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.
Reduction of cardiovascular morbidity:
Support for use to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events was obtained in a pair of studies. Both enrolled subjects age ≥55 years, at high cardiovascular risk as evidenced by coronary artery disease (75%), diabetes mellitus (27%) accompanied with end-organ damage (e.g., retinopathy, left ventricular hypertrophy, and, in ONTARGET only, macro- or microalbuminuria), stroke (16%), peripheral vascular disease (13%), or transient ischemic attack (4%). Patients without a history of intolerance to ACE inhibitors entered ONTARGET, and those with such a history, usually cough (90%), entered TRANSCEND, but patients with >1+ proteinuria on dipstick were excluded from TRANSCEND. For both ONTARGET and TRANSCEND trials, the primary 4-component composite endpoint was death from cardiovascular causes, myocardial infarction, stroke, and hospitalization for heart failure. The secondary 3-component composite endpoint was death from cardiovascular causes, myocardial infarction, and stroke.
ONTARGET was a randomized, active-controlled, multinational, double-blind study in 25,620 patients who were randomized to telmisartan 80 mg, ramipril 10 mg, or their combination. The population studied was 73% male, 74% Caucasian, 14% Asian, and 57% were 65 years of age or older. Baseline therapy included acetylsalicylic acid (76%), lipid lowering agents (64%), beta-blockers (57%), calcium channel blockers (34%), nitrates (29%), and diuretics (28%). The mean duration of follow up was about 4 years and 6 months. During the study, 22.0% (n=1878) of telmisartan patients discontinued the active treatment, compared to 24.4% (n=2095) of ramipril patients and 25.3% (n=2152) of telmisartan/ramipril patients.
TRANSCEND randomized patients to telmisartan 80 mg (n=2954) or placebo (n=2972). The mean duration of follow up was 4 years and 8 months. The population studied was 57% male, 62% Caucasian, 21% Asian, and 60% were 65 years of age or older. Baseline therapy included acetylsalicylic acid (75%), lipid lowering agents (58%), beta-blockers (58%), calcium channel blockers (41%), nitrates (34%) and diuretics (33%). During the study, 17.7% (n=523) of telmisartan patients discontinued the active treatment, compared to 19.4% (n=576) of placebo patients.
The results for the TRANSCEND trial are summarized in Table 1, and the results for ONTARGET are summarized in Table 2, as follows: (See Tables 1 and 2.)
Click on icon to see table/diagram/image
Click on icon to see table/diagram/image
Although the event rates in ONTARGET were similar on telmisartan and ramipril, the results did not unequivocally rule out that MICARDIS may not preserve a meaningful fraction of the effect of ramipril in reducing cardiovascular events. However, the results of both ONTARGET and TRANSCEND do adequately support MICARDIS being more effective than placebo would be in this setting, particularly for the end point of time to cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or stroke.
In ONTARGET, there was no evidence that combining ramipril and MICARDIS reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular causes, myocardial infarction, stroke, or hospitalization for heart failure greater than ramipril alone; instead, patients who received the combination of ramipril and telmisartan in ONTARGET experienced an increased incidence of clinically important renal dysfunction (e.g., acute renal failure) compared to patients receiving MICARDIS or ramipril alone.
Multiple sub-group analyses did not demonstrate any differences in the 4-component composite primary endpoint based on age, gender, or ethnicity for either ONTARGET or TRANSCEND trial.
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).
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.