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Rationale for the use of a fixed-dose combination in the management of hypertension: efficacy and tolerability of lercanidipine/enalapril.

Author(s): Borghi C, Cicero AF

Affiliation(s): Hypertension Research Unit, Internal Medicine, Aging and Kidney Disease Department, Sant'Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, Bologna, Italy. claudio.borghi@unibo.it

Publication date & source: 2010, Clin Drug Investig., 30(12):843-54.

Publication type: Review

Hypertension, a significant factor in the development of cerebrovascular disorders, heart disease and renal failure, is a common disorder worldwide. Despite the availability of a wide range of antihypertensive agents, almost two-thirds of hypertensive patients have poorly controlled blood pressure (BP). Numerous clinical trials have shown that most patients require at least two antihypertensive agents to achieve adequate BP control and associated significant reductions in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Combination therapy using two drugs with different, complementary mechanisms of action achieves better efficacy and tolerability outcomes than treatment with either component drug alone. When such a combination is administered as a fixed-dose formulation, other benefits, such as improved compliance and potentially lower costs, are also likely. The good efficacy and tolerability of the combination of a calcium channel antagonist and an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor is well established, and this combination is recommended by European Society of Hypertension/European Society of Cardiology guidelines as a first choice in high-risk hypertensive patients, including those with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Lercanidipine/enalapril is a promising example of a fixed-dose combination of these drug classes. In clinical trials in hypertensive patients, including those with type 2 diabetes, lercanidipine/enalapril improved BP to a greater extent than either drug as monotherapy (in patients who were previous non-responders to lercanidipine or enalapril) or the combination of lercanidipine/hydrochlorothiazide, and was equally well tolerated. Further studies are required to evaluate the cardiovascular protective effects of lercanidipine/enalapril.

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