Research shows the hypertension drug aliskiren hemifumarate—sold under the brand name Tekturna—might cause kidney impairment, low blood pressure, and high potassium levels.
What Is Tekturna and What Is It Prescribed For?
Tekturna is the brand name for the drug aliskiren hemifumarate. Made and sold by the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG, this prescription medication is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Tekturna in March 2007, and doctors can prescribe it in 150 mg or 300 mg oral tablets taken daily. In 2011, U.S. pharmacies filled 2.4 million prescriptions containing aliskiren as the active ingredient.
Tekturna belongs to a class of hypertension drugs called renin inhibitors. Renin is an enzyme that interacts with angiotensin and aldosterone to form a hormone system (renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system or RAAS) that regulates the body’s blood pressure and balances other fluids. When blood pressure is low, the kidneys release renin to raise it. Consequently, by inhibiting renin secretion, Tekturna prevents blood pressure from rising.
Tekturna Side Effects Include Kidney Impairment
According to the FDA, Tekturna causes the following side effects:
- Renal (kidney) impairment
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- High potassium levels (hyperkalemia)
On April 20, 2012, the FDA issued a drug safety communication warning the public that Tekturna and products containing aliskiren can cause these side effects in patients who have diabetes or kidney problems and are treating those conditions with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). The agency also required Novartis to put a warning about this possibility on Tekturna’s drug label.
Tekturna’s label also now includes an entry in its “Clinical Studies” section documenting the results of the ALTITUDE study, which examined the effects of aliskiren in patients with diabetes treated with ARB or ACEI. The participants of that study who took ACEIs and ARBs with aliskiren reported having suffered more kidney impairment than the participants who took a placebo. The researchers terminated ALTITUDE early for these reasons. Some of the study’s participants who used the combined drugs died or suffered strokes, but FDA has not determined that aliskiren caused those effects.
RLG’s Tekturna Lawyers Will Make Things Easier
The process of demanding compensation for the harm you’ve suffered can be complicated, even if it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to go through even more trouble to be made whole again. The Tekturna lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group believe that obtaining legal satisfaction from those who harmed you shouldn’t require more hardship. That’s why we do everything we can to streamline the process pof helping patients and their families to get the compensation they deserve.
If you have taken Tekturna and you believe it harmed you, call us today. We will carefully assess your case and will file a Tekturna lawsuit on your behalf if necessary. RLG will also keep you up to date on any Tekturna class action lawsuits, FDA Tekturna warnings, and Tekturna FDA recall announcements.