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Irbesartan: a review of its use in hypertension and in the management of diabetic nephropathy.

Author(s): Croom KF, Curran MP, Goa KL, Perry CM

Affiliation(s): Adis International Limited, 41 Centorian Drive, Private Bag 65901, Mairangi Bay, Auckland 1311, New Zealand. demail@adis.co.nz

Publication date & source: 2004, Drugs., 64(9):999-1028.

Publication type: Review

Irbesartan (Avapro, Aprovel) is a potent and selective angiotensin II subtype 1 receptor antagonist indicated for use in patients with hypertension, including those with type 2 diabetes mellitus and nephropathy. Once-daily administration of irbesartan provided 24-hour control of blood pressure (BP). In patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension irbesartan was as effective as enalapril, atenolol and amlodipine, and more effective than valsartan in terms of absolute reduction in BP and response rates. Irbesartan produced a greater reduction in diastolic BP at trough than once-daily losartan, but had a smaller effect than olmesartan; the reduction in systolic BP achieved with irbesartan was similar or greater than that with losartan and similar to that seen with olmesartan. The combination of irbesartan with hydrochlorothiazide produced additive effects on BP reduction. Irbesartan also induced regression of left ventricular mass in patients with hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy. In two large studies (IRbesartan MicroAlbuminuria type 2 diabetes mellitus in hypertensive patients [IRMA 2] and the Irbesartan Diabetic Nephropathy Trial [IDNT]) irbesartan exerted a renoprotective effect in hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes at both the early and later stages of diabetic nephropathy. The renoprotective effect was at least partly independent of the BP-lowering effect. In the IRMA 2 trial, the proportion of patients progressing to overt nephropathy was significantly lower for recipients of irbesartan 300mg once daily than placebo. In patients with overt nephropathy in the IDNT, irbesartan 300mg once daily provided significantly greater renoprotection than amlodipine 10mg once daily or placebo. The relative risk of doubling of serum creatinine was significantly lower with irbesartan than amlodipine or placebo. Irbesartan is well tolerated in hypertensive patients, including those with type 2 diabetes and incipient or overt nephropathy. The overall incidence of adverse events with irbesartan was similar to that with placebo. Irbesartan was associated with a lower incidence of cough than enalapril and was not associated with ankle oedema or with any clinically significant drug interactions. In conclusion, irbesartan is a well tolerated and effective antihypertensive agent. It also slows the progression of renal disease in hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes at both the early and later stages of diabetic nephropathy. Thus, irbesartan is a valuable agent in the management of patients with these indications.

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