Chronopharmacology and drug prescribing pattern of physicians in a tertiary care hospital of North India

Diwanshu Sharma, Pavan Malhotra


Background: Chronopharmacology is the science dealing with the optimization of drug effects and the minimization of adverse effects by timing medication in relation to the biological rhythm. This concept came into picture to make us understand about periodic and predictable changes in both desired effects and tolerance of medication Chronotherapeutics approach gives more accurate determination of the time when patients are at highest risk and in greatest need of therapy. This Chronopharmacological principle is used in the therapy of various diseases like cardiovascular diseases, allergy and many more. The objective of the study was to analyse whether chronopharmacological approach was being applied in clinical practice by comparing chronopharmacology of 4 drugs to their prescribing pattern by the physicians.

Methods: This was observational study where 700 prescriptions written by physicians were audited. To study all the drugs would have been tedious so four commonly used drugs were chosen that is, Proton pump inhibitors, statins, Beta blockers and subcutaneous Insulin.

Results: Results showed that chronopharmacological approach has been applied in the clinical field though physician didn’t have clear concept about chronopharmacology and it is relation to the prescribing. Despite this, maximum physician prescribing pattern was comparable to the chronopharmacological data except in case of Proton pump inhibitors.

Conclusions: It is concluded that Chronotherapeutics approach gives more accurate determination of the time when patients are at highest risk and in greatest need of therapy. Nevertheless, this variation is only seldom considered by clinicians. If drugs are prescribed by following chronopharmacological approach it can prove beneficial to the patients as more of effectiveness of the drug and lesser side effects.


Beta blocker, Chronopharmacolgy, Proton pump inhibitors, Prescribing pattern, Statins, Subcutaneous insulin

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