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Single pill combination drugs effective

An interesting study showed that patients have more control of their blood pressure when taking a single pill combination drug, compared to taking just one blood pressure lowering medication.

The single combination pill study

The study goal. The researchers wanted to see if there are simpler ways for people to reduce their blood pressure. Would recently diagnosed patients be better off with a single pill combination drug instead of the regular starting dose of a single drug?

To find out they studied 2,104 patients with high blood pressure who were involved in the The “Simplified Treatment Intervention to Control Hypertension” (STITCH) study. The patients were from 45 family practices throughout Ontario, Canada.

The patients were randomly assigned to receive either a tablet of combination drug pills or a single drug dose to lower their blood pressure. The combination pills were;

  • ACE-inhibitor and diuretic or,
  • Angiotensin receptor blocker and diuretic combination.

The research results and conclusions

The research showed that recently diagnosed patients would have better blood pressure control with only half of a single pill combination, compared to taking just one blood pressure lowering medication.

The number of patients achieving target blood pressure levels in the group taking a combination pill was significantly higher at 64.7%, compared to 52.7% for those taking one drug. It increased the chance of reaching the blood pressure target by 20%.

Lead author Prof Feldman from The University of Western Ontario said, “This should be a call to hypertensive patients to go to their family physicians to be prescribed these single pill combinations. It makes both the patients’ and doctors’ lives easier.”

The study was published in the American Heart Association journal, Hypertension.

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