Circadian Effects of Drug Responses

Yaakov Nahmias*, Ioannis P. Androulakis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Circadian rhythms describe physiological systems that repeat themselves with a cycle of approximately 24 h. Our understanding of the cellular and molecular origins of these oscillations has improved dramatically, allowing us to appreciate the significant role these oscillations play in maintaining physiological homeostasis. Circadian rhythms allow living organisms to predict and efficiently respond to a dynamically changing environment, set by repetitive day/night cycles. Since circadian rhythms underlie almost every aspect of human physiology, it is unsurprising that they also influence the response of a living organism to disease, stress, and therapeutics. Therefore, not only do the mechanisms that maintain health and disrupt homeostasis depend on our internal circadian clock, but also the way drugs are perceived and function depends on these physiological rhythms. We present a holistic view of the therapeutic process, discussing components such as disease state, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics, as well as adverse reactions that are critically affected by circadian rhythms. We outline challenges and opportunities in moving toward personalized medicine approaches that explore and capitalize on circadian rhythms for the benefit of the patient.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)203-224
Number of pages22
JournalAnnual Review of Biomedical Engineering
StatePublished - 13 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

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© Copyright 2021 by Annual Reviews.


  • Circadian
  • chronopharmacology
  • endocrine
  • pharmacodynamics
  • pharmacokinetics


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