African-Americans Shown to Benefit from Single Pill for Blood Pressure, Cholesterol

| Feb 20, 2008

A Wayne State University Health Clinic study has shown that a single pill containing both a blood pressure-lowering drug and a cholesterol-lowering drug may be of particular benefit for African Americans.

Researchers sponsored by Pfizer studied the effects of Pfizer's Caduet, a single pill that contains the drugs amlodipine and atorvastatin, used to lower high blood pressure and high cholesterol, respectively.

For as yet unestablished reasons, it is harder for African Americans than for the general U.S. population to bring blood pressure and "bad" LDL cholesterol under control. By providing a one-pill solution, researchers hoped to see a substantial improvement in control rates among African Americans.

They did. At the start of the study, which involved 499 African Americans with uncontrolled hypertension and elevated cholesterol or triglycerides, fewer than 1 percent had achieved control of those conditions. However, after receiving Caduet in eight different dosages, which were increased as needed, 48.3 percent of participants had achieved control over both conditions by week 20.

Patients tolerated the pill well. The most common treatment-related complications were peripheral swelling (3.4 percent), headache (2.2 percent), muscle pain (2.2 percent) and constipation (2.0 percent). Researchers say none of those reactions was considered severe.

Source: MedlinePlus; Mayo Clinic Proceedings

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