What is Azor (amlodipine and olmesartan medoxomil), and how does it work?

Azor is indicated for the treatment of hypertension, alone or with other antihypertensive agents, to lower blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events, primarily strokes and myocardial infarctions. These benefits have been seen in controlled trials of antihypertensive drugs from a wide variety of pharmacologic classes including the class to which this drug principally belongs.

Azor provided as a tablet for oral administration, is a combination of the calcium channel blocker (CCB) amlodipine besylate and the angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) olmesartan medoxomil.

Azor may also be used as initial therapy in patients who are likely to need multiple antihypertensive agents to achieve their blood pressure goals.

What are the side effects of Azor?

WARNING

Female patients of childbearing age should be told about the consequences of exposure to Azor during pregnancy. Discuss treatment options with women planning to become pregnant. Patients should be asked to report pregnancies to their physicians as soon as possible.

Azor

The data described below reflect exposure to Azor in more than 1600 patients including more than 1000 exposed for at least 6 months and more than 700 exposed for 1 year. Azor was studied in one placebo-controlled factorial trial. The population had a mean age of 54 years and included approximately 55% males. Seventy-one percent were Caucasian and 25% were Black. Patients received doses ranging from 5/20 mg to 10/40 mg orally once daily.

The overall incidence of adverse reactions on therapy with Azor was similar to that seen with corresponding doses of the individual components of Azor, and to placebo. The reported adverse reactions were generally mild and seldom led to discontinuation of treatment (2.6% for Azor and 6.8% for placebo).

Edema

Edema is a known, dose-dependent adverse effect of amlodipine but not of olmesartan medoxomil.

The placebo-subtracted incidence of edema during the 8-week, randomized, double-blind treatment period was highest with amlodipine 10 mg monotherapy. The incidence was significantly reduced when 20 mg or 40 mg of olmesartan medoxomil was added to the 10 mg amlodipine dose.

Placebo-Subtracted Incidence of Edema During the Double-Blind Treatment Period

  Olmesartan Medoxomil
Placebo 20 mg 40 mg
Amlodipine Placebo -* -2.4% 6.2%
5 mg 0.7% 5.7% 6.2%
10 mg 24.5% 13.3% 11.2%
*12.3% = actual placebo incidence

Across all treatment groups, the frequency of edema was generally higher in women than men, as has been observed in previous studies of amlodipine.

Adverse reactions seen at lower rates during the double-blind period also occurred in the patients treated with Azor at about the same or greater incidence as in patients receiving placebo. These included hypotension, orthostatic hypotension, rash, pruritus, palpitation, urinary frequency, and nocturia.

The adverse event profile obtained from 44 weeks of open-label combination therapy with amlodipine plus olmesartan medoxomil was similar to that observed during the 8-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled period.

Initial Therapy

Analyzing the data described above specifically for initial therapy, it was observed that higher doses of Azor caused slightly more hypotension and orthostatic symptoms, but not at the recommended starting dose of Azor 5/20 mg. No increase in the incidence of syncope or near syncope was observed. The incidences of discontinuation because of any treatment emergent adverse events in the double blind phase are summarized in the table below.

Discontinuation for any Treatment Emergent Adverse Event1

  Olmesartan Medoxomil
Placebo 10 mg 20 mg 40 mg
Amlodipine Placebo 4.9% 4.3% 5.6% 3.1%
5 mg 3.7% 0.0% 1.2% 3.7%
10 mg 5.5% 6.8% 2.5% 5.6%
1 Hypertension is counted as treatment failure and not as treatment emergent adverse event.
N=160-163 subjects per treatment group.

Amlodipine

Amlodipine has been evaluated for safety in more than 11,000 patients in U.S. and foreign clinical trials. Most adverse reactions reported during therapy with amlodipine were of mild or moderate severity. In controlled clinical trials directly comparing amlodipine (N=1730) in doses up to 10 mg to placebo (N=1250), discontinuation of amlodipine due to adverse reactions was required in only about 1.5% of amlodipinetreated patients and about 1% of placebo-treated patients. The most common side effects were headache and edema. The incidence (%) of dose-related side effects was as follows:

Adverse Event Placebo
N=520
2.5 mg
N=275
5.0 mg
N=296
10.0 mg
N=268
Edema 0.6 1.8 3.0 10.8
Dizziness 1.5 1.1 3.4 3.4
Flushing 0.0 0.7 1.4 2.6
Palpitation 0.6 0.7 1.4 4.5

For several adverse experiences that appear to be drug- and dose-related, there was a greater incidence in women than men associated with amlodipine treatment as shown in the following table:

Adverse Event Placebo Amlodipine
  Male=%
(N=914)
Female=%
(N=336)
Male=%
(N=1218)
Female=%
(N=512)
Edema 1.4 5.1 5.6 14.6
Flushing 0.3 0.9 1.5 4.5
Palpitation 0.9 0.9 1.4 3.3
Somnolence 0.8 0.3 1.3 1.6

Olmesartan Medoxomil

Olmesartan medoxomil has been evaluated for safety in more than 3825 patients/subjects, including more than 3275 patients treated for hypertension in controlled trials. This experience included about 900 patients treated for at least 6 months and more than 525 treated for at least 1 year. Treatment with olmesartan medoxomil was well tolerated, with an incidence of adverse events similar to that seen with placebo. Events were generally mild, transient, and without relationship to the dose of olmesartan medoxomil.

The overall frequency of adverse events was not dose-related. Analysis of gender, age, and race groups demonstrated no differences between olmesartan medoxomil- and placebo-treated patients. The rate of withdrawals due to adverse events in all trials of hypertensive patients was 2.4% (i.e., 79/3278) of patients treated with olmesartan medoxomil and 2.7% (i.e., 32/1179) of control patients. In placebo-controlled trials, the only adverse event that occurred in more than 1% of patients treated with olmesartan medoxomil and at a higher incidence in olmesartan medoxomil treated patients vs. placebo was dizziness (3% vs 1%).

What is the dosage for Azor?

The side effects of olmesartan medoxomil are generally rare and apparently independent of dose. Those of amlodipine are generally dose-dependent (mostly edema).

  • Maximum antihypertensive effects are attained within 2 weeks after a change in dose.
  • Azor may be taken with or without food.
  • Azor may be administered with other antihypertensive agents.
  • Dosage may be increased after 2 weeks. The maximum recommended dose of Azor is 10/40 mg.

Replacement Therapy

Azor may be substituted for its individually titrated components.

When substituting for individual components, the dose of one or both of the components can be increased if blood pressure control has not been satisfactory.

Add-On Therapy

Azor may be used to provide additional blood pressure lowering for patients not adequately controlled with amlodipine (or another dihydropyridine calcium channel blocker) alone or with olmesartan medoxomil (or another angiotensin receptor blocker) alone.

Initial Therapy

The usual starting dose of Azor is 5/20 mg once daily. The dosage can be increased after 1 to 2 weeks of therapy to a maximum dose of one 10/40 mg tablet once daily as needed to control blood pressure.

Initial therapy with Azor is not recommended in patients ≥75 years old or with hepatic impairment.

Dosage Forms And Strengths

Azor tablets are formulated for oral administration in the following strength combinations:

  5/20 5/40 10/20 10/40
Amlodipine equivalent (mg) 5 5 10 10
Olmesartan medoxomil (mg) 20 40 20 40

QUESTION

Salt and sodium are the same. See Answer

What drugs interact with Azor?

Drug Interactions With Azor

The pharmacokinetics of amlodipine and olmesartan medoxomil are not altered when the drugs are co-administered.

No drug interaction studies have been conducted with Azor and other drugs, although studies have been conducted with the individual amlodipine and olmesartan medoxomil components of Azor, as described below, and no significant drug interactions have been observed.

Drug Interactions With Amlodipine

In vitro data indicate that amlodipine has no effect on the human plasma protein binding of digoxin, phenytoin, warfarin, and indomethacin.

Effect Of Other Agents On Amlodipine
  • Cimetidine: Co-administration of amlodipine with cimetidine did not alter the pharmacokinetics of amlodipine.
  • Grapefruit juice: Co-administration of 240 mL of grapefruit juice with a single oral dose of amlodipine 10 mg in 20 healthy volunteers had no significant effect on the pharmacokinetics of amlodipine.
  • Maalox® (antacid): Co-administration of the antacid Maalox® with a single dose of amlodipine had no significant effect on the pharmacokinetics of amlodipine.
  • Sildenafil: A single 100 mg dose of sildenafil in subjects with essential hypertension had no effect on the pharmacokinetic parameters of amlodipine. When amlodipine and sildenafil were used in combination, each agent independently exerted its own blood pressure lowering effect.
  • Effect Of Amlodipine On Other Agents
  • Atorvastatin: Co-administration of multiple 10 mg doses of amlodipine with 80 mg of atorvastatin resulted in no significant change in the steady state pharmacokinetic parameters of atorvastatin.
  • Digoxin: Co-administration of amlodipine with digoxin did not change serum digoxin levels or digoxin renal clearance in normal volunteers.
  • Ethanol (alcohol): Single and multiple 10 mg doses of amlodipine had no significant effect on the pharmacokinetics of ethanol.
  • Warfarin: Co-administration of amlodipine with warfarin did not change the warfarin prothrombin response time.
  • Simvastatin: Co-administration of multiple doses of 10 mg of amlodipine with 80 mg simvastatin resulted in a 77% increase in exposure to simvastatin compared to simvastatin alone. Limit the dose of simvastatin in patients on amlodipine to 20 mg daily.

In clinical trials, amlodipine has been safely administered with thiazide diuretics, beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, long-acting nitrates, sublingual nitroglycerin, digoxin, warfarin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and oral hypoglycemic drugs.

Drug Interactions With Olmesartan Medoxomil

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agents including Selective Cyclooxygenase-2 Inhibitors (COX-2 Inhibitors)

In patients who are elderly, volume-depleted (including those on diuretic therapy), or with compromised renal function, co-administration of NSAIDs, including selective COX-2 inhibitors, with angiotensin II receptor antagonists, including olmesartan medoxomil, may result in deterioration of renal function, including possible acute renal failure. These effects are usually reversible. Monitor renal function periodically in patients receiving olmesartan medoxomil and NSAID therapy.

  • The antihypertensive effect of angiotensin II receptor antagonists, including olmesartan medoxomil may be attenuated by NSAIDs including selective COX-2 inhibitors.
  • No significant drug interactions were reported in studies in which olmesartan medoxomil was co-administered with digoxin or warfarin in healthy volunteers.
  • The bioavailability of olmesartan medoxomil was not significantly altered by the coadministration of antacids [Al(OH)3/Mg(OH)2].
  • Olmesartan medoxomil is not metabolized by the cytochrome P450 system and has no effects on P450 enzymes; thus, interactions with drugs that inhibit, induce, or are metabolized by those enzymes are not expected.
Dual Blockade of the Renin-Angiotensin System (RAS)

Dual blockade of the RAS with angiotensin receptor blockers, ACE inhibitors, or aliskiren is associated with increased risks of hypotension, hyperkalemia, and changes in renal function (including acute renal failure) compared to monotherapy. Most patients receiving the combination of two RAS inhibitors do not obtain any additional benefit compared to monotherapy. In general, avoid combined use of RAS inhibitors. Closely monitor blood pressure, renal function and electrolytes in patients on Azor and other agents that affect the RAS.

  • Do not co-administer aliskiren with Azor in patients with diabetes. Avoid use of aliskiren with Azor in patients with renal impairment (GFR <60 ml/min).
Use with Colesevelam Hydrochloride

Concurrent administration of bile acid sequestering agent colesevelam hydrochloride reduces the systemic exposure and peak plasma concentration of olmesartan. Administration of olmesartan at least 4 hours prior to colesevelam hydrochloride decreased the drug interaction effect. Consider administering olmesartan at least 4 hours before the colesevelam hydrochloride dose.

Lithium

Increases in serum lithium concentrations and lithium toxicity have been reported during concomitant administration of lithium with angiotensin II receptor antagonists, including AZOR. Monitor serum lithium levels during concomitant use.

Is Azor safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?

When pregnancy is detected, discontinue Azor as soon as possible.

Use of drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy reduces fetal renal function and increases fetal and neonatal morbidity and death. Resulting oligohydramnios can be associated with fetal lung hypoplasia and skeletal deformations. Potential neonatal adverse effects include skull hypoplasia, anuria, hypotension, renal failure, and death.

It is not known whether the amlodipine or olmesartan medoxomil components of Azor are excreted in human milk, but olmesartan is secreted at low concentration in the milk of lactating rats. Because of the potential for adverse effects on the nursing infant, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue the drug, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.

SLIDESHOW

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Summary

Azor (amlodipine and olmesartan medoxomil) is a combination of the calcium channel blocker (CCB) amlodipine besylate and the angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) olmesartan medoxomil used to lower high blood pressure. Azor may also be used as initial therapy in patients who are likely to need multiple antihypertensive agents to achieve their blood pressure goals.

Treatment & Diagnosis

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Medically Reviewed on 10/13/2020
References
All sections courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
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