Aliskiren : Uses, Side Effects, Interactions & More
Do not take aliskiren if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant while taking aliskiren, call your doctor immediately. Aliskiren may harm the fetus.
Why is this medication prescribed?
Aliskiren is used alone or in combination with some medications to treat high blood pressure. Aliskiren is in a class of medications called direct renin inhibitors. It works by decreasing certain natural chemicals that tighten the blood vessels, so the blood vessels relax and the heart can pump blood more efficiently.
High blood pressure is a common condition and, when left untreated, it can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of the body. Damage to these organs can cause heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and other problems. In addition to taking medications, making lifestyle changes will also help control your blood pressure. These changes include eating a diet low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising for at least 30 minutes most days, not smoking, and consuming alcohol in moderation.
How should this medicine be used?
Aliskiren comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day. Aliskiren should always be taken with food or always without food. Take aliskiren at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any parts you do not understand. Take aliskiren exactly as directed. Do not take more or less, or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will likely prescribe a low dose of aliskiren and increase it after you have taken this medicine for at least 2 weeks.
Aliskiren controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. Keep taking aliskiren even if you feel fine. Do not stop taking aliskiren without consulting your doctor.
Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer’s information for the patient.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking aliskiren,
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to aliskiren, an angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor such as benazepril (Lotensin, in Lotrel), captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec, in Vaseretic), fosinopril, lisinopril (in Prinzide, in Zestoretic), moexipril (Univasc, in Uniretic), perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril, in Accuretic, in Quinaretic), ramipril (Altace) and trandolapril (Mavik, in Tarka); any other medicine or any of the ingredients in aliskiren tablets. Ask your pharmacist or see patient information for a list of ingredients.
- Tell your doctor if you have diabetes (high blood sugar) and are taking an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) such as azilsartan (Edarbi, Edarbyclor), candesartan (Atacand, in Atacand HCT), eprosartan (Teveten, in Teveten HCT) irbesartan (Avapro, in Avalide), losartan (Cozaar, in Hyzaar), olmesartan (Benicar, in Azor, Benicar HCT), telmisartan (Micardis, in Micardis HCT) and valsartan (Diovan, in Diovan HCT, Exforge); or an ACE inhibitor. Your doctor will probably tell you not to take aliskiren if you have diabetes and are taking one of these medications.
- Tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: certain antifungals such as itraconazole (Sporanox); aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn); atorvastatin (Lipitor, in Caduet, Liptruzet); celecoxib (Celebrex); cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune); diuretics (‘water pills’); potassium supplements or medicines containing potassium; and any other medicines for heart disease or high blood pressure.Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medicines or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had diabetes, seizures, heart attack or heart failure, or kidney disease.
- Tell your doctor if you plan to become pregnant or are breastfeeding. Do not breastfeed while you are taking aliskiren.
- You should know that diarrhea, vomiting, not drinking enough fluids, and sweating a lot can lead to a drop in blood pressure, which can lead to dizziness and fainting. Tell your doctor if you have any of these problems or develop them during your treatment.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
You should try to avoid eating a high-fat meal (foods such as fried foods or fast foods) when taking aliskiren with a meal. You should not use salt substitutes that contain potassium or take potassium supplements without first talking to your doctor.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for the one you forgot.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Aliskiren may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
- back pain
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking aliskiren and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- lightheadedness and fainting
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- blisters or peeling skin
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- slow, weak, or irregular heart beat
Aliskiren may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medicine in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of the reach of children. Store at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not remove the desiccant (drying agent) from the bottle, if one has been provided.
Unnecessary medications must be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and others cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medicine down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medications is through a drug take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage / recycling department to find out about take-back programs in your community. Check out the FDA drug safe disposal website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
It is important to keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children, since many containers (such as those containing weekly pills and those for eye drops, creams, patches and inhalers) are not child-resistant and small children can easily open them. To protect young children from poisoning, always close the safety caps and immediately place the medicine in a safe place, one that is upright and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim collapsed, had a seizure, is having trouble breathing, or is unable to wake up, immediately call 911 for emergency services.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- blurred vision
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order lab tests to check your body’s response to aliskiren.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important that you keep a written list of all prescription and over-the-counter (over-the-counter) medications you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should take this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you go into hospital. It is also important information to take with you in case of emergencies.
Brand names of combination products
- Amturnide® (containing Aliskiren, Amlodipine, Hydrochlorothiazide)
- Tekamlo® (containing Aliskiren, Amlodipine)
- Tekturna® HCT (containing Aliskiren, Hydrochlorothiazide)
- Valturna® (containing Aliskiren, Valsartan)
Disclaimer: We have made every effort to ensure that all information is factually accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a licensed health care professional’s choice of knowledge and expertise. You should always consult your doctor or other health care professional before taking any medication. The information given here is subject to change and it has not been used to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions or adverse effects. The lack of warning or other information for any drug does not indicate that the combination of medicine or medication is safe, effective or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.