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Valsartan, a new angiotensin II antagonist for the treatment of essential hypertension: efficacy and safety compared to hydrochlorothiazide.

Author(s): Hegner G, Faust G, Freytag F, Meilenbrock S, Sullivan J, Bodin F

Affiliation(s): General Hospital, Gunzenhausen, Germany.

Publication date & source: 1997, Eur J Clin Pharmacol., 52(3):173-7.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

OBJECTIVE: To compare the antihypertensive efficacy of a new angiotensin II antagonist, valsartan, with a reference therapy, hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ). METHODS: In this double-blind study, 167 adult out-patients with mild-to-moderate essential hypertension were randomly allocated in equal number to receive valsartan 80 mg or HCTZ 25 mg for 12 weeks. In patients whose blood pressure (BP) remained uncontrolled after 8 weeks of monotherapy, atenolol 50 mg was added to the initial treatment. Patients were assessed at 4, 8 and 12 weeks. The primary efficacy variable was change from baseline in mean sitting diastolic BP (SDBP) at 8 weeks. Secondary variables included change in sitting systolic BP (SSBP) and responder rates (percentage of patients with SDBP < 90 mmHg or drop > or = 10 mmHg compared to baseline) at 8 weeks. RESULTS: Valsartan and HCTZ were both effective at lowering diastolic and systolic blood pressure at all time points. Similar falls were seen in both groups with no significant differences between treatments. For the primary variable (decrease in SDBP) there was no significant difference between treatments. For SSBP there was also no significant difference observed. Responder rates at 8 weeks were 74% for valsartan and 62% for HCTZ (P = 0.10). Both treatments were well tolerated, both as monotherapy, and when combined with atenolol 50 mg per day. CONCLUSION: The data show valsartan 80 mg to be as effective as HCTZ in the treatment of mild-to-moderate hypertension. The results also show valsartan to be well tolerated when taken alone or in combination with atenolol.

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