From: Reuters
Published February 19, 2008 09:18 AM

Single pill helps controls BP, cholesterol

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In African-Americans with poorly controlled high blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol, treatment with a single pill containing a blood pressure-lowering drug and a cholesterol-lowering drug may prove particularly useful, researchers say.

Getting blood pressure and "bad" LDL-cholesterol under control has been harder to do in African Americans than in the overall U.S. population, note the researchers in a report in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, a medical journal. The current study, they say, suggests that the single-pill option may help more of them reach their goals.

The single pill combo is marketed as Caduet by Pfizer, the company that supported the study. Caduet contains the drug amlodipine, used to treat high blood pressure and atorvastatin, used to lower cholesterol.

In the study, 499 African Americans with uncontrolled hypertension and "dyslipidemia" (elevations in cholesterol or triglycerides) received Caduet in eight different dosage strengths, which were flexibly increased as needed.

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"We have shown, in a study designed to approximate 'real world' practice in African Americans with poorly controlled hypertension and dyslipidemia that single-pill amlodipine/atorvastatin provides substantial improvement in both risk factors," Dr. John M. Flack, from Wayne State University Health Center in Detroit and colleagues report.

"Control of hypertension and dyslipidemia had been achieved in fewer than 1 percent of patients at study entry but was attained by almost half by week 20," they further note.

More specifically, they report that 236 (48.3 percent) of 489 patients reached both their blood pressure and LDL-cholesterol goals, versus 4 (0.8 percent) of 484 at baseline.

Separately, they found that 280 (56.8 percent) of 493 patients reached BP goals, versus 7 (1.4 percent) of 494 at baseline, while 361 (73.7 percent) of 490 reached LDL-cholesterol goals compared with 138 (28.5 percent) of 484 at baseline.

The single-pill combination was well tolerated; the most common treatment-related adverse events were peripheral swelling (3.4 percent), headache (2.2 percent), muscle pain (2.2 percent) and constipation (2.0 percent), none of which were considered severe.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic Proceedings, January 2008.

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