Combining several heart medications into one pill can lower the risk for heart disease and stroke nearly as well as taking all the medications separately, without an increased risk for side effects.
Researchers in Canada and India studied over two thousand adults. Each had at least one risk factor for heart disease. 200 people took a "polypill", a medication that combined an aspirin, a cholesterol-lowering drug called a statin, and three blood pressure drugs.
The rest took the individual drugs at various doses.
They found people taking the polypill had lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels after 12 weeks. Another benefit, experts say patients are less likely to stick to their medication the more pills they need to take, so combining all the drugs they need could improve their benefit.
The study was funded by the manufacturers of the combination pill.
Experts say more studies are needed and for many patients the "one size fits all" mentality may not work. They are also worried if the pill continues to be successful patients may stop exercising and eating healthy.