Improving Blood Pressure Control: Increase the Dose of Diuretic or Switch to a Fixed-Dose Angiotensin Receptor Blocker/Diuretic? The Valsartan Hydrochlorothiazide Diuretic for Initial Control and Titration to Achieve Optimal Therapeutic Effect (Val-DICTATE) Trial

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To assess the strategy of increasing the dose of a diuretic compared with using an angiotensin receptor blocker in combination with a diuretic, the authors performed a multicenter, randomized, parallel group trial in hypertensive patients (baseline blood pressure [BP], 153/97 mm Hg) whose BP remained uncontrolled on initial low-dose diuretic monotherapy (hydrochlorothiazide [HCTZ] 12.5 mg Hg). Patients with stage 1 and 2 hypertension were randomized to treatment with valsartan/HCTZ (160/12.5 mg) or to doubling of the HCTZ dose (25 mg). The primary end point was the percentage of patients whose clinic BP values were <140/90 mm Hg following 4 weeks of double-blind therapy. A significantly higher proportion (P<.001) of hypertensive patients met BP control levels in the valsartan/HCTZ (160/12.5 mg) group compared with the HCTZ 25 mg group (37% vs 16%). Changes from baseline in BP were significantly greater (P<.001) for both systolic BP and diastolic BP in the combination therapy arm compared with the diuretic monotherapy arm (−12. 4/−7.5 mm Hg in valsartan/HCTZ 160/12.5 mg group vs −5.6/−2.1 mm Hg in HCTZ 25 mg group). Tolerability and adverse events were similar in the 2 treatment groups. This study suggests that in the management of hypertension, utilizing an angiotensin receptor blocker/diuretic combination was more effective in lowering BP and achieving BP goals when compared with increasing the dose of the diuretic.

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