Innovation

New All-In-One Drug Combines Treatments For High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol

Treatments to manage high blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels may soon come from a single drug. Researchers found a new all-in-one medication that can manage the two conditions and reduce the risk of heart disease. 

The experimental drug, called polypill, can be a game changer, mainly giving a cheaper but effective option to low-income patients. The minorities and communities with low socio-economic status in the U.S. are known to have high risk of cardiovascular disease, ABC News reported Thursday.

“We have made a lot of progress in preventing and treating cardiovascular disease but that progress hasn’t reached everybody,” Daniel Muñoz, an assistant professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told ABC News. 

Polypill combines three medicines for high blood pressure and one that works to lower cholesterol. Both conditions contribute to cardiovascular disease. 

Researchers at Vanderbilt University and Franklin Primary Health Center said the drug may help reduce cardiovascular events in the lower-income population by nearly 25 percent when it enters the market. There are 75 million adults currently living with high blood pressure and nearly 29 million with high cholesterol levels across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

To see how polypill affects the body, researchers gathered a group of people to take either the drug or a traditional medication. The group that received polypill had better blood pressure and lower bad cholesterol levels. 

Polypill appeared with “meaningful patient outcomes.” according to James De Lemos, a professor of medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern. The drug contains medications with no history of serious side effects. 

The drug has generic formulations of Lipitor, Norvasc, Cozaar and HydroDiuril, which are standard treatments for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. After the human trials, only 1 percent of participants experienced side effects, such  as muscle pain, light-headedness and low blood pressure.

“In this era of precision medicine and individualized therapies and care, an approach like the polypill could be labeled as a one-size-fits-all approach,” Muñoz said. “We think that a population-based approach like the polypill can be used together with individualized therapy.”

Manufacturing the drug only costs $26 per month per person, researchers said. More tests are required to see how the body will respond to polypill before offering it to the public.

Drugs Polypill is an all-in-one drug that combines treatments for high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Pixabay

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