Heart failure patients may need multiple medications. Each one treats a different symptom or contributing factor and comes with its own instructions and rules.
You and your caregivers should work with your healthcare team to understand the medications and when, how often and in what dosage to take them.
It’s important to discuss all of the drugs you take with your doctor (or other healthcare providers) and understand their desired effects and possible side effects. Your doctor and your pharmacist are your best sources of information. Don’t hesitate to ask them questions about your medicines.
It’s critical that people with heart failure take their medications exactly as directed by their healthcare provider, to optimize the benefits. The use of these drugs has saved lives, prolonged life and improved the heart’s function.
For your information and reference, we have included generic names as well as major trade names to help you identify what you may be taking; however, the AHA is not recommending or endorsing any specific products. If your prescription medication isn’t on this list, remember that your healthcare provider and pharmacist are your best sources of information. It’s important to discuss all of the drugs you take with your doctor and understand their desired effects and possible side effects. Never stop taking a medication and never change your dose or frequency without first consulting your doctor.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – A new study found that the inexpensive multi-pill, ‘Polypill,’ can reduce heart attacks and strokes by up to 40%.
And some heart disease researchers believe that the inexpensive multi-pill, combined with aspirin, can reduce heart attacks and strokes by up to 40%, according to new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The research was presented at the American Heart Association’s scientific sessions on Friday.
The polypill is a drug that combines three different blood pressure medications (atenolol, ramipril, and the “water pill” hydrochlorothiazide) with the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin. Polypil can be taken alone or with aspirin.
Polypill is widely used in Europe, but it is not marketed or used as often in the United States.
The study included more than 5,700 volunteers from all over the world who were followed by researchers for nearly five years.
The age of the male volunteers was about 50 years or more, while the women were 55 years or more. All volunteers were considered to have a moderate risk of developing heart disease, due to underlying conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
The group was divided into people who took a low-dose aspirin, multi-pill, or multi-pill in addition to aspirin or a placebo.
The multi-pill with aspirin reduced heart problems and deaths by 31%, and had few side effects. Side effects included dizziness, or low blood pressure. Those who continued to take the pill without a break saw a 40% reduction in their risk of developing heart disease.
Only about 4% in the group that took the multi-pill and aspirin had a heart problem such as a stroke, heart attack, or other heart problem that this study was pursuing or died, compared to about 6% of those who took the placebo.
The results of this study are similar to previous research: a 2003 study found that the polypill could prevent 88% of heart attacks and 80% of strokes.
As for heart disease, it is the leading cause of death in the United States and accounts for nearly a quarter of all recorded deaths.
“We can save millions of people from serious heart disease or stroke every year with the effective use of the multiple pill and aspirin,” said Salem Youssef, co-lead researcher and professor of medicine at McMaster University in Canada.