Rationale for nebivolol/valsartan combination for hypertension: review of preclinical and clinical data

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To treat hypertension, combining two or more antihypertensive drugs from different classes is often necessary. β-Blockers and renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system inhibitors, when combined, have been deemed ‘less effective’ based on partially overlapping mechanisms of action and limited evidence. Recently, the single-pill combination (SPC) of nebivolol (Neb) 5 mg – a vasodilatory β1-selective antagonist/β3 agonist – and valsartan 80 mg, an angiotensin II receptor blocker, was US Food and Drug Administration-approved for hypertension. Pharmacological profiles of Neb and valsartan, alone and combined, are well characterized. In addition, a large 8-week randomized trial in stages I–II hypertensive patients (N = 4161) demonstrated greater blood pressure-reducing efficacy for Neb/valsartan SPCs than component monotherapies with comparable tolerability. In a biomarkers substudy (N = 805), Neb/valsartan SPCs prevented valsartan-induced increases in plasma renin, and a greater reduction in plasma aldosterone was observed with the highest SPC dose vs. valsartan 320 mg/day. This review summarizes preclinical and clinical evidence supporting Neb/valsartan as an efficacious and well tolerated combination treatment for hypertension.

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