Some drugs combine different types of heart drugs. It is not advisable to take the combination heart drugs; they have a terrible track record for dangerous side effects. It’s difficult enough to combine and track the effects and side effects of heart drugs without putting them all in one pill. If they come in separate pills, you can take more or less of one (with your physician’s supervision), and if you’re experiencing side effects, it’s easier to track down a cause. Remember, side effects are never your fault, and you should never feel you just have to suffer them. Furthermore, treating side effects with more drugs is a dangerous practice that conscientious doctors do not engage in.
A perfect example of this is Vytorin, a combination pill of the cholesterol-lowering drugs ezetimibe (Zetia) and simvastatin (Zocor), which lower cholesterol through different mechanisms. Recent research published in the New England Journal of Medicine revealed that although this drug combination does lower cholesterol, it doesn’t reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke and may even speed up the buildup of plaque in the arteries. Other research shows that Vytorin may increase the risk of cancer. This information was not released by the drug company until two years after it was discovered, giving the manufacturers plenty of time to aggressively promote it on TV and rake in nearly $5 billion in sales of Vytorin in 2007 alone. This is a good example of a drug that was approved because it lowers cholesterol—without the long-term studies that would have shown whether it reduces the risk of heart disease.
Prescription Alternatives: Hundreds of Free, Natural, Prescription-Free Remedies to Restore & Maintain Your Health, by Earl L. Mindell, R.Ph, Ph. D, & Virginia Hopkins, M.A. Published by McGraw-Hill.