Blood Pressure Drug Has Been Linked To Kidney Problems. Tekturna (aliskiren) is a medication manufactured by Novartis that is used to treat high blood pressure, but it might also lead to complications such as a stroke, kidney problems, potentially deadly sensitivity and other side effects. In fact, this drug raised so many safety concerns that a major study had to be stopped because of its related side effects. Tekturna is also sold under the brand name Rasilez in Europe. Other medications that also use aliskiren as the main active ingredient include:
- Tekturna HCT
Research Study Stopped Because of Tekturna Side Effects
In December 2011, Novartis had to stop a clinical study looking at the effects of Tekturna because experts were worried about the side effects seen in patients who were taking the drug. The study was titled ALTITUDE, and it involved 8,606 patients from 36 different countries. Novartis launched ALTITUDE hoping to show that Tekturna would help reduce the risk of heart and renal complications in patients with Type 2 diabetes and kidney impairment. Instead, an independent review committee found that the patients who took Tekturna in combination with two other types of hypertension drugs (ACE inhibitors and ARBs) had higher rates of the following complications:
- Non-fatal stroke
- Renal (kidney) complications
- Hyperkalemia (high potassium)
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
The review committee also found that in high risk populations, there was a higher incidence of these side effects after 18-24 months.
Patient Safety Group Warns that Tekturna is Linked to Deadly Swelling
Angioedema is a hypersensitivity reaction that causes rapid swelling, usually in the face, lips, tongue and throat. This condition can also affect the hands and become fatal if the swelling causes the airway to close. According to the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), some people taking Tekturna have experienced angioedema. The swelling, which may take several minutes or several hours to appear, is sometimes described as feeling itchy or painful.
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