To determine the effectiveness and safety of once-daily combination therapy with amlodipine, valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide for reducing ambulatory blood pressure (ABP) in patients with moderate to severe hypertension, a multicenter, double-blind study was performed (N=2271) that included ABP monitoring in a 283-patient subset. After a single-blind, placebo run-in period, patients were randomized to receive amlodipine/valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide (10/320/25 mg), valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide (320/25 mg), amlodipine/valsartan (10/320 mg) or amlodipine/hydrochlorothiazide (10/25 mg) each morning for 8 weeks. Efficacy assessments included change from baseline in 24-h, daytime and night time mean ambulatory systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP). Statistically significant and clinically relevant reductions from baseline in all these parameters occurred in all treatment groups (P<0.0001, all comparisons versus baseline). At week 8, least squares mean reductions from baseline in 24-h, daytime and night time mean ambulatory SBP/DBP were 30.3/19.7, 31.2/20.5 and 28.0/17.8 mm Hg, respectively, with amlodipine/valsartan/ hydrochlorothiazide; corresponding reductions with dual therapies ranged from 18.8-24.1/11.7-15.5, 19.0-25.1/12.0-16.0 and 18.3-22.6/11.1-14.3 mm Hg (P≤0.01, all comparisons of triple versus dual therapy). Treatment with amlodipine/valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide maintained full 24-h effectiveness, including during the morning hours; all hourly mean ambulatory SBP and mean ambulatory DBP measurements were 130/85 mm Hg at end point. Amlodipine/ valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide combination therapy was well tolerated. Once-daily treatment with amlodipine/valsartan/hydrochlorothiazide (10/320/25 mg) reduces ABP to a significantly greater extent than component-based dual therapy and maintains its effectiveness over the entire 24-h dosing period. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.