Achieving target blood pressure (BP) levels in clinical practice is one of the main challenges for physicians in the management of patients with hypertension. It is now recognised that the majority of patients will require at least two antihypertensive drugs to achieve optimal BP control; the use of combination therapy as first-line treatment is also increasing as BP goals of antihypertensive therapy become more ambitious.
The fixed combination of zofenopril/hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) 30/12.5 mg/day is approved in Italy, France, Switzerland and Greece for the management of mild to moderate hypertension. In clinical trials comparing zofenopril/HCTZ with each agent administered as monotherapy, combination therapy was more effective in normalising BP. This effect was particularly evident in one trial in which patients who were nonresponsive to zofenopril monotherapy were studied. In addition, in clinical trials to date, combination therapy provided sustained and consistent BP control over the entire 24-hour dose interval.
Despite the greater efficacy of zofenopril/HCTZ 30/12.5 mg/day, when directly compared with each agent administered as monotherapy, there were no significant differences in the nature, severity or incidence of treatment-related adverse events; headache, dizziness, cough and polyuria were most frequently reported. Notably, in one study, fewer patients discontinued treatment with combination therapy than with zofenopril monotherapy due to adverse events.
In conclusion, zofenopril/HCTZ 30/12.5 mg/day provides more optimal BP control in a larger proportion of patients than would be achievable with monotherapy, while maintaining the tolerability profile observed with each individual agent, and thereby potentially enhancing patient compliance. The efficacy and safety profiles of this combination shown in clinical trials to date indicate that it will be a useful addition to currently available therapy for patients who have mild to moderate hypertension that is not adequately controlled by monotherapy, as well as for patients who require more rapid, intensive BP control.
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Professor Zanchetti has served as an occasional consultant for and received lecturing honoraria from Menarini, and provided expert testimony for the registration of zofenopril/HCTZ. Drs Parati and Malacco have served as occasional consultants for Menarini. This article was written with financial assistance from Menarini.
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