The miracle “polypill”: a daily three-in-one drug could halve the risk of stroke

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The miracle “polypill”: a three-in-one drug every day could halve the risk of stroke, researchers say

  • The “polypill” contains a mixture of substances to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol
  • It will probably only cost a few pennies a day and reduce the risk of heart attack by 53%
  • Research found that those who took the pill also had a 51% lower risk of stroke
  • Over 18,000 patients received polypill, dummy pill or no tablet
  • “It could help millions of people around the world,” said study author










A daily pill containing three types of drugs could reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke by half.

The “polypill,” which will probably cost only a few cents a day, contains blood thinning aspirin, a cholesterol-lowering statin, and at least two blood pressure lowering drugs.

The researchers studied more than 18,000 patients who received a polypill, a dummy pill or no tablet. Those who took a polypill had a 53 percent reduced risk of having a heart attack and a 51 percent reduced chance of having a stroke.

Gastrointestinal bleeding cases were only slightly higher in people on combination therapy, and peptic ulcers were not significantly higher, suggesting that daily aspirin was safe.

The scan gathered evidence from three major studies on the treatment, which supporters say should be given to healthy people to prevent them from having heart problems and strokes.

Professor Salim Yusuf, lead author of the study from McMaster University in Canada, said: “The idea of ​​a polypill that reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease has been around for 20 years, but we now have very clear evidence of its great advantage, and it is time for it to be prescribed.

The researchers studied more than 18,000 patients who received a polypill, a dummy pill or no tablet. Those who took a polypill had a 53 percent reduced risk of having a heart attack and a 51 percent reduced chance of having a stroke.

“Science suggests we should give it to everyone over the age of 50 or 55, but doctors are more likely to choose those in that age group with a risk factor for heart attack or stroke. cerebral, such as those with high blood pressure or diabetes, past and current smokers, and those with a history of cardiovascular disease.

… AND ONE FOR BLOOD PRESSURE

According to the researchers, combining four different blood pressure tablets in a “quadpill” is a more effective treatment.

Doctors often prescribe hypertension medication for patients and then consider changing or adding the medication if it doesn’t work.

Australian researchers have studied the effects of a pill containing a beta blocker, a “water pill” or diuretic, a calcium channel blocker and an angiotensin receptor blocker.

Some 76 percent of those taking the combination pill had their blood pressure under control within three months, compared to just 58 percent of those taking just one drug.

“Since this represents about 70 percent of adults, even this approach could help millions of people around the world.”

The idea for several pills in one came from examining the blood clots that trigger heart attacks and strokes. A clot can form when the body tries to repair damage to blood vessels caused by high blood pressure or the breakdown of fatty deposits caused by high cholesterol.

So it makes sense to give someone a statin to lower their cholesterol, tablets to lower high blood pressure, and aspirin to thin the blood and prevent blood clots.

The researchers looked at the drugs taken together in three studies involving 18,162 people, which were followed for an average of five years. Of those who received no treatment or a dummy pill, 227 people, or 2.5%, died from cardiovascular disease.

That rate fell to 144 people, or 1.6%, among people taking statins, blood pressure tablets and aspirin – either separately or together as a polypill.

The analysis, published in the medical journal Lancet, looked at people who have never had heart health problems to determine if the drugs could protect them from future ones. The benefits were consistent in people with different blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but worked best in older people, the European Society of Cardiology annual conference said.

Professor Yusuf said, “These results are huge and the wide use (of the polypill) can prevent between five and ten million people from having a stroke, heart attack or dying from these conditions each year.”

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