INTRODUCTION: Combination therapy is needed to control blood pressure (BP) in a large number of hypertensive patients with diabetes mellitus. Adherence to treatment is a major clinical problem; therefore, the time duration of the antihypertensive action of a drug determines BP control when a dose is skipped. OBJECTIVES: The aim was to determine whether the fixed-dose combination of olmesartan/amlodipine provides equal efficacy and safety as the perindopril/amlodipine combination when a drug dose is missed. METHODS: In this noninferiority trial with a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy parallel group, controlled design, 260 patients received either olmesartan 20-40 mg/amlodipine 5-10 mg or perindopril 4-8 mg/amlodipine 5-10 mg for 24 weeks. The main outcome was the sitting office DBP after 24 weeks of treatment at 48 h from last administration. RESULTS: The olmesartan/amlodipine combination reached noninferiority criteria in reduction of office DBP after 24 weeks of treatment and after the missed dose, compared with the perindopril/amlodipine combination (-11.7 and -10.5 mmHg, respectively). Office SBP and pulse pressure were significantly lower in both groups after 24 weeks of treatment and 48 h after the missed dose, observing a trend to greater SBP reduction in the olmesartan/amlodipine group. CONCLUSIONS: The combination olmesartan/amlodipine is safe, well tolerated, and as effective as the combination of perindopril/amlodipine in the control of essential hypertension in patients with diabetes mellitus. A missed dose does not leave the patients unprotected in both treatments; however, a faster control with less dose increment is observed with olmesartan/amlodipine.
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