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Micardis
 

USE IN PREGNANCY
When used in pregnancy during the second and third trimesters, drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and even death to the developing fetus. When pregnancy is detected, MICARDIS tablets should be discontinued as soon as possible. See WARNINGS: Fetal/Neonatal morbidity and Mortality


Composition
1 tablet contains ...........20, 40 or 80 mg
[1,1'-biphenyl]-2-carboxylic acid, 4'-[(1,4'dimethyl-2'-propyl[2,6-bi-1H-benzimidazole]-1'-yl)methyl] (= telmisartan)


Properties
Telmisartan is an orally effective and specific angiotensin II receptor (type AT1) antagonist. Telmisartan displaces angiotensin II with very high affinity from its binding site at the AT1 receptor subtype, which is responsible for the known actions of angiotensin II. Telmisartan does not exhibit any partial agonist activity at the AT1 receptor. Telmisartan selectively binds the AT1 receptor. The binding is long lasting.
 

Telmisartan does not show affinity for other receptors, including AT2 and other less characterised AT receptors. The functional role of these receptors is not known, nor is the effect of their possible overstimulation by angiotensin II, whose levels are increased by telmisartan. Plasma aldosterone levels are decreased by telmisartan. Telmisartan does not inhibit human plasma renin or block ion channels. Telmisartan does not inhibit angiotensin converting enzyme (kininase II), the enzyme which also degrades bradykinin. Therefore it is not expected to potentiate bradykinin-mediated adverse effects.

 

In man, an 80 mg dose of telmisartan almost completely inhibits the angiotensin II evoked blood pressure increase. The inhibitory effect is maintained over 24 hours and still measurable up to 48 hours.


Treatment of essential hypertension
After the first dose of telmisartan, the antihypertensive activity gradually becomes evident within 3 hours. The maximum reduction in blood pressure is generally attained 4 weeks after the start of treatment and is sustained during long-term therapy. The antihypertensive effect persists constantly over 24 hours after dosing and includes the last 4 hours before the next dose as shown by ambulatory blood pressure measurements. This is confirmed by trough to peak ratios consistently above 80% seen after doses of 40 and 80 mg of telmisartan in placebo controlled clinical studies.
 

There is an apparent trend to a dose relationship to a time to recovery of baseline SBP. In this respect data concerning DBP are inconsistent.


In patients with hypertension telmisartan reduces both systolic and diastolic blood pressure without affecting pulse rate. The antihypertensive efficacy of telmisartan has been compared to antihypertensive drugs such as amlodipine, atenolol, enalapril, hydrochlorothiazide, losartan, lisinopril, ramipril and valsartan.

 

Upon abrupt cessation of treatment with telmisartan, blood pressure gradually returns to pre-treatment values over a period of several days without evidence of rebound hypertension.


Telmisartan treatment has been shown in clinical trials to be associated with statistically significant reductions in Left Ventricular Mass and Left Ventricular Mass Index in patients with hypertension and Left Ventricular Hypertrophy.


Telmisartan treatment has been shown in clinical trials (including comparators like losartan, ramipril and valsartan) to be associated with statistically significant reductions in proteinuria (including microalbuminuria and macroalbuminuria) in patients with hypertension and diabetic nephropathy.


The incidence of dry cough was significantly lower in patients treated with telmisartan than in those given angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors in clinical trials directly comparing the two antihypertensive treatments.

Cardiovascular risk reduction

ONTARGET (ONgoin Telmisartan Alone and in Combination with Ramipril Global Endpoint Trial) compared the effects of telmisartan, ramipril and the combination of telmisartan and ramipril on cardiovascular outcomes in 25620 patients aged 55 years or older with a history of coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, or diabetes mellitus accompanied by evidence of end-organ damage (e.g. retinopathy, left ventricular hypertrophy, macro- or microalbuminuria), which represents a broad cross-section of cardiovascular high risk patients.

 

Patients were randomized to one of the three following treatment groups: telmisartan 80 mg (n = 8542), ramipril 10 mg (n = 8576), or the combination of telmisartan 80 mg plus ramipril 10 mg (n = 8502), and followed for a mean observation time of 4.5 years. The population studied was 73k male, 74% Caucasian, 14% Asian and 43% were 65 years of age or older. Hypertension was present in nearly 83% of randomized patients: 69% of patients had a history of hypertension at randomization and an additional 14% had actual blood pressure readings above 140/90 mm Hg. At baseline, the total percentage of patients with a medical history of diabetes was 38% and an additional 3% presented with elevated fasting plasma glucose levels. Baseline therapy included acetylsalicylic acid (76%), statins (62%), beta-blockers (57%), calcium channel blockers (34%), nitrates (29%) and diuretics (28%).


The primary endpoint was a composite of cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, non-fatal stroke, or hospitalization for congestive heart failure.


Adherence to treatment was better for telmisartan than for ramipril or the combination of telmisartan and ramipril, although the study population had been pre-screened for tolerance to treatment with an ACE-inhibitor. The analysis of adverse events leading to permanent treatment discontinuation and of serious adverse events showed that cough and angioedema were less frequently reported in patients treated with telmisartan than in patients treated with ramipril, whereas hypotension was more frequently reported with telmisartan.


Telmisartan had similar efficacy to ramipril in reducing the primary endpoint. The incidence of the primary endpoint was similar in the telmisartan (16.7%), ramipril (16.5%) and telmisartan plus ramipril combination (16.3%) arms. The hazard ratio for telmisartan vs. ramipril was 1.01 (97.5% CI 0.93 - 1.10, p (non-inferiority) = 0.0019).

 

The treatment effect was found to persist following corrections for differences in systolic blood pressure at baseline and over time. There was no difference in the primary endpoint based on age, gender, race, baseline therapies or underlying disease. Telmisartan was also found to be similarly effective to ramipril in several pre-specified secondary endpoints, including a composite of cardiovascular death, non-fatal myocardial infarction, and non-fatal stroke, the primary endpoint in the reference study HOPE (The Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation Study), which had investigated the effect of ramipril vs. placebo. The hazard ratio of telmisartan vs. ramipril for this endpoint in ONTARGET was 0.99 (97.5% CI 0.90 - 1.08, p (non-inferiority) = 0.0004).

 

Combining telmisartan with ramipril did not add further benefit over ramipril or telmisartan alone. In addition, there was a significantly higher incidence of hyperkalaemia, renal failure, hypotension and syncope in the combination arm. Therefore the use of a combination of telmisartan and ramipril is not recommended in this population.


Pharmacokinetics
Absorption of telmisartan is rapid although the amount absorbed varies. The mean absolute bioavailability for telmisartan is about 50%.


When telmisartan is taken with food, the reduction in the area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) of telmisartan varies from approximately 6% (40 mg dose) to approximately 19% (160 mg dose). By 3 hours after administration plasma concentrations are similar whether telmisartan is taken fasting or with food. The small reduction in AUC is not expected to cause a reduction in the therapeutic efficacy.

 

Gender differences in plasma concentrations were observed, Cmax and AUC being approximately 3-and 2-fold higher, respectively, in females compared to males without relevant influence on efficacy.

 

Telmisartan is largely bound to plasma protein (>99.5%), mainly albumin and alpha-1 acid glycoprotein. The mean steady state apparent volume of distribution (Vss) is approximately 500 L.


Telmisartan is metabolised by conjugation to the glucuronide of the parent compound. No pharmacological activity has been shown for the conjugate.

 

Telmisartan is characterised by biexponential decay pharmacokinetics with a terminal elimination half-life of > 20 hours. The maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) and, to a smaller extent, area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) increase disproportionately with dose. There is no evidence of clinically relevant accumulation of telmisartan.

 

After oral (and intravenous) administration telmisartan is nearly exclusively excreted with the faeces, exclusively as unchanged compound. Cumulative urinary excretion is < 2% of dose. Total plasma clearance (CLtot) is high (approximately 900 ml/min compared with hepatic blood flow (about 1500 ml/min).


Elderly patients
The pharmacokinetics of telmisartan do not differ between younger and elderly patients.


Patients with renal impairment
Lower plasma concentrations were observed in patients with renal insufficiency undergoing dialysis. Telmisartan is highly bound to plasma protein in renal-insufficient subjects and cannot be removed by dialysis. The elimination half-life is not changed in patients with renal impairment.


Patients with hepatic impairment
Pharmacokinetic studies in patients with hepatic impairment showed an increase in absolute bioavailability up to nearly 100%. The elimination half-life is not changed in patients with hepatic impairment.
 

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