blood pressure &heart phase The prophylactic use of aspirin to control possible strokes (due to blood clots in the brain) and heart attacks (blood clots of blood vessels of the heart) is documented. A single 81 mg baby aspirin is recommended by many physicians for the prevention of blood clots in persons at risk. Further, for those with blood pressure (BP) that is at the cusp or borderline warning mark of about 140/80, BP regulation and control is important. Cardiologists believe that multi-drug approaches that combine thiazides, beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors are important adjuncts in the war on heart disease. The Indian study reported here suggests positive results for use of a single pill with 5 drugs plus folic acid. This approach would ease multi-pill manipulation, inconvenience and errors.
Single Pills and Drugs That Work and What They Do
A quick review is in order here. The class of drug and what it does follow:
- thiazides are diuretics, they remove excess fluids from the body, reduce heart strain
- ACE inhibitors are special inhibitors of the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme, prevent blood pressure increases; there is blood pressure reduction, less heart strain
- beta blockers inhibit or decrease transmissions or commands to the heart to speed up and pump more, heart rate slows, pressure drops
- statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs- statins decrease plaques, prevent narrowing of arteries and thus prevent decreases of blood flow and chances of clots; wider blood vessels promote less resistance and easier heart pumping
- aspirin is a simple, effective anti-clotting medicant effective for stroke and heart attack prevention plus there is evidence of decreases in the incidence of colon cancer
Results of the Phase II Study
This study can be summarized as here:
- 2,053 participated who had a single risk factor (e.g elevated blood pressure or high cholesterol)
- groups were devised that received all 5 medicants= the polypill or polycap, and 8 control groups with a single drug or combinations of 2 or 3 BP drugs
- the polycap or polypill reduced systolic BP (contraction heart phase) by 7.4 mm
- there was also polypill reduction of the diastolic BP (relaxed, heart phase) by 5.6 mm
- the polypill worked best of all therapy variations tried
Conclusions of Phase II
The findings of the phase II part of the studies were promising. The next phase III study will proceed soon. This should expand and advance the data obtained in this therapeutic study.
For patients, current and future, these data hold the promise of economical, prophylactic therapy that is of low risk, inexpensive and has good health benefits.
Good heart health depends upon important factors such as diet and exercise and the elimination of smoking. The reduction of stress and the normalizing or reduction of elevated, abnormal values for blood pressure, triglycerides, and LDLs is important. Poor or low HDL values are monitored also, with the goal that appropriate therapies, administered under good medical guidance, will protect and enhance a patient’s health.
Individuals currently taking prescribed medications should continue to do. The polypill generics may include some or most of the very beneficial drugs some patients are currently taking: thiazide, atenolol, ramipril, simvastatin and aspirin (low dose). The generic cost of a polypill is projected at about $17.
All individuals should get yearly medical checkups, appropriate lab tests and follow and seek the advice and medications that qualified, competent medical doctors can provide.