Efficacy and safety of nebivolol and valsartan as fixed-dose combination in hypertension: a randomised, multicentre study

Thomas D Giles, Michael A Weber, Jan Basile, Alan H Gradman, David B Bharucha, Wei Chen, Manoj Pattathil
Lancet 2014 May 31, 383 (9932): 1889-98

BACKGROUND: The fixed-dose combination of any two antihypertensive drugs from different drug classes is typically more effective in reducing blood pressure than a dose increase of component monotherapy. We assessed the efficacy and safety of a fixed-dose combination of a vasodilating β blocker (nebivolol) and an angiotensin II receptor blocker (valsartan) in adults with hypertension.

METHODS: We did an 8-week, phase 3, multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group trial at 401 US sites. Participants (age ≥18 years) with hypertension but with blood pressure less than 180/110 mm Hg were randomly assigned (2:2:2:2:2:2:2:1) by a 24-h interactive web response system in blocks of 15 to 4 weeks of double-blind treatment with nebivolol and valsartan fixed-dose combination (5 and 80 mg/day, 5 and 160 mg/day, or 10 and 160 mg/day), nebivolol (5 mg/day or 20 mg/day), valsartan (80 mg/day or 160 mg/day), or placebo. Doses were doubled in weeks 5-8; results are reported according to the final dose. Participants and research staff were masked to treatment allocation. The primary and key secondary endpoints were changes from baseline to week 8 in diastolic and systolic blood pressure, respectively. The primary statistical comparison was between the highest fixed-dose combination dose and the highest monotherapy doses; lower doses were then compared if this comparison was positive (Hochberg method for multiple testing). Efficacy analyses were by intention to treat. Safety assessments included monitoring of adverse events. Continuous efficacy parameters were analysed using an ANCOVA model; binary outcomes were analysed using a logistic regression model. This study is registered with, NCT01508026.

FINDINGS: Between Jan 6, 2012, and March 15, 2013, 4161 patients were randomly assigned (277 to placebo and 554-555 to each active comparator group), 4118 of whom were included in the primary analysis. At week 8, the fixed-dose combination 20 and 320 mg/day group had significantly greater reductions in diastolic blood pressure from baseline than both nebivolol 40 mg/day (least-squares mean difference -1·2 mm Hg, 95% CI -2·3 to -0·1; p=0·030) and valsartan 320 mg/day (-4·4 mm Hg, -5·4 to -3·3; p<0·0001); all other comparisons were also significant, favouring the fixed-dose combinations (all p<0·0001). All systolic blood pressure comparisons were also significant (all p<0·01). At least one treatment-emergent adverse event was experienced by 30-36% of participants in each group.

INTERPRETATION: Nebivolol and valsartan fixed-dose combination is an effective and well-tolerated treatment option for patients with hypertension.

FUNDING: Forest Research Institute.

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