Objective: To review the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and adverse effects of olmesartan medoxomil, an angiotensin II receptor antagonist for the treatment of hypertension.
Data sources: Information was obtained from MEDLINE searches (1996-April 2002) of English-language medical literature. Search terms included CS-866, olmesartan, olmesartan medoxomil, RNH-6270 (active metabolite of olmesartan), Benicar, angiotensin receptors, and antihypertensive agents. In addition, references from relevant articles were reviewed for additional citations. The authors independently reviewed literature identified in the searches. Studies evaluating olmesartan (i.e., abstracts, clinical trials, data on file with manufacturer) were considered for inclusion.
Study selection: All articles identified from data sources with pertinent information regarding olmesartan medoxomil were evaluated, and all information deemed relevant was included in this review.
Data synthesis: Olmesartan medoxomil is a competitively priced addition to the class of angiotensin II receptor antagonists. Monotherapy with olmesartan medoxomil in once-daily doses of 20-40 mg has produced significant reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Adverse effects have been minimal with olmesartan medoxomil, with dizziness being the only adverse effect occurring more often than with placebo in clinical trials. Additionally, animal studies indicate that olmesartan medoxomil may prove to be useful treatment for diabetic nephropathy, as well as atherosclerosis.
Conclusions: Olmesartan medoxomil has a favorable safety and efficacy profile, with blood pressure-lowering effects comparable to those of other angiotensin receptor blockers (i.e., losartan, valsartan, irbesartan). At this time, formulary decisions will be driven primarily by economic issues. Theoretical benefits of olmesartan medoxomil in reducing atherogenesis and lowering angiotensin II concentrations better than the alternative agents will be determined only with more extensive research.