Comparison of Risk Factor Reduction and Tolerability of a Full-Dose Polypill (With Potassium) Versus Low-Dose Polypill (Polycap) in Individuals at High Risk of Cardiovascular Diseases
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BACKGROUND: A daily single capsule (polycap) of 3 blood pressure (BP) lowering drugs (hydrochlorthiazide, 12.5 mg; atenolol, 50 mg; ramipril, 5 mg) at low doses, simvastatin (20 mg), and aspirin (100 mg) has been demonstrated to be well tolerated and to reduce BP and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. We examined the incremental effects of 2 (full dose) plus K(+) supplementation versus single polycap (low dose) on risk factors and tolerability. METHODS AND RESULTS: After a run-in period, 518 individuals with previous vascular disease or diabetes mellitus from 27 centers in India were randomly assigned to a single-dose polycap or to 2 capsules of the polycap plus K(+) supplementation for 8 weeks. The effects on BP, heart rate (HR), serum lipids, serum and urinary K(+), and tolerability were assessed using an intention-to-treat analysis. The full-dose polycap (plus K(+) supplementation) reduced BP by a further 2.8 mm Hg systolic and 1.7 mm Hg diastolic, compared with that observed with the low-dose polycap (P=0.003; P=0.001), but there were no differences in HR (0.1 bpm). The differences in total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol between the full-dose and low-dose polycap was 7.2 mg/dL (P=0.014) and 6.6 mg/dL (P=0.006), respectively, but there were no differences in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or triglycerides. The rates of discontinuation of the study drug after randomization were similar in the 2 groups (6.9% low dose versus 7.8% full dose). CONCLUSIONS: The full-dose polycap (plus K(+) supplementation) reduces BP and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol to a greater extent compared with the low dose, with similar tolerability. Therefore, the full-dose polycap should potentially lead to larger benefits. Clinical Trial Registration- URL: http://www.ctri.nic.in. Unique identifier: CTRI/2010/091/000054.
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