Volpe M et al. – The availability of these fixed–dose combinations should lead to improvement in blood pressure control and aid compliance with long–term therapy, optimizing the management of this chronic condition.
- Hypertension is a growing global health problem, and is predicted to affect 1.56 billion people by 2025.
- Treatment remains suboptimal, with control of blood pressure achieved in only 20%–35% of patients, and the majority requiring two or more antihypertensive drugs to achieve recommended blood pressure goals.
- To improve blood pressure control, the European hypertension guidelines recommend that angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) or angiotensin–converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) are combined with calcium channel blockers (CCBs) and/or thiazide diuretics.
- The rationale for this strategy is based, in part, on their different effects on the renin–angiotensin system, which improves antihypertensive efficacy.
- Data from a large number of trials support the efficacy of ACEIs or ARBs in combination with CCBs and/or hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ).
- Combining two different classes of antihypertensive drugs has an additive effect on lowering of blood pressure, and does not increase adverse events, with the ARBs showing a tolerability advantage over the ACEIs.
- Among the different ARBs, olmesartan medoxomil is available as a dual fixed–dose combination with either amlodipine or HCTZ, and the increased blood pressure–lowering efficacy of these two combinations is proven.
- Triple therapy is required in 15%–20% of treated uncontrolled hypertensive patients, with a renin–angiotensin system blocker, CCB, and thiazide diuretic considered to be a rational combination according to the European guidelines.
- Olmesartan, amlodipine, and HCTZ are available as a triple fixed–dose combination, and significant blood pressure reductions have been observed with this regimen compared with the possible dual combinations.