Better outcomes for patients using single-pill combination for blood pressure

June 11, 2018, St. Michael's Hospital
People who are prescribed a combination pill to manage their high blood pressure are more likely to take their medicine as instructed and have better health outcomes than those who take the same medications prescribed as separate pills, according to a new study published today by Dr. Amol Verma, an internal medicine physician at St. Michael's Hospital. Credit: St. Michael's Hospital

People who are prescribed a combination pill to manage their high blood pressure are more likely to take their medicine as instructed and have better health outcomes than those who take the same medications prescribed as separate pills, according to a new study published today.

"Using single-pill combinations rather than multiple pills may represent a simple and potentially low-cost intervention that could substantially reduce the global burden of death and disability related to hypertension," said Dr. Amol Verma, the study's lead author, an internal medicine physician at St. Michael's Hospital.

The study was published online in the journal PLOS Medicine.

Hypertension affects an estimated 900 million adults worldwide—including more than five million Canadians—and is the leading cause of global death or disability. About 75 per cent of people with hypertension require more than one medication to control their blood pressure and many are prescribed multiple pills rather than a single-pill fixed-dose combination.

Using databases housed at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Dr. Verma examined data on 13,350 people age 66 and older in Ontario who were prescribed at least two medications for hypertension, which is a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

"We found that people who received single-pill combinations had a significantly lower rate of the combined outcome of death or hospitalization for heart attack, heart failure or stroke and that these differences were related to the fact that patients are more likely to adhere to a regime of taking a single pill," said Dr. Verma.

The study followed people for nearly four years on average. There were 1,008 cardiovascular events among people who took multiple pills compared with 904 events in people who took a single .

Dr. Verma said that translates into 14 per cent fewer deaths for taking the single combination pill—or potentially saving one in 40 lives over five years of treatment.

"Most patients need more than one medication to control , but it is difficult to regularly take multiple medications. Single-pill combinations allow more intense treatment with simpler regimens. Our study is the first to show that single- treatment for is associated with improved outcomes."

Explore further: Plan A is to get patients to stick to their blood pressure pills

Related Stories

Plan A is to get patients to stick to their blood pressure pills

January 19, 2017
There is value in starting off patients with high blood pressure on an all-in-one pill. In the long run, it may help them stick to taking the potentially life-saving medicines prescribed to them. This advice is given to clinicians ...

Single-tablet HIV treatment shows better outcomes over multi-tablet regimen

May 18, 2018
HIV patients on a single-tablet daily regimen had better treatment retention and viral suppression than patients taking multiple pills, in a study by a Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center researcher and his ...

Low-dose 'triple pill' lowers blood pressure more than usual care

March 12, 2018
A pill combining low doses of three blood pressure-lowering medications significantly increased the number of patients reaching blood pressure targets compared with usual care, researchers reported at the American College ...

People more likely to take heart medicines in combo pill

November 6, 2012
People are much more likely to take heart medicines if they're combined in one pill, according to a late-breaking clinical trial presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2012.

Women's wellness: Birth control pill benefits, risks and choices

April 23, 2018
The birth control pill is surrounded by misinformation. Get the facts on common concerns and questions about taking the pill. If you take the birth control pill (oral contraceptive), you're probably happy with its convenience ...

Recommended for you

New cellular pathway helps explain how inflammation leads to artery disease

June 21, 2018
Investigators have identified a new cellular pathway that may help explain how arterial inflammation develops into atherosclerosis—deposits of cholesterol, fats and other substances that create plaque, clog arteries and ...

'Smart stent' detects narrowing of arteries

June 19, 2018
For every three individuals who have had a stent implanted to keep clogged arteries open and prevent a heart attack, at least one will experience restenosis—the renewed narrowing of the artery due to plaque buildup or scarring—which ...

Marriage may protect against heart disease / stroke and associated risk of death

June 18, 2018
Marriage may protect against the development of heart disease/stroke as well as influencing who is more likely to die of it, suggests a pooled analysis of the available data, published online in the journal Heart.

Deaths from cardiac arrest are misclassified, overestimated

June 18, 2018
Forty percent of deaths attributed to cardiac arrest are not sudden or unexpected, and nearly half of the remainder are not arrhythmic—the only situation in which CPR and defibrillators are effective—according to an analysis ...

Tick-borne meat sensitivity linked to heart disease

June 15, 2018
University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have linked sensitivity to an allergen in red meat—a sensitivity spread by tick bites—with a buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries of the heart. This buildup may ...

Tobacco aside, e-cigarette flavorings may harm blood vessels

June 14, 2018
Flavor additives used in electronic cigarettes and related tobacco products could impair blood vessel function and may be an early indicator of heart damage, according to new laboratory research in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.