A new study published in PLOS Medicine has found that people who are prescribed a combination pill to manage 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.
Dr Amol Verma, the study's lead author and an internal medicine physician at St. Michael's Hospital, Canada, examined data on 13,350 people aged 66 and above in Ontario who were prescribed at least two medications for hypertension. Those who received single pill combinations had a significantly lower rate of the combined outcome of death or hospitalisation for heart attack, heart failure or stroke. This was related to the fact that patients are more likely to adhere to a regime of taking a single pill.
“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,” Dr Verma said. “Most patients need more than one medication to control blood pressure, 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-pill treatment for hypertension is associated with improved outcomes.”