recently evolving discipline of chronopharmacology has opened several ways for managing higher procedures and special illnesses.


Frequently Asked Questions


What Are the Effects of Chronopharmacology on Drug Therapy?

Chronopharmacology is the study of the drugs’ effects, timings, and efficiency. It also shows the drug’s rhythmic patterns. Moreover, it shows the way to drug safety and how it increases the chances of its efficacy.


How Long Does the Circadian Cycle Go?

The Circadian cycle is like an internal biological clock. Usually, for humans, the cycle follows 24 hours timings. The alertness and sleepiness of the human body naturally responds to the light and environmental changes around them.


What Is the Procedure of Chronotherapy?

Chronotherapy is the behavioral approach of setting the human body’s sleep time. During this therapy, the body’s circadian cycle is reset by gradually delaying two hours of sleep time and three hours of wake time. This delay of the cycle is followed every two days until the desired result is achieved.


What Are the Uses of Chronotherapy?

There are many uses of chronotherapy. For instance, it can be used to fight mood disorders and depression. Moreover, this therapy help combating bipolar disorder, delayed sleep disorder, and an eating disorder.


Which Chronotherapeutics Affects Hypertension?

The study shows that people usually have high blood pressure during the morning, which drops during nighttime. This pattern of blood pressure fluctuation is associated with the body’s circadian cycle. The study shows that taking hypertension medication during day time when the blood pressure is high shows much better results.


What Are the Types of Chronopharmacology?

There are several types of chronopharmacology, such as:
- Chronopharmaceutics.
- Chronopharmacokinetics.
- Chronotherapeutics.


What Are the Uses of Chronotherapy?

Chronotherapeutics’ main goal is to restore the balance between the sleep and wake cycle, which is also known as the circadian cycle. This can be achieved by maintaining timed light exposure, sleep hygiene, and the use of chronobiotic drugs. Other than these, chronotherapy also enhances the body’s tolerance towards the side effects of drug therapy.


What Does Chronobiology Stand For?

Chronobiology is a field of study that focuses on the timing process. This field of study teaches about the cyclic phenomena of different species and their biological clocks. Moreover, it also examines the effects of timings of biological events of the body.


What Does Biological Oscillation Stand For in Chronobiology?

Different species react differently to changes in the external environment or conditions. This reaction helps them respond to these certain conditions. Other than these unpredictable environmental changes, the predictable changes, such as the day and night cycle, need an endogenous biological rhythm that corresponds to the environment. This is called biological oscillation.


Are Pseudoscience and Chronobiology the Same?

Pseudoscience is the study that focuses on scientific explanations that lack scientific methods. Chronobiology is the study that focuses on biological rhythms. In the past 40 years, chronobiology has evolved a lot from pseudoscience to a more mature and intensive area of study.


How Does Synchronization In Chronobiology Describe?

Synchronization in chronobiology is a state of a system where two different variables show commonness in frequency, acrophase, and phasic reactions. It is the state where endogenous rhythm and periodic external influences are harmonized. What influence this phenomenon is the synchronizer, which is a light-dark cycle, sleep-wake cycle, time of eating, knowledge of the time of the day, gravitational field, electromagnetic field, or cosmic radiation.


What Is the Chronograph Also Known As?

There are several names for chronographs, such as:
- Chronometer.
- Timekeeper.
- Hourglass.
- Clock.
- Watch.


What Is the Meaning of Masking in Chronobiology?

Masking is the method that organisms use to mimic environmental changes. It is the direct and immediate effect on the expressions of biological rhythm. Any organism’s daily pattern is highly influenced by the masking pattern. For instance, nocturnal animals get highly active as a response to dark (night) and become less active in response to light (day).


What Is The Best Time To Take Chronotherapy Theophylline Uniphyl?

Theophylline drug is used to treat lung conditions and it is the medication that patients might have to take throughout their life. For instance, conditions such as asthma can be treated with this medication. The dose of this medication is 400 mg, once daily, either at night or during the day time as per recommended by a doctor.

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Last reviewed at:
14 Sep 2022  -  4 min read




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