The Polypill

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Submitted by Dr T on July 18, 2011 – 12:21pm

Dear Dr T,
In the Dutch media there is some interesting information about the polypill. Research has shown that this single pill would help reduce cholesterol levels and cardiac diseases. It also happens to be very cheap. As I am currently taking hydrochlorothiazide and Cozar on a daily basis, substituting that for just 1 pill would be nice. Please let me have your valued vision.

The Polypill is indicated for patients with a relatively low risk for CV disease.
This is what I like:

  1. Probably OK if a standard dose is all you need for each individual component, i.e. blood pressure and cholesterol are easily managed with this combination, or if you only use it because you are over 55 years of age
  2. One pill
  3. Cheap

This is what I don’t like:

  • What if lisinopril & hydrochlorathiazide do not control your BP w/o further adjustments (same for simvastatine)
  • The polypill will not be monitored and therefore if needed to modify your BP or cholesterol, success remains unknown.

Therefore, if you belong to that lucky category of people whose BP is easily managed and simvastatine is only taken  as a precaution, I’d say go for it. Once adjustments are needed, or you are at a higher risk, you are usually better off with the individual components.

Hope this helps,
Dr T

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