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A study of losartan, alone or with hydrochlorothiazide vs nifedipine GITS in elderly patients with diastolic hypertension.

Author(s): Conlin PR, Elkins M, Liss C, Vrecenak AJ, Barr E, Edelman JM

Affiliation(s): Endocrinology-Hypertension Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Publication date & source: 1998-10, J Hum Hypertens., 12(10):693-9.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

We conducted a randomised, double-blind, parallel design study comparing the efficacy and tolerability of the angiotensin II receptor antagonist, losartan, alone or with low-dose hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) to the dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker, nifedipine GITS (gastro-intestinal therapeutic system), in elderly patients (> or =65 years old) with a diastolic blood pressure (DBP) between 95 and 115 mm Hg. After a placebo wash out period, 140 patients were randomly assigned to receive either losartan 50 mg or nifedipine GITS 30 mg. Patients were evaluated at 4-week intervals during a 12-week treatment period. Patients receiving losartan had HCTZ 12.5 mg added and increased to 25 mg to reduce DBP <90 mm Hg. Patients receiving nifedipine GITS had their dose increased to 60 mg and 90 mg to reduce DBP <90 mm Hg. Efficacy, tolerability and quality of life were assessed during the 12 weeks on each regimen. Patients treated with the losartan regimen (n = 73) had reductions in trough sitting DBP of -10, -13, and -13 mm Hg after 4, 8, and 12 weeks of therapy, respectively. Patients receiving the nifedipine GITS regimen (n = 67) had DBP reductions of -14, -15, and -15 mm Hg, respectively. There were no significant differences in the DBP response between the treatment groups except at week 4 (P < 0.05). Similar reductions in systolic BP (SBP) between the two treatment groups were observed at all time points. The percentages of patients in the two treatment groups reaching goal DBP (<90 mm Hg or DBP > or =90 mm Hg with a reduction from a baseline of > or =10 mm Hg) were comparable (81% on the losartan regimen and 90% on the nifedipine GITS regimen). There were significantly more adverse events reported in patients receiving nifedipine GITS when compared to the losartan regimen (54% vs 36%, P < 0.05). A patient-reported symptom inventory also showed that swollen ankles was bothersome in significantly more patients treated with the nifedipine GITS regimen when compared to the losartan regimen (24% vs 5%, P = 0.001). Thus, in elderly patients with diastolic hypertension, a regimen of losartan alone or with HCTZ has similar efficacy to a regimen of nifedipine GITS with greater tolerability and less symptom bother due to swollen ankles.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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