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Safety and tolerability of eprosartan in combination with hydrochlorothiazide.

Author(s): Bohm M, Sachse A

Affiliation(s): Medical University and Poliklinik, Homburg, Germany.

Publication date & source: 2002, Drug Saf., 25(8):599-611.

Publication type: Review

The ideal antihypertensive drug should be effective in reducing blood pressure, but have a low incidence of adverse effects. Angiotensin II receptor blockers, such as eprosartan, are as effective as ACE inhibitors in reducing blood pressure, but lack the main adverse effect of ACE inhibitors, namely cough. Eprosartan has been shown to be well tolerated with a placebo-like adverse-effect profile. When given as monotherapy it is effective in reducing blood pressure; however, some patients require additional blood pressure control, which may be provided by combination therapy. Indeed, the combination of eprosartan and the thiazide diuretic hydrochlorothiazide has been shown to be effective in further reducing blood pressure in patients not optimally responding to eprosartan monotherapy. This article reviews the safety and tolerability of eprosartan in combination with hydrochlorothiazide from 17 studies of 1899 patients with hypertension and normotensive volunteers. Of these studies, four were controlled with patients receiving a fixed-dose combination, six were long-term, open-label, and another four were controlled studies with hydrochlorothiazide being given to eprosartan non-responders. The other three studies included healthy subjects receiving the combination of eprosartan and hydrochlorothiazide. There was a high completion rate in all studies evaluated. Most of the patients receiving eprosartan 600mg in combination with hydrochlorothiazide 12.5mg daily completed the studies, which supports acceptance of this combination therapy by patients. The most frequently reported adverse events in these combination studies were headache, dizziness, myalgia, and upper respiratory tract infection in patients with hypertension. The majority of adverse events were mild to moderate in intensity, and were not considered to be related to study treatment. The adverse event that was more common in patients receiving combination therapy compared with those receiving monotherapy was dizziness. This adverse event may be due to hydrochlorothiazide as it has previously been observed in patients taking thiazide diuretics. In healthy volunteers, the most frequently reported adverse events were headache, dizziness, and upper respiratory tract infection. However, none of these adverse events were considered related to study medication. In summary, the combination of eprosartan/hydrochlorothiazide is well tolerated, both as short- and long-term therapy, with most adverse events occurring early. The most frequent adverse events were headache, dizziness, and upper respiratory infection, which would be expected based on the safety profile of each of the components. Therefore, the combination of eprosartan with hydrochlorothiazide can be effectively and safely used in patients not adequately responding to eprosartan monotherapy.

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