Objective : Losartan has been shown to increase urinary uric acid excretion and hence to lower serum uric acid levels. The purposes of the present study were: (1) to evaluate the effects of losartan on serum uric acid in hypertensive patients with hyperuricemia and gout, (2) to compare the effects of losartan with those of irbesartan, another angiotensin II receptor antagonist and (3) to evaluate whether losartan 50 mg b.i.d. has a greater impact on serum uric acid levels than losartan 50 mg once a day.
Methods : Thirteen hypertensive patients with hyperuricaemia and gout completed this prospective, randomized, double-blind, cross-over study. Uric acid-lowering drugs were stopped 3 weeks before the beginning of the study. Patients were randomized to receive either losartan 50 mg or irbesartan 150 mg once a day, for 4 weeks. During this phase, a placebo was given in the evening. After 4 weeks, the dose was increased to losartan 50 mg b.i.d., or irbesartan 150 mg b.i.d. for another 4 week period. Subsequently, the patients were switched to the alternative treatment modality. Enalapril (20 mg o.d.) was given during the run-in period and between the two treatment phases. Serum and urinary uric acid were measured at the beginning and at the end of each treatment phase.
Results : Our results show that losartan 50 mg once daily decreased serum uric acid levels from 538 ± 26 to 491 ± 20 μmol/l (P < 0.01). Irbesartan had no effect on serum uric acid. Increasing the dose of losartan from 50 mg o.d. to 50 mg twice a day, did not further decrease serum uric acid. This may in part be due to a low compliance to the evening dose as measured with an electronic device. Indeed, whatever the prescribed drug, the mean compliance of the evening dose was always significantly lower than that of the morning dose. The uricosuric effect of losartan appears to decrease with time when a new steady state of lower serum uric acid is reached.
Conclusions : In contrast to irbesartan, losartan was uricosuric and decreased serum uric acid levels. Losartan 50 mg b.i.d. did not produce a greater fall in serum uric acid than losartan once a day. Losartan might be a useful therapeutic tool to control blood pressure and reduce serum uric acid levels in hypertensive patients with hyperuricaemia and gout.
aDivision of Hypertension and Vascular Medicine and bService de Rhumatologie, Department of Medicine, CHUV, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.
Sponsorship: This work was supported by a grant from MSD.
Correspondence and requests for reprints to Dr M. Burnier, Division of Hypertension and Vascular Medicine, Rue P. Decker, CHUV, 1011 Lausanne, Switzerland. Tel: +0041 21 314 07 50; fax: +0041 21 314 07 61; e-mail: Michel.Burnier@chuv.hospvd.ch
Received 9 April 2001
Revised 16 May 2001
Accepted 4 June 2001