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Efficacy, tolerability, and quality of life of losartan, alone or with hydrochlorothiazide, versus nifedipine GITS in patients with essential hypertension.

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

Affiliation(s): Department of Medicine, University of Maryland, School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA.

Publication date & source: 1996-05, Clin Ther., 18(3):411-28.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

A randomized, double-masked, parallel-group, multicenter clinical trial was conducted to compare the efficacy, tolerability, and effects on quality of life associated with the angiotensin II receptor antagonist losartan, alone or with hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), and the dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker nifedipine gastrointestinal therapeutic system (GITS) in patients whose sitting diastolic blood pressure measurements were between 95 and 115 mm Hg, inclusive, while receiving placebo. Patients were randomized to receive either losartan or nifedipine GITS in a double-masked, double-dummy fashion. A 4-week placebo washout period established baseline untreated blood pressure measurements and was followed by a 12-week active treatment period. Patients receiving losartan (n = 110) were initially given 50 mg once a day (QD) and could be titrated to losartan/HCTZ 50 mg/12.5 mg QD after 4 weeks followed by losartan/HCTZ 50 mg/25 mg QD after 8 weeks, as necessary. Patients in the nifedipine GITS group (n = 113) received 30 mg QD, which could titrated to 60 mg QD after 4 weeks followed by 90 mg QD after 8 weeks. Medication was titrated upward as necessary to achieve a sitting trough diastolic blood pressure < 90 mm Hg. Efficacy, tolerability, and quality-of-life scores were assessed after 12 weeks of each therapy. Trough sitting diastolic blood pressure reductions after 4, 8, and 12 weeks of therapy were clinically comparable: losartan, -8.9, -11.6, and -12.7 mm Hg, respectively, and nifedipine GITS, -9.3, -11.0, and -11.1 mm Hg, respectively, with the mean reduction in sitting diastolic blood pressure at 12 weeks in the losartan group 1.6 mm Hg lower (95% confidence interval, 3.4 mm Hg lower to 0.3 mm Hg Higher) than the mean reduction in sitting diastolic blood pressure in the nifedipine GITS group. Similarly, reductions in systolic blood pressure between the two treatment groups were comparable at all time points. The percentage of patients reaching the goal trough sitting diastolic blood pressure was comparable for the two treatment groups, with 74% of patients in the losartan regimen and 68% of patients in the nifedipine GITS regimen reaching the goal. Of patients reporting adverse events in the two groups (75 patients receiving losartan and 69 receiving nifedipine GITS), there was significantly more edema in the nifedipine GITS group (15% vs 4%; P = 0.005). Fourteen (12%) patients in the nifedipine GITS group were withdrawn due to an adverse event (eight of these were for edema). Six patients (5%) in the losartan group were withdrawn due to an adverse event (none of these patients had edema). There were significant differences in the patient-reported quality-of-life symptom bother inventory with respect to edema, with nifedipine GITS therapy causing significantly more bother due to edema in patients, regardless of whether that symptom was present at baseline (27% vs 9%; P = 0.0004). No statistically significant differences for bother due to the other symptoms in the inventory were noted. Of note, while the incidence of patient-reported symptom bother due to edema in the nifedipine GITS group was 27%, the incidence of physician-reported drug-related edema was 12%. This difference points to the need for improved physician-patient communication regarding adverse effects and their impact of patients' quality of life. In conclusion, a regimen of losartan, when compared with a regimen of nifedipine GITS, provides comparable efficacy, and with respect to edema, superior tolerability, less bother to patients, and fewer therapy dropouts.

Page last updated: 2006-01-31

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