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What is the Polypill and What Conditions Does it Treat

When drug medications are being discussed for finding out what their curative properties consist of, it’s always wise to start the ball rolling by asking a question. In doing so it would be easier to gauge the curative properties of the polypill (when it finally appears on the market) and have the opportunity of finding out what exactly it can do to improve the condition you or someone else is experiencing. Read on to learn more.

The medicinal properties of the polypill

While it contains a combination of several medications that are used for treating heart disease and high blood pressure, doctors haven’t been able to determine the best medicinal combination for this pill.

For now polypill contains the following medications:

  • Cholesterol-lowering medications (statins)
  • Aspirin
  • Medications for lowering your blood pressure
  • Medications for regulating the intensity of your heart beat.

Special observations on polypill

To date, this mediation isn’t openly sold in the United States and while studies are still proceeding, they do indicate that the combination of different medications actually assist patients in following a strict regimen in taking their treatment.

There’s little doubt it would be easier to take just one pill that contains different medications rather that to take many different types of medications separately.

In this regard, concerns were expressed about the risk of more side effects from taking polypill as separate treatments rather than taking only a single pill.

Fortunately, clinical trials have shown that there have been low rates of side effects from polypill, the only side effects suffered by patients consisted only of coughing, stomach upset and aching muscles.

Apart from this worry, it has also been found that polypill appears to be effective in reducing both blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

However, there’s still a need to conduct more prolonged studies to ascertain whether or not the multi-ingredient polypill has the ability to reduce deaths from diseases of the heart as well as strokes.

The major condition that polypill seeks to address

In the United States and indeed globally, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), which mainly feature heart attack and stroke is one of the main causes of death.  The two allied conditions that give rise to CVD are high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.

However, despite the fact that they commonly occur and can be easily treated, they are nevertheless not treated as often and as quickly as they should be.

This is particularly the case for people who have little means of affording available treatment. Members of minority groups usually suffer from this lack of treatment.

It goes without saying that thousands of these unfortunate people who suffer from high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels can be saved if they were given treatment for their conditions.

Poor medication adherence

This is the main problem which has led to the failure for proper treatment being accorded to people who have high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. 

Poor medication adherence simply means that those being treated usually fail to take the prescribed medications given to them in the manner that they should. There are many reasons for this but the most important are shown below:

  • The conditions that people suffer from, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, often show no symptoms and therefore there’s no urgency in taking the prescribed medication.
  • It’s difficult to remember to take many types of medications for the two conditions which can involve taking multiple doses of different medications. It’s only an inconvenience to take the many medications. Because no symptoms present themselves, there’s no point in being punctual or conscientious in taking the prescribed medication.
  • There’s always the likelihood that taking the medications will result in side effects so it’s easier to forgo the treatment and suffer no side effects than to take them.
  • It’s also possible that the medications in question may be expensive for people to afford them.

The appeal of polypill to people suffering from CVD

Given that medication adherence is important in ensuring that proper medication is taken for a specific condition, if follows that initiating a simpler and more effective treatment method devoid of inconvenience and is simple to follow is needed.

Giving people only one pill that contains a variety of medicines inside, offers the best and most effective solution from which advantages become immediately apparent such as:

  • In view of the many different types of medications in the one pill, a decrease in the dose for each medication would apply which means of course that there would be less likelihood of annoying side effects.
  • Lower doses of a combination of medications would likely be more potent than dispensing higher doses of only one medication.
  • Also, it goes without saying that taking fewer doses would be much easier to take and remember as opposed to more doses.
  • Given what has been expressed above, it would be more than likely that a single polypill would be much cheaper for the patient rather than several separate medications taken individually.
  • If a situation where were to develop whereby there are fewer pills and lower doses of medications were given, it would follow that those involved in being offered treatment would not need to visit the clinic, undergo blood tests or be subjected to monitoring more often.

The polypill and its downsides

It’s not all rosy for (yet to be produced) polypill as there are also drawbacks such as:

  • Side effects – even if a patient takes low doses of multiple medications, it could result in  more side effects and worse, it would be difficult to pinpoint the which medicine inside the polypill actually caused the side effect.
  • Interactions – medicines are liable to interact with each other in a combined situation. This could give rise to more or less potency, allergic responses or even the onslaught of combined side effects.
  • Cost – due to the individual medications present in polypill, it can be more expensive.
  • Overtreatment – sometimes only one or two types of medications suffice to treat a condition but with polypill there’s no option. You still have to take all the medications in the one pill.
  • Dosing flexibility – with polypill, doses are fixed so if you want to change the dose of one medication you may also need to adapt the doses of the other medications.

Bottom line

It’s clear at the outset that as with other types of drug medications for certain conditions, polypill has its fair share of pros and cons when compared with other drug treatments. Perhaps the novel thing about polypill is its feature of having different types of medication actually harbored in the pill itself. It other medications, you encounter agents that facilitate the function of an active ingredient. In polypill you have individual medications but it does its work effectively.

 

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