Background: Recent hypertension trials have demonstrated the importance of achieving goal blood pressures to reduce the risk of target organ damage. In patients with moderate to severe hypertension, the use of high-dose monotherapy and/or combinations of drugs are necessary to achieve these goals. Fixed-dose combination products may be useful in these patients by reducing the number of daily doses required to control blood pressure. Objective: The objective of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a therapeutic interchange between high-dose calcium channel blocker therapy and a fixed-dose combination of amlodipine/benazepril (Lotrel®; Novartis Pharmaceuticals, USA) in patients with moderate to severe hypertension. Methods: A total of 75 patients were switched from amlodipine (n = 25), felodipine (n = 25), and nifedipine-GITS (n = 25) to amlodipine/benazepril. Twenty-eight of the 75 patients (37%) were taking either a beta-blocker or a diuretic in addition to the high-dose calcium channel blocker prior to the switch. Blood pressure control, side effects and the cost of the therapeutic interchange were evaluated in the year following the therapeutic interchange. Results: Sixty-six of the 75 (88%) patients were successfully switched with maintenance of blood pressure control and without the development of new dose-limiting side effects. Reasons for treatment failure after the therapeutic interchange included loss of blood pressure control in five patients and the development of new dose-limiting side effects in four patients. These side effects included cough in three patients and rash in one patient. After accounting for differences in drug acquisition cost and costs related to the switch (clinic and emergency room and laboratory tests), a cost savings of $16 030 for all 75 patients was realised in the first year. The per patient-per year cost savings was $214. Conclusions: Our data indicate that a therapeutic interchange from selected high-dose calcium channel blockers to a fixed-dose combination of amlodipine/benazepril can be successfully accomplished in the majority of patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Internal Medicine