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Valsartan. A review of its pharmacology and therapeutic use in essential hypertension.

Author(s): Markham A, Goa KL

Affiliation(s): Adis International Limited, Auckland, New Zealand. demail@adis.co.nz

Publication date & source: 1997-08, Drugs., 54(2):299-311.

Publication type: Review

Valsartan competitively and selectively inhibits the actions of angiotensin II at the AT1 receptor subtype which is responsible for most of the known effects of angiotensin II. In clinical trials in patients with mild to moderate essential hypertension valsartan was as effective as losartan, lisinopril, enalapril, amlodipine and hydrochlorothiazide. Addition of the latter reduced blood pressure in patients who did not respond sufficiently to valsartan monotherapy. Preliminary data also suggest valsartan may be effective in patients with severe essential hypertension. The drug was as effective as lisinopril as treatment for mild to moderate essential hypertension in patients with renal insufficiency and did not worsen renal function. Headache, dizziness and fatigue were the most common adverse events in placebo-controlled studies; the incidence of these adverse events was not significantly different between placebo and valsartan recipients. Compared with ACE inhibitors, valsartan was associated with a significantly lower incidence of dry cough. Thus, valsartan is an effective treatment for mild to moderate essential hypertension and may be particularly useful in patients who experience persistent cough during ACE inhibitor therapy.

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