Two drugs in one pill to transform BP treatment
A single pill with two drugs could transform blood pressure treatment, according to the 2018 European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and European Society of Hypertension (ESH) Guidelines on arterial hypertension published recently.

The guidelines recommend starting most patients on two blood pressure lowering drugs, not one. The previous recommendation was for step-wise treatment, which meant starting with one drug then adding a second and third if needed. This suffered from “physician inertia”, in which doctors were reluctant to change the initial strategy despite its lack of success. At least 80% of patients should have been upgraded to two drugs, yet most remained on one drug.

It is now recognised that a major reason for poor rates of blood pressure control is that patients do not take their pills. Non-adherence increases with the number of pills, so administering the two drugs (or three if needed) in a single tablet “could transform blood pressure control rates”, state the guidelines.

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