Vascular health and risk management

A review of the benefits of early treatment initiation with single-pill combinations of telmisartan with amlodipine or hydrochlorothiazide.

PMID 24082785


This review discusses the rationale for earlier use of single-pill combinations (SPCs) of antihypertensive drugs, with a focus on telmisartan/amlodipine (T/A) and telmisartan/hydrochlorothiazide (T/H) SPCs. Compared with the respective monotherapies, the once-daily T/A and T/H SPCs have been shown to result in significantly higher blood pressure (BP) reductions, BP goal rates, and response rates in patients at all stages of hypertension. As expected, BP reductions are highest with the highest dose (T80/A10 and T80/H25) SPCs. Subgroup analyses of the telmisartan trials have reported the efficacy of both SPCs to be consistent, regardless of the patients' age, race, and coexisting diabetes, obesity, or renal impairment. In patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension, the T/A combination provides superior 24-hour BP-lowering efficacy compared with either treatment administered as monotherapy. Similarly, the T/H SPC treatment provides superior 24-hour BP-lowering efficacy, especially in the last 6 hours relative to other renin-angiotensin system inhibitor-based SPCs. The T/A SPC is associated with a lower incidence of edema than amlodipine monotherapy, and the T/H SPC with a lower incidence of hypokalemia than hydrochlorothiazide monotherapy. Existing evidence supports the use of the T/A SPC for the treatment of hypertensive patients with prediabetes, diabetes, or metabolic syndrome, due to the metabolic neutrality of both component drugs, and the use of the T/H SPC for those patients with edema or in need of volume reduction.