Fundamental & clinical pharmacology

An overview of the pharmacology and clinical efficacy of indapamide sustained release.

PMID 16313275


The relationship between blood pressure (BP) and cardiovascular risk is clearly established; hypertension increases the rate of cardiovascular. High systolic blood pressure (SBP) may be the main parameter involved in cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The benefit of lowering BP, particularly with diuretics has been proven in many outcome studies. Indapamide, a thiazide-type diuretic, was available for many years at a dosage of 2.5 mg in an immediate release formulation. A new sustained release (SR) formulation has been developed in order to allow the same antihypertensive efficacy with a better acceptability profile. This paper reviews the pharmacology of indapamide 1.5 mg SR from the bench to the bedside. Indapamide has a dual mechanism of action: diuretic effect at the level of the distal tubule in the kidney and a direct vascular effect, both of which contribute to the antihypertensive efficacy of the drug. The SR formulation contains a hydrophilic matrix, which delivers a smoother pharmacokinetic profile. This avoids unnecessary plasma peak concentrations, which may be associated with side effects. Indapamide SR has now been extensively used in hypertensive patients, including those at increased risk, for example elderly or diabetic patients. It has been shown to decrease BP, particularly SBP, with 24-h efficacy, allowing a once-daily dosage. Studies have demonstrated BP lowering to be at least as effective as all major therapeutic classes including the more recent antihypertensive drugs. Beyond BP decrease, indapamide SR has also been shown to protect against hypertensive target-organ damage in the heart and the kidney and to have a favorable metabolic profile. A broad evidence-base has accumulated to support the benefit of indapamide 1.5 mg SR in hypertensive patients, alone or as part of combination therapy, as recommended by the majority of guidelines.