Single-pill telmisartan and amlodipine: a rational combination for the treatment of hypertension.
Despite the well documented benefits conferred by adequate control of hypertension, the majority of hypertensive patients display suboptimal control and few patients achieve blood pressure (BP) levels <140/90 mmHg. As a consequence, combination therapy will be required in the majority of patients to achieve target BP. Fixed-dose combinations of antihypertensives not only simplify treatment regimens, contributing to enhanced patient adherence, they provide superior BP-lowering efficacy and an improved tolerability profile. Fixed-dose combinations have become the strategy of choice in high-risk patients or those with stage 2-3 hypertension. The combination of a renin-angiotensin system inhibitor (RASI) with a calcium channel blocker (CCB) is a first-line combination that, in addition to its antihypertensive efficacy, reduces oedema, the main adverse effect of the dihydropyridine CCB and the main factor limiting their use. In morbidity/mortality studies, this fixed-dose combination has also demonstrated superiority over a RASI combined with a diuretic. The single-pill combination of telmisartan and amlodipine has been shown to produce a dose-dependent BP-lowering effect significantly greater than that of either agent administered as monotherapy. These findings have been confirmed by ambulatory BP monitoring in patients with stage 1 and 2 hypertension, which demonstrated that single-pill telmisartan/amlodipine provides substantial 24-hour BP-lowering efficacy. A higher proportion of patients achieved 24-hour BP goals of <130/80 mm Hg on combination therapy. The superior efficacy of combination therapy has been demonstrated across a broad range of patients, including those with moderate-to-severe hypertension, diabetes mellitus and obesity. Moreover, combined use of telmisartan and amlodipine reduces the incidence of amlodipine-induced oedema, making it a preferred combination for the treatment of hypertension.