Women's Heart Advisor July 2009 Issue

Combination Pills: Do They Work?

Polypills offer convenience for patients on fixed doses of heart medications.

Most heart patients take multiple medications to reduce the risk of a cardiovascular event, heart failure or death. For years, physicians have theorized that combining these medications into a single "polypill" might improve compliance and availability. Thatís why early results of a clinical trial of a pill combining three blood pressure medications, a statin and aspirin attracted a great deal of attention at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology in March 2009. In reality, pills combining two common heart medications are already available. They include Vytorin and Simcor (two different cholesterol drugs), Caduet (a calcium channel blocker and a statin) and Exforge (an angiotensin receptor blocker and a calcium channel blocker), and multiple combinations of two hypertension medications. In all cases, the drugs have been found to be as effective in both men and women when taken together as when taken separately.

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