Amlodipine and valsartan as components of a rational and effective fixed-dose combination
Bernard Waeber1, Luis M Ruilope2
1Division of Clinical Pathophysiology, University Hospital, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, University of Lausanne, Switzerland; 2Hypertension Unit, Hospital 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain
Abstract: Pharmacological treatment of hypertension is effective in preventing cardiovascular and renal complications. Calcium antagonists and blockers of the renin-angiotensin system are widely used today to initiate antihypertensive therapy but, when given as monotherapy, do not suffice in most patients to normalize blood pressure. Combining the two types of agents considerably increases the antihypertensive efficacy, but not at the expense of a deterioration of tolerability. This is exemplified by the experience accumulated with the recently developed fixed dose combination containing the AT1-receptor blocker valsartan (160 mg) and the dihydropyridine amlodipine (5 or 10 mg). In a randomized trial, an 8-week treatment normalized blood pressure (<140/90 mmHg) within 8 weeks in a large fraction of hypertensive patients (78.4% and 85.2% using the 5/160 [n = 371] and 10/160 mg [n = 377] dosage, respectively). Like all AT1-receptor blockers valsartan has a placebo-like tolerability. Valsartan prevents to a large extent the occurrence amlodipine-induced peripheral edema. Both amlodipine and valsartan have beneficial effects on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, as well as protective effects on renal function. The co-administration of these two agents is therefore very attractive, as it enables a rapid and sustained blood pressure control in hypertensive patients. The availability of a fixed-dose combination based on amlodipine and valsartan is expected therefore to facilitate the management of hypertension, to improve long-term adherence with antihypertensive therapy and, ultimately, to have a positive impact on cardiovascular and renal outcomes.
Keywords: antihypertensive therapy, fixed-dose combination, calcium antagonists, angiotensin receptor blockers, blood pressure control, tolerability
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