Nearly 1 in 3 Americans have high blood pressure, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). So finding an effective way to lower hypertension readings is one of the country’s most pressing health issues.
Effectively controlling high blood pressure
But now, a new drug holds promise for effectively controlling high blood pressure. An ultra-low dose, four-in-one pill has been shown to drop hypertensive readings down to normal, researchers from the George Institute report.
In the study, people with an average high-blood pressure reading of 154/90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) took a single capsule containing four blood pressure-lowering drugs—irbesartan, amlodipine, hydrochlorothiazide, and atenolol—at quarter doses for 4 weeks. All of the 18 patients taking the quad-pill saw their BP readings drop below 140/90 mm Hg, or the threshold for high blood pressure.
“Most people receive one medicine at a normal dose, but that only controls blood pressure about half the time,” says study author Clara Chow, Ph.D. in a press release. “In this small trial, blood pressure control was achieved for everyone.”
100 Percent Success Rate
So in order to provide more context to their small, preliminary trial, the researchers conducted a review of the related scientific literature to see what other experiments on single quarter-dose drugs or two quarter-dose drugs found. Their conclusion? The regimens significantly lowered both diastolic and systolic blood pressure—and there were no side effects from either.
The lack of side effects held true in the current experiment, too
“Minimizing side effects is important for long-term treatments—we didn’t see any issues in this trial, as you would hope with very low dose therapy, but this is the area where more long-term research is most needed,” Chow said in the release.
In fact, the researchers are currently about to start a much larger-scale trial to determine how the effects hold up among more people—and whether the same results can be maintained longer-term.