Frequently Asked Questions

Key Information

  1. How do I obtain the preventive medication?

    If eligible, you can order our preventive medication here on There is no need to go to a chemist. After you complete our online assessment one of our doctors will, if there is no contra-indication, issue a prescription in your name. This prescription will then be immediately forwarded to our partner pharmacist who will dispatch your medication by mail to your preferred delivery address.

  2. How do I get a repeat prescription?

    We will contact you via your online patient record in time before your medication will run out. If there are no reasons to discontinue the medication our doctors will issue a follow-up prescription and make arrangements for further supply of your medication to be delivered to you.

  3. Whom do I contact if I have a problem?

    You can contact our doctors anytime by sending us a message through your online patient record or speak to us on 020 7600 3205.

  4. Can you keep my GP informed about this preventive medication?

    Yes, provided we obtain your agreement we will send a standard letter to your GP so that he or she is made aware of the medication you are taking. We will not share any of your information without your consent.

Taking the Preventive Medication

  1. Do I need to take this preventive medication every day?

    Yes, it should be taken each day to obtain the full expected effect.

  2. What if I forget to take the pills?

    There is no need to double up at the next dose, simply continue with the next single dose at the usual time – there are no ill effects from missing a single dose.

  3. How long would I take the pills for?

    Indefinitely. It is necessary to continue taking the pills to maintain the preventive effect.

  4. When should I take the pills?

    The pills can be taken at any time of day.

About the preventive medication

  1. Is this preventive medication scientifically proven?

    Preventive medication using the components of the Polypill Programme has been researched internationally for over 20 years and there is conclusive evidence for their health benefits.

  2. Are there any side effects?

    Some people may experience minor discomfort such as having to urinate more frequently, muscle aches, ankle swelling, dizziness, rash and, rarely, a dry cough. Serious side effects are extremely rare. If you experience side effects it is a simple matter to withdraw the component likely to be responsible or to consider an alternative. These symptoms, if they do occur, resolve completely and rapidly on stopping. Our doctors are of course happy to discuss any potential side effects with you at any time.

  3. My blood pressure and cholesterol are not raised. Will I still benefit from taking the polypill?

    Yes, you will benefit. Most heart attacks and strokes occur in people who do not have raised values. Even if your blood pressure and cholesterol are within the range often described as “normal”, there is a health benefit in reducing them: “the lower, the better”.

  4. Are there any people who should not take the pill?

    Yes. People under 50 are not eligible. If you already have cardiovascular disease it would be better to take a different combination of medications, including aspirin. People already taking medicines that are in the preventive medication provided in our programme are not eligible. People with certain diseases should not take one or several of the component medications; these are heart failure, diseases of the aortic valve, active liver disease, porphyria, chronic renal failure requiring dialysis, stenosis of a renal artery, and a history of angioedema. People who have previously taken one of the four classes of medication and developed side effects should avoid taking it again.

  5. Are there any incidental benefits?

    Yes. There is about a one third reduction in the occurence of headaches.

  6. What should I do if I become pregnant when taking the pills?

    If you become pregnant whilst taking these pills, you should stop taking them immediately and contact our Polypill doctors or your GP for advice.

  7. Are further tests required?

    No specific tests are required. The selection for primary preventive medication is based on age alone in the absence of contraindications, since age is the most important determinant of a person's risk of a first heart attack or stroke

  8. NHS Health Checks

    If you are invited to your GP for an NHS "Health Check" screening examination you should remind your GP that you are taking the preventive medication even if he or she had been informed that you are participating in the Polypill Prevention Programme.