|Two drugs are better than one|
|Friday, 14 January 2011 00:00|
A new UK study has suggested that a combination of two drugs for treating high blood pressure is more effective than a single one. The study of over 1,200 subjects published this week in the Lancet suggests that patients with hypertension who were given a combination of two drugs gave better and faster response to treatment. The study also found that combination treatment also reduced the number of potential side effects.
The conventional form of treatment is to give a patient a single drug and then add another later on if the patient's blood pressure remains high. This new research challenges the established way of treating hypertension and could prove beneficial to a high proportion of the 10million people in the UK currently battling to keep their blood pressure under control.
The team, led by researchers at the University of Cambridge, University of Glasgow and University of Dundee, followed 1,254 patients suffering from high blood pressure in 10 different countries. They compared the effects of giving one drug (either aliskiren or amlodipine) against a regime that administered a combination of both. Patients given the combination of drugs had a 25% better response to treatment during the first six months compared with those on conventional single dose treatments, the study found. They were also less likely to stop taking the medication because of side effects.
The results have been described by the research team as 'breaking the mould for treating hypertension'. Associate medical director of The British Heart Foundation Professor Jeremy Pearson said: "This study adds significantly to the evidence that starting treatment for patients with high blood pressure with two medicines rather than one is safe, and more effective than waiting to add the second medicine later."
The research was funded by the pharmaceutical company Novartis, which makes both amlodipine and aliskiren, and the FDA in the United States has already approved the combination pill for use.
|Last Updated on Monday, 28 February 2011 13:30|