Tekturna And Related Blood Pressure Medications Can Cause Strokes, Kidney Failure
Tekturna (aliskiren) is intended for the purpose of regulating blood pressure, but the side effects may vastly outweigh the benefits. The drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration back in March of 2007, after it was evaluated for safety in 6,460 patients. Of the more than 6,000 patients, only 1,250 were treated for longer than 1 year. But while 6,460 may seem like a large sample size, it’s actually very small in the big scheme of things, and it often takes hundreds of thousands—or even millions—of uses before we start to see the true adverse effects of a drug. Case in point: Tekturna.
Tekturna is taken orally, and seems like a perfectly harmless drug on the surface. But in December 2011, the drug company Novartis announced that it was terminating its clinical ALTITUDE study of Tekturna, due to the fact that researchers had observed an increased number of serious side effects in Tektuma patients.
According to an April 2012 article by journalist Larry Husten:
The FDA has issued new warnings about antihypertensive drugs containing the direct renin inhibitor aliskiren (including Tekturna, Amturnide, Takamio, and Valturna) when used in combination with ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). The FDA now states that these drug combinations are contraindicated in patients with diabetes, and it is new warning to avoid the use of this combination in patients with moderate to severe renal impairment (GFR <60 mL/min).
More recently, the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen called for a “Black-Box Warning” for Tekturna and some other high blood pressure medications — angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs), angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitors — so that doctors can be made fully aware of the dangers involved.
According to Public Citizen:
The use of ACE inhibitors and ARBs in combination has become commonplace in recent years due to a theoretical belief that such combination use would confer an added benefit over the use of the drugs individually. However, this theory has been unequivocally disproven in two large studies involving tens of thousands of patients with heart disease and diabetes that failed to show any clinical advantage of combination therapy. On the contrary, the studies showed a higher rate of several life-threatening side effects, such as low blood pressure, kidney failure and dangerously high blood potassium levels, in patients taking the drugs together compared with patients on only one of the medications.
If you have taken Tektuma or a similar drug, contact the California personal injury lawyers at Nadrich & Cohen, LLP. We will give you a free case evaluation, and we will keep all of your information completely confidential. We fight aggressively on behalf of our clients, and we’re here for you. Call us today at 1-800-718-4658.