Drug update

Valsartan and amlodipine combination therapy for the treatment of hypertension

Laurie G Howes

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Abstract

Combination therapy with valsartan and amlodipine (Exforge) is used for the treatment of hypertension in patients who have not responded to monotherapy with either amlodipine or valsartan.

Article Extract

Studies have consistently shown that most patients with hypertension require two or more antihypertensive agents to control their blood pressure. This has led to the introduction of fixed-dose combination therapies that enable two antihypertensive drugs to be administered in the one tablet. These fixed-dose combinations, typically of ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor antagonists combined with diuretics, have become commonly used therapies in Australia because they offer the promise of greater patient acceptance and compliance than the individual drugs given alone. However, recent studies have suggested that either an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin receptor antagonist combined with a calcium channel blocker may provide better blood pressure control and superior outcomes than combinations that contain a diuretic.