Objectives: We have reported previously that 80 mg valsartan and 50 mg losartan provide less receptor blockade than 150 mg irbesartan in normotensive subjects. In this study we investigated the importance of drug dosing in mediating these differences by comparing the AT(1)-receptor blockade induced by 3 doses of valsartan with that obtained with 3 other antagonists at given doses.
Methods: Valsartan (80, 160, and 320 mg), 50 mg losartan, 150 mg irbesartan, and 8 mg candesartan were administered to 24 healthy subjects in a randomized, open-label, 3-period crossover study. All doses were given once daily for 8 days. The angiotensin II receptor blockade was assessed with two techniques, the reactive rise in plasma renin activity and an in vitro radioreceptor binding assay that quantified the displacement of angiotensin II by the blocking agents. Measurements were obtained before and 4 and 24 hours after drug intake on days 1 and 8.
Results: At 4 and 24 hours, valsartan induced a dose-dependent "blockade" of AT(1) receptors. Compared with other antagonists, 80 mg valsartan and 50 mg losartan had a comparable profile. The 160-mg and 320-mg doses of valsartan blocked AT(1) receptors at 4 hours by 80%, which was similar to the effect of 150 mg irbesartan. At trough, however, the valsartan-induced blockade was slightly less than that obtained with irbesartan. With use of plasma renin activity as a marker of receptor blockade, on day 8, 160 mg valsartan was equivalent to 150 mg irbesartan and 8 mg candesartan.
Conclusions: These results show that the differences in angiotensin II receptor blockade observed with the various AT(1) antagonists are explained mainly by differences in dosing. When 160-mg or 320-mg doses were investigated, the effects of valsartan hardly differed from those obtained with recommended doses of irbesartan and candesartan.