• Open Access

Valsartan vs. other angiotensin II receptor blockers in the treatment of hypertension: a meta-analytical approach


  • Disclosures
    Richard Nixon, Adam Lowy and Heather Falvey are employees of Novartis Pharma AG.

  • Re-use of this article is permitted in accordance with the Creative Commons Deed, Attribution 2.5, which does not permit commercial exploitation.

Richard Nixon,
Modeling & Simulation, Novartis Pharma AG, PO Box, CH-4002 Basel, Switzerland
Tel.: + 41 61 324 6731
Fax: + 41 61 324 1246
Email: richard.nixon@novartis.com


Objective:  To compare the efficacy of valsartan in systolic (SBP) and diastolic blood pressure (DBP) reduction with other angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) in essential hypertension.

Methods:  Systematic literature search of databases between October 1997 and May 2008. Meta-analysis of short-term, double-blind, parallel group, randomised controlled trials (RCTs) for treatment of adult hypertension (DBP: 90–115 mmHg). Random-effects meta-regression adjusting for baseline blood pressure (BP) was used to analyse the data. Mean change in SBP and DBP was estimated for each individual drug and dose combination.

Results:  In all, 31 RCTs (n = 13,110 patients) were included in the analysis. Six studies include trial arms with candesartan, six irbesartan, 13 losartan, two olmesartan, five telmisartan and 12 valsartan. The weighted average reduction in mean SBP and DBP for valsartan 160 mg was −15.32 mmHg (95% CI: −17.09, −13.63) and −11.3 mmHg (95% CI: −12.15, −10.52) and for 320 mg was −15.85 mmHg (95% CI: −17.60, −14.12) and −11.97 mmHg (95% CI: −12.81, −11.16); these are statistically significantly greater reductions compared with losartan 100 mg, which was −12.01 mmHg (95% CI: −13.78, −10.25) and −9.37 mmHg (95% CI: −10.18, −8.54) for SBP and DBP respectively. There is evidence that valsartan 160 mg reduces SBP and DBP more than irbesartan 150 mg and reduced DBP more than candesartan 16 mg. No other statistically significant difference in efficacy is demonstrated.

Conclusion:  Valsartan administered at 160 or 320 mg is more effective at lowering BP than losartan 100 mg and shows comparable efficacy to other ARBs in patients with essential hypertension.