British researchers have combined four blood pressure drugs into one pill and the small pilot clinical trial showed normalcy restored in patients within one month, making it a magic pill that has high potential.
In their study, they administered the four-in-one ‘quadpill’ on every patient and the results within a month showed their blood pressure drop to healthy levels of 80-120. Each quadpill contained a quarter-dose of four common blood pressure drugs — irbesartan, amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide and atenolol.
The researchers said each drug is included much lower doses than the conventional different tablets, which could have minimised side-effects in a combined effect. They said reducing the dose could minimise the risk of side-effects such as swollen ankles and kidney problems.
Though extremely small a pilot, the study showed 100% success among the 18 patients wh participated in the trial conducted by researchers from the George Institute at Sydney University. The next stage will have to involve in hundreds to reiterate the effectiveness of the four-in-one quadpill, said researchers.
Lead author Prof. Clara Chow said: “Most people receive one medicine at a normal dose but that only controls blood pressure about half the time. In this small trial blood pressure control was achieved for everyone.”
More than 17 million Britons, or one adult in three, suffer from blood pressure and they take daily tablets, usually blood thinners, to stem the rise in BP. Unattended or ignoring high blood pressure levels or hypertension could lead to high risk of heart attacks, strokes and vascular dementia. People do not relaise the symptoms and nearly half of the patients ignore the lurking disease until it is too late.
Currently, those who are diagnosed with high blood pressure are given a medication which requires only one drug. Now the new magic pill may reduce the dosage and also minimise the side effects. “Minimising side-effects is important for long term treatment,” said Clara Chow, who had als led the initial TEXT ME trial that showed text messaging programs were effective in lowering cholesterol, blood pressure and weight in patients with coronary heart disease.
The findings have been published in the Lancet medical journal.
Prof. Clara Chow is a cardiologist and Director of the Cardiovascular division of the George Institute for Global Health, Program Director Community Based Cardiac Services, Westmead Hospital and Professor of Medicine, Western Clinical School, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney. She has also undertaken collaborative projects in India, supervision of students, co-investigators on grant applications.
She received her Ph.D. in Medicine from the University of Sydney and a postdoctoral stint at McMaster University in Canada. She holds a Career Development Fellowship, co-funded by the National Heart Foundation.
With over 100 publications to her credit, Prof. Clara Chow is currently focusing on clinical and community approaches to cardiovascular prevention. She has published papers in several leading international journals.