The importance of early antihypertensive efficacy: the role of angiotensin II receptor blocker therapy

J Hum Hypertens. 2006 Mar;20(3):169-75. doi: 10.1038/sj.jhh.1001972.


Desirable features of antihypertensive agents include efficacy, tolerability, prolonged duration of action and rapid achievement of target blood pressure (BP). Recent studies have examined the relationship between the onset of antihypertensive effect and cardiovascular events. Data from the Valsartan Antihypertensive Long-term Use Evaluation (VALUE), the Study on Cognition and Prognosis in the Elderly (SCOPE), and the Systolic Hypertension in Europe (Syst-Eur) trials support the hypothesis that the time it takes to reach target BP influences cardiovascular outcomes. VALUE, which compared BP-lowering and clinical event rates between patients treated with the angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) valsartan or the calcium channel blocker (CCB) amlodipine as well as between those who achieved immediate or delayed BP control, provides the strongest evidence of this to date. Additional data from SCOPE and Syst-Eur suggest that delays of 3 months to 2 years in starting antihypertensive therapy can increase the risk of certain cardiovascular end points, especially stroke. These data suggest that it may be beneficial to examine the efficacy of antihypertensive agents, not only long term, but also at earlier times to assess the onset and impact of early antihypertensive effect. The ARB olmesartan medoxomil (olmesartan) and the CCB amlodipine were compared in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, which demonstrated that the onset of antihypertensive effect of olmesartan is comparable with that of amlodipine. Another study demonstrated that more patients treated with olmesartan achieved target BPs within 2 weeks of treatment compared with the ARBs losartan, valsartan and irbesartan.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers / therapeutic use*
  • Antihypertensive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antihypertensive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / administration & dosage
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers
  • Antihypertensive Agents
  • Calcium Channel Blockers