Approximately 25% of the adult population worldwide is hypertensive and thus at risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Despite the availability of many antihypertensive drugs, at least 50% of patients do not achieve blood pressure (BP) targets and thus remain at increased cardiovascular risk. Fixed-dose (FD) irbesartan/hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) is an antihypertensive combination therapy approved for the treatment of patients whose BP is not adequately controlled on monotherapy and for initial treatment of patients likely to need multiple drugs to achieve their BP goal. The efficacy and tolerability of FD irbesartan/HCTZ has been demonstrated in both patient populations in large multicenter studies. In patients failing antihypertensive monotherapy, FD irbesartan/HCTZ (150/12.5 mg) has been shown to be more effective than FD valsartan/HCTZ (80/12.5 mg) and at least comparable to FD losartan/HCTZ (50/12.5 mg). In patients with moderate or severe hypertension receiving FD irbesartan/HCTZ as initial therapy, this combination achieved more rapid BP reductions compared with irbesartan monotherapy and enabled a greater proportion of patients with severe hypertension to achieve their BP target. FD irbesartan/HCTZ is thus a valuable addition to the clinician’s armamentarium for the management of hypertension and should help more patients achieve their BP target
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