High Blood Pressure Med has Serious Side Effects

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High Blood Pressure Med has Serious Side EffectsOverview: Tekturna, Novartis’ high blood pressure medication, may come with a multitude of side effects. The drug began to draw negative attention last December, when the clinical trials (ALTITUDE) were halted after an independent review committee realized that Tekturna users were experiencing a higher rate of non-fatal stroke, renal complications, hyperkalemia and hypotension when taken on top of standard trial treatment; the ALTITUDE study was conducted in attempt to determine whether the drug would be helpful in improving cardiovascular and kidney health in type II diabetics. Since then, the drug has undergone a safety review in both Europe and Canada. Last month, the European Medicines Healthcares products and Regulatory Agency (MHRA) followed up by updating the safety warning on the drug, contraindicating it in type I and type II diabetics and in non-diabetic patients who have a glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) less than 60 mL/min per 1.73 m2.

Product: Tekturna (aliskiren), also sold under the brand name Rasilez outside the US

Manufacturer: Novartis

Side Effects & Complications

  • Strokes
  • Heart attacks
  • Acute renal failure
  • Renal complications
  • Hyperkalemia (high levels of potassium)
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Syncope

Background

Tekturna was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March 2007 as a high blood pressure medication. It is part of a class of drugs known as direct renin inhibitors; Renin the first enzyme involved in the chain of reactions essential to controlling blood pressure.