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How the Circadian Rhythm May Affect Medications & Treatments

Narrator: This is Science Today. When considering disease states or the general treatment of any disorder, it's becoming clear that the body's internal clock, or Circadian rhythm, is going to have an affect on the way that the medications or treatments work.

Kriegsfeld: If you consider just general medications - the elimination rates, the metabolism rates and the absorbance rates and the distribution rates within the body - differ depending upon the time of day.

Narrator: Lance Kriegsfeld of the University of California , Berkeley says previous research has found that asthmatic children react better to medication given in the evening. There has even been data suggesting that the timing of chemotherapy should be considered to boost its effectiveness.

Kriegsfeld: The oncology community dismissed some of these results initially because the data were not particularly robust. But it's becoming increasingly clearer through large scale clinical trials that this is a very important consideration and oncologists are becoming aware of it and hospital administrators are thinking of ways that they could incorporate that into the way that they treat patients.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.