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J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2011;13:571–581. ©2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Initial multiple drug therapy for hypertension achieves greater and quicker reductions and higher blood pressure (BP) control rates than monotherapy. This 8-week, prospective, multicenter, randomized, double-blind study compared the efficacy and safety of the initial combination of aliskiren/amlodipine with amlodipine monotherapy in African Americans with stage 2 hypertension. After a 1- to 4-week washout, patients received aliskiren/amlodipine 150/5 mg or amlodipine 5 mg for 1 week and then were force-titrated to aliskiren/amlodipine 300/10 mg or amlodipine 10 mg for 7 weeks. At week 8, greater reductions in mean sitting systolic BP were obtained with aliskiren/amlodipine (n=220) than with amlodipine (n=223) (least squares mean change [standard error of the mean], −34.1 [1.14] mm Hg vs −28.9 [1.12] mm Hg; P<.001). Ambulatory and central BP measures were consistent with clinic BP findings, although these were conducted in a small subset of patients (n=94 in ambulatory BP monitoring substudy and n=136 for central BP). More patients achieved goal BP (<140/90 mm Hg) with aliskiren/amlodipine than with amlodipine at week 8 (57.3% vs 48.0%; P = .051). Both treatment groups had similar adverse event rates (35.0% and 32.7%, respectively). The most common adverse events were peripheral edema (7.7% with aliskiren/amlodipine and 9.0% with amlodipine), headache, fatigue, and nausea. The combination of aliskiren/amlodipine reduced peripheral, ambulatory, and central BP more than amlodipine alone with similar tolerability in African Americans with stage 2 hypertension.