Researchers from Spain created a polypill that lowers the risk of stroke and cardiovascular death by 33%. The term “polypill” refers to the drug “Trinomia,” which mixes numerous cardiac drugs into a single pill. The use of a polypill “resulted in a significantly decreased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events than normal therapy,” according to studies that followed patients who were recuperating from a heart attack.
What’s in the pill, exactly?
After a patient has recovered from a heart attack, doctors frequently prescribe several drugs to ward off further heart issues in the future. These cardiovascular treatments often consist of three drugs: an aspirin-like blood thinner, a statin that lowers cholesterol, and an ACE inhibitor that lowers blood pressure. One pill containing all three drugs was created by researchers, who then tested 50 different combinations to find the one that would work best.
A group of scientists from the Spanish National Center for Cardiovascular Research (CNIC) enlisted 2,499 volunteers from seven nations to test the polypill. Following a heart attack, participants were enrolled and randomized to receive Trinomia or conventional therapy, which entailed taking each medication separately.
Researchers discovered that patients taking the polypills had a 33% reduced cardiovascular death risk than those taking the three medications separately over the following three years. In the group that received normal care, there were 71 deaths, as opposed to 48 in the polypill group.
Four significant cardiovascular events were also monitored by the team: a fatal heart attack, a second non-fatal heart attack, a non-fatal stroke, and a blocked artery requiring revascularization. The polypill group’s patients had a 24 percent lower risk of all four incidents than the control group, according to the findings.
Why is one tablet preferable to three others?
The issue with taking many medicines is that patients frequently break their drug schedules. Less than 50% of patients continue to take all of their prescribed drugs, according to studies.
According to Dr. Fuster, the trial’s chief researcher, “Although most patients initially adhere to treatment following an acute event such as myocardial infarction, adherence decreases within the first few months.”
At this point, polypills are useful. It is based on the idea that people take their medication more faithfully when they just need to take one pill each day rather than several. simply because taking a single pill is simpler than taking multiple pills at once. A single pill also lessens the possibility that someone may forget to take a medication that could save their life.
“This method has the potential to minimize the risk of recurring cardiovascular disease and death on a worldwide scale by simplifying treatment and enhancing adherence,” says Dr. Fuster.
Globally, cardiovascular illnesses are the main killers. These illnesses caused 17.9 million deaths in 2019, or 32% of all fatalities worldwide. Heart attack and stroke deaths accounted for 85% of these fatalities.
The cost of manufacturing and distributing the polypill might be lower than that of several separate pills. This may make cardiovascular preventive therapy more accessible, particularly for people living in developing and middle-income nations.