Background: Fixed-dose combination antihypertensive therapy has been recommended for patients with essential hypertension who are unresponsive to monotherapy or as a first-line treatment.
Objective: We investigated the effects of a fixed-dose combination of the phenylalkylamine-type calcium channel blocker verapamil slow release (SR)plus the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor trandolapril on blood pressure (BP), serum lipid profile, urinary albumin excretion (UAE), left ventricular mass (LVM), and LVM index (LVMI), as well as the adverse events associated with this treatment.
Methods: Patients aged 30 to 65 years with mild to moderate essential hypertension were included in the study. All of the patients received capsules containing combination treatment with verapamil SR 180 mg plus trandolapril 2 mg orally, daily for 12 weeks. Mean arterial pressure (MAP), systolic BP (SBP), diastolic BP (DBP), and heart rate (HR) were measured at baseline and at 4, 8, and 12 weeks of treatment. Serum lipid profile, UAE, LVM, LVMI, and body mass index (BMI) were determined at baseline and at the end of the study period. All patients underwent electrocardiography and echocardiography at baseline and week 12. The primary end point of the study was to achieve an SBP/DBP ≤140/≤90 mm Hg (ie, normotensive) during week 12. All adverse events were assessed as mild, moderate, or severe at each visit. According to the response rate at week 12, patients were divided into 2 groups: those who became normotensive (responders) or those who remained hypertensive (SBP/DBP >140/>90 mm Hg; nonresponders).
Results: Forty-one patients (29 women, 12 men; mean [SD] age, 47.7 [7.8] years; mean [SD] BMI, 29.4 [3.5] kg/m2) were enrolled. The median durationof hypertension prior to enrollment was 5 months. Mean MAP, SBP, DBP, UAE, total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), LDL-C/highdensity lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio, LVM, LVMI, and BMI decreased significantly after 12 weeks of combination treatment; HR and triglyceride level did not change significantly. Treatment-related adverse events occurred in 31.7% of patients, and none were severe or caused any patient to withdraw from the study. The most common adverse events were cough, constipation, headache, and dryness in the throat. Microalbuminuria, which may be a marker of endothelial dysfunction, was found in 7 (17.1%) patients at baseline and regressed significantly after 12 weeks.
Conclusions: In this study population, the fixed-dose combination of verapamil–trandolapril was an effective and well-tolerated antihypertensive therapy. This combination significantly reduced MAP, BP, TC, LDL-C, LDL-C/HDL-C ratio, UAE, LVM, and LVMI. Also, microalbuminuria decreased after this treatment. Verapamil–trandolapril may be useful in preventing microalbuminuria and left ventricular hypertrophy in patients with essential hypertension.