I’m generally not a fan of prescription medications, at least not as a go-to solution. So you might be surprised to hear that I think a new drug treatment called the “Triple Pill” could be beneficial.
According to research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 67th Annual Scientific Session, this pill could help patients more quickly and easily get a handle on an issue that affects the health of many people without an increase in side effects.
This medication is called the Triple Pill because it combines three common blood pressure medications: telmisartan (20 mg), amlodipine (2.5 mg), and chlorthalidone (12.5 mg). What I like about it is that the doses of each of these medications is pretty low compared to standard treatment doses of the medications administered individually. And it seems to work.
Researchers recruited 700 participants to test out the pill. Their average age was 56, 58% were women, their average blood pressure was 154/90 mm Hg, 59% were not treating their high blood pressure, and 32% had diabetes or chronic kidney disease. The participants were divided into two groups at random. One group received the Triple Pill. The other group received whichever blood pressure medication the doctors thought would be most effective.
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By six months, the researchers wanted the participants to lower their blood pressure to at least 140/90 mm Hg if they had no other health issues and at least 130/80 mm Hg if they had diabetes or chronic kidney disease. The Triple Pill group far outperformed the standard care group, reducing their blood pressure by 8.7 mm Hg on average compared to 4.5 mm Hg for the other group. In fact, by just six weeks into the study, 68% of the Triple Pill users had hit their targets, while only 44% of the standard care group had done so — a 53% reduction in high blood pressure risk for the Triple Pill group.
It’s true that blood pressure medications can have side effects. That’s one of the reasons I prefer to use natural remedies to lower blood pressure, if possible. But tripling the number of medications didn’t triple the side effects. In fact, the rates of participants who needed to try a new treatment due to side effects were 6.6% and 6.8% for the Triple Pill and standard care groups, respectively. The researchers are now moving forward with determining whether the Triple Pill could be a cost-effective solution for helping people manage their blood pressure.
I’m still not crazy about blood pressure medications, but sometimes it’s the only way to get the blood pressure under control. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t add in all of the natural treatments for high blood pressure along with the medications. Doing that will allow you to take less medicine, and any doctor will tell you that this is a good idea. Besides exercise, a healthy diet, and good sleep and stress habits, I like a naturally based product like Advanced Blood Pressure Formula. I’ve had plenty of patients be able to avoid medications altogether or wean themselves off the drugs this way (remember, don’t do this without a doctor’s supervision). But if you do end up needing the drugs, I think the Triple Pill may be a better option that some standard treatments. If you’re on blood pressure medication, ask your doctor whether you can give this one a try instead when it’s available.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD