Australian researchers have developed an innovative, new treatment for one of the world’s biggest health concerns – high blood pressure (hypertension).
Prescribing one medication (monotherapy) is currently the most common way to tackle this pervasive health condition, which is the Number 1 cause of preventable death worldwide.
Now a multi-centre study has discovered that combining four types of blood pressure lowering medications into one pill (a “quadpill”) is a more effective way to control hypertension.
This single pill contains 4 different blood pressure medicines at very low doses (¼ of the usual dose).
Royal Perth Hospital’s Professor Graham Hillis and Professor Markus Schlaich worked with Curtin University’s Professor Christopher Reid and his team on the national study, called QUARTET, that showed most participants only needed to swallow one “quadpill” each day to achieve blood pressure control.
Professor Schlaich, who heads the Dobney Hypertension Centre (a joint venture between RPH Research Foundation, The University of Western Australia and Royal Perth Hospital) said the results, which were just published in the medical journal, The Lancet, were encouraging.
“In this study, which was led by the University of Sydney’s Professor Clara Chow, the majority of participants only needed the “quadpill” to achieve blood pressure control,” Professor Schlaich said.
“This is an encouraging result when you consider the current treatments being prescribed to approximately half of patients are not working effectively.”
Furthermore, almost 60% of Australians who have high blood pressure are not receiving medical treatment for the condition, which if left untreated, is one of the biggest risk factors for stroke, coronary heart disease and chronic kidney disease.
Professor Hillis said the preliminary results from this clinical trial indicated a “quadpill” strategy could become a simple and effective way to treat hypertension, given the medication was well-tolerated by the participants.
“Based on the QUARTET study, this new way of treating high blood pressure promises to be a much easier and more effective way to control this very common and important condition” Professor Hillis said.
The Dobney Hypertension Centre team is planning to recruit more people to participate in an upcoming clinical trial to investigate this novel approach to treating high blood pressure.
The Lancet paper was led by the University of Sydney’s Westmead Applied Research Centre (WARC) in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, with co-authors including The George Institute for Global Health, UNSW Sydney and Imperial College London; The University of Western Australia; University of Tasmania; Western Sydney University, UTS Sydney, Monash University and Curtin University.