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Polypill may cut heart disease risk

  • 5 Comments

Heart disease and stroke risks could be cut after the world’s first international trial of a “polypill”.

The four-in-one pill contains aspirin as well as chemicals which can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Millions of people around the world are already being prescribed separate pills in order to reduce their risk of heart attacks and strokes, leading to researchers to consider the combined pill. There have been calls for all over-55s to be encouraged to take it to reduce their risks of ill health.

In a study revealed in the Public Library of Science One, 378 people from the UK, Australia, Brazil, India, Holland, New Zealand and the US, were tested with the polypill who did not already need its components, but who had more than a 7.5% estimated risk of cardiovascular problems.

The drug is composed of 75mg of aspirin, the blood pressure drug lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide, and simvastatin, which battles cholesterol. The drug did cause some side effects in one in six people, however, with one in 20 halting the treatment owing to outcomes such as irritated stomachs and coughing.

  • 5 Comments

Readers' comments (5)

  • A pill for all ills, was this not poo, pooed years ago??

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  • Interesting. This type of medication en masse has been seriously criticised in the past, and yet more funds are pumped into more research of the same design by the same vested interests.
    The results look staggeringly familiar, 1 in 6 people with side effects in just a 12 week period which is way over the boundary any pharmaceutical product would be allowed to launch a new product with, as well as the study not being long term enough to start showing the longer term damage to vital organs. However the conclusions state there would be net benefit. For whom?
    The trial subjects were deemed to have a CVS risk and no indications for medication, so basically there was nothing to prescribe on except an ethereal concept, which seems to contradict the rules of safe and ethical prescribing as well.
    The reduction in risk overall and in the long term is again assumed rather than substantiated, no mention of dietary, lifestyle or additional changes to influence risk or outcome, which would have been a good comparison group.
    Lastly, there's no mention of NNT and NNH figures which is research de rigeur, I wonder if they were too CVS risk inducing to publish?!

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  • I do wonder if we are becoming a society of illnesses due to polypharmacy. I remember the time when physicians questioned this, now it seems we are being encouraged to get as much prescibed as you can to treat and prevent long-term illnesses. A polypill, what a way to disguise polypharmacy to the public.

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  • i read yesterday in a magazine on internet safety that surfing the medical knowledge on the internet is a way for the well to become ill!

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  • It is all down to this and the previous government - i.e. payment by results. The more of the public are screened and prescribed medication, the more money the NHS gets. Who's in charge here? - the drug companies, me thinks (backed by the government, of course). Wake up people, we are being manipulated. Take this/these or do as I say or you will die or not get the treatment you need??? - that is the patient choice now. We can't afford to pay for all the upcoming elderly, so do we really want them to live too long and be a burden on the NHS budget? I don't think so. If you are old enough to get your NHS pension now, do so, spend it and enjoy it before you have to put it back to fund any intervention or care. If you think that is OTT, mark my words, that is the way the NHS is heading. I am waiting for a subtle change in the way the term NHS will be changed, leading us into believing it will be a better service. We will go for it, hook, line and sinker.

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