A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Polypill offers promise for heart health

Polypill heart health

A polypill, which contains multiple different medications within one pill, may hold promise for prevention of heart problems.

A recent study showed there may be new reason for optimism in our ability to prevent major cardiovascular events, like heart failure or heart attack. The study focused on the effectiveness of a polypill, which contains multiple different medications within one pill.

The pill in this study contained “a combination of aspirin, atorvastatin, hydrochlorothiazide, and either enalapril or valsartan,” according to an article in Cardiology Advisor, an online resource for health care professionals.

Dr. Shereif Rezkalla, a Marshfield Clinic Health System cardiologist, said those medications combine to help prevent heart attack, and decrease blood pressure and the chance of an arrhythmia.

What the study found

In the study, one group was given the polypill, while the other group “periodically received text messages and pamphlets regarding how to follow a healthy lifestyle,” according to Cardiology Advisor.

“Participants with high adherence to the polypill had a significantly lower risk for a major cardiovascular event than those in the minimal care cohort,” said the article in Cardiology Advisor. “The polypill cohort had lower risks for fatal ischemic heart disease, nonfatal ischemic heart disease, fatal stroke and nonfatal stroke.”

Polypill not yet available in America

Rezkalla said that this particular medication is not yet available in the United States, but the results are promising.

“The value is that this is an affordable and seemingly effective medication, and because all the medicines are combined into one pill, it’s easier for patients to keep track of and take consistently,” Rezkalla said.

You should talk with your provider before starting any medications or changing medications. If you have questions about your heart health, talk with your provider.

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