Advances in Antihypertensive Combination Therapy: Benefits of Low-Dose Thiazide Diuretics in Conjunction With Omapatrilat, a Vasopeptidase Inhibitor


  • Keith C. Ferdinand MD

    1. From the Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Xavier University College of Pharmacy, and Heartbeats Life Center, New Orleans, LA
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Keith C. Ferdinand, MD, Heartbeats Life Center, 1201 Poland Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70117


The preferred initial agents for the treatment of high blood pressure are low-dose thiazide diuretics, β blockers, calcium antagonists, and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. In high-risk patients, including those with diabetes, renal insufficiency, left ventricular dysfunction, and atherosclerosis, ACE inhibitors may have specific benefit in reducing cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Omapatrilat, the prototypical vasopeptidase inhibitor, inhibits not only ACE but also neutral endopeptidase. Like conventional ACE inhibitors, omapatrilat causes extracellular volume reduction and vasodilatation; moreover, it increases levels of atrial and brain natriuretic peptides and bradykinin. Effective blood pressure control, especially in the high-risk patient, usually necessitates combination therapy. A recent study randomized 274 subjects with mild to severe hypertension (stages 1–3 diastolic blood pressure elevation) and confirmed the benefits of omapatrilat combined with hydrochlorothiazide in patients not controlled on hydrochlorothiazide alone. The frequencies of adverse events, serious adverse events, and discontinuation attributed to adverse events were similar for omapatrilat and placebo. Furthermore, there were no clinically significant changes in serum creatinine, potassium, or other laboratory parameters. Adding omapatrilat to the background of hydrochlorothiazide treatment produced statistically significant additional reductions in trough diastolic and systolic blood pressures at weeks 4 and 8.