Background Many hypertensive patients require combination therapy to achieve target blood pressure (BP). β-Blockers and dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers are effective as monotherapy in hypertensive patients and have complementary mechanisms for lowering BP. Methods This multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, unbalanced factorial study included a 4- to 5-week single-blind placebo, 9-week, double-blind treatment as well as a 2-week double-blind, down-titration period. Patients ( N = 1092) were randomized to one of 16 treatment groups: extended-release (ER) metoprolol succinate (25, 100, or 400 mg), ER felodipine (2.5, 10, or 20 mg), ER felodipine/ER metoprolol succinate (2.5/25, 2.5/100, 2.5/400, 10/25, 10/100, 10/400, 20/25, 20/100, or 20/400 mg), or placebo. Results At baseline, treatment groups were well balanced; mean sitting BP was 152.6/99.9 mm Hg. Monotherapy with ER metoprolol succinate induced dose-related reductions in sitting systolic/diastolic BP (DBP) (mean 8.1/7.7 to 9.7/11.1 mm Hg) as did ER felodipine (mean 7.7/7.7 to 14.0/11.8) and the combinations reflected additive effects (mean 13.8/11.0 to 19.8/15.2). The decline in the placebo group was 2.1/4.0 mm Hg. All combinations were more effective than their components ( P < .05 for all but ER metoprolol succinate 25/ER felodipine 20). When compared with the highest doses of the individual agents (ER metoprolol succinate 400 mg; ER felodipine 20 mg), the low-dose combination ER metoprolol succinate 25/ER felodipine 2.5 was approximately as effective (differences in DBP <1 mm Hg). The most common adverse events leading to discontinuation were peripheral edema (4%), headache (2%), and fatigue (1%). Higher rates of peripheral edema and flushing were associated with high-dose ER felodipine, either alone or in combination. Conclusions The antihypertensive effects of ER metoprolol succinate and ER felodipine are dose-related, and when given in combination, their BP-lowering effects are additive over a wide dose range. Low-dose combination therapy is comparable in effectiveness to high-dose monotherapy but is better tolerated.