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Minerva Medica 2019 December;110(6):546-54

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.19.06282-7


language: English

ACE-inhibitor/calcium antagonist combination: is this the first-choice therapy in arterial hypertension?

Stefano TADDEI

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

The 2018 ESH/ESC guidelines indicate that the first-choice therapy in the majority of hypertensive patients should be a fixed combination of a drug that blocks the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and a calcium antagonist or a diuretic. Evidence from the meta-analysis of controlled clinical trials, however, indicates that the classes of drugs that block the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system should not be considered equivalent as ACE inhibitors have been clearly shown to outperform AT-1 antagonists in preventing myocardial infarction and total mortality. Moreover, studies such as ASCOT and ACCOMPLISH demonstrate a superiority of the ACE-inhibitor/calcium antagonist association over beta-blocker/diuretic associations and especially towards the ACE-inhibitor/diuretic combination, whereas there is no scientific evidence of efficacy with respect to cardiovascular events on the part of AT-1 antagonist/calcium antagonist combinations. Drugs such as ramipril and amlodipine are undoubtedly the reference molecules within their respective classes as numerous controlled clinical studies have demonstrated their effectiveness on cardiovascular events. It is therefore obvious that the availability of a fixed combination with both molecules is a great opportunity for the therapy of the hypertensive patient, considering also the availability of studies that demonstrate its effectiveness on intermediate endpoints associated with high tolerability. So, in accordance with the 2018 ESH/ESC guidelines, the fixed combination ramipril/amlodipine represents a first choice therapy for hypertension.

KEY WORDS: Combined modality therapy; Mortality; Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors; Ramipril

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