Tekturna (Aliskiren) - Oral

Warning:

When pregnancy is detected, discontinue Tekturna as soon as you can. These types of blood pressure-lowering medications can cause injury or death to a developing fetus.

What Is Tekturna?

Tekturna (aliskiren) is an oral prescription medication used on its own or in combination with other medications to lower blood pressure. Tekturna is the approved brand name of aliskiren, which is the main active ingredient in the medication

Tekturna is a direct renin inhibitor. It works in the kidneys by blocking renin (an enzyme in the body that plays a role in controlling blood pressure) and decreasing angiotensin I and angiotensin II levels. Angiotensin is a hormone that causes the blood vessels to narrow. Reducing angiotensin levels help to relax the blood vessels, making it easier for the heart to pump blood to the rest of the body.

Tekturna is available in tablet form to be taken by mouth.

Drug Facts

Generic Name: Aliskiren

Brand Name(s): Tekturna

Drug Availability: Prescription

Administration Route: Oral

Therapeutic Classification: Antihypertensive

Available Generically: No

Controlled Substance: N/A

Active Ingredient: Aliskiren

Dosage Form(s): Tablet

What Is Tekturna Used For?

Tekturna is a prescription-only medication often used as an additional medication to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It can be used in adults and children weighing 60 kilograms (kg) or greater who are 6 years or older.

Blood pressure can change throughout the day. However, hypertension is blood pressure that is consistently higher than usual. A normal blood pressure level is less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mmHg).

There are usually no signs or symptoms of high blood pressure, but the condition can lead to severe complications like heart disease and organ damage if left untreated. You can check your levels by measuring your blood pressure or visiting a healthcare provider. Healthcare providers can diagnose hypertension and prescribe the right medications to help lower your blood pressure.

How to Take Tekturna

Take Tekturna as directed by your primary healthcare provider, usually once a day. Tekturna may be prescribed with other blood pressure-lowering medications and should be taken with meals low in fat, as a fatty meal could decrease the absorption of this medication.

Storage

Store Tekturna in bottles tightly closed at all times to protect from moisture. It should be stored at room temperature, around 77 F. If you travel with this medication, keep it at temperatures between 59 F and 86 F only. This medication should not be left in the car or the refrigerator. Keep it in a dry and safe area away from children and pets.

Off-Label Uses

Tekturna can be used for non-approved medical uses in people with poor kidney function or those with non-diabetes-related chronic kidney disease.

A protein known as albumin can be expelled into the urine and show signs of significant kidney damage for some people with type 2 diabetes. Tekturna could potentially be used to help lower blood pressure and albumin protein in the urine of people with diabetes.

A well-designed study of people with non-diabetes-related chronic kidney disease showed that treatment with aliskiren plus an angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB, e.g., losartan or valsartan) lowered high protein levels like albumin in the urine and reduced blood pressure.

How Long Does Tekturna Take to Work?

Tekturna can take more than two weeks to take effect. When used in addition to a low-fat diet and a light exercise regimen, Tekturna could begin showing improved blood pressure readings as soon as two weeks.

What Are the Side Effects of Tekturna?

This is not a complete list of side effects, and others may occur. A healthcare provider can advise you on side effects. If you experience other effects, contact your pharmacist or a healthcare provider. You may report side effects to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at fda.gov/medwatch or 800-FDA-1088.

This medication, like many others, comes with side effects. Possible side effects may be common, serious, or long-term.

Common Side Effects

Common side effects of Tekturna include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Cough
  • Rash
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

Severe Side Effects

These side effects, although rare, were reported in studies. They include:

  • Increased blood urea nitrogen (BUN)
  • Increased muscle waste from the kidneys
  • Decreased blood proteins and blood cells
  • Increase in potassium levels
  • Increased waste products in the blood that could lead to gout
  • Toxicity in developing fetuses
  • Hypersensitivity reactions including anaphylaxis
  • Swelling in the neck and head area
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)

Long-Term Side Effects

According to a long-term study, Tekturna combined with another blood pressure-lowering medication called hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) caused swelling of the face, hand, or whole body in a small number (0.4%) of people.

Report Side Effects

Tekturna may cause other side effects. Call your healthcare provider if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your healthcare provider may send a report to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting Program or by phone (800-332-1088).

Dosage: How Much Tekturna Should I Take?

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For high blood pressure:
    • For oral dosage forms (pellets):
      • Adults—At first, 150 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 300 mg per day.
      • Children 6 to 17 years of age—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor:
        • Weighing 50 kilograms (kg) or more—At first, 150 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 300 mg per day.
        • Weighing 20 to 50 kg—At first, 75 mg once a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 150 mg per day.
      • Children 2 to 5 years of age or weighing less than 20 kilograms (kg)—Should not be used in these patients.
    • For oral dosage forms (tablets):
      • Adults and children 6 years of age and older weighing 50 kilograms (kg) or more—At first, 150 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 300 mg per day.
      • Children younger than 6 years of age or weighing less than 50 kg—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
      • Children younger than 2 years of age—Should not be used in these patients.

Modifications

In some cases, you may need to modify or adjust your dose. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or start to experience bothersome side effects from this medication.

Tekturna can cause harm to the fetus if taken during pregnancy. Talk to your healthcare provider if you plan to become pregnant, as you may need to stop taking this medication. Discontinue Tekturna as soon as possible if you become pregnant.

Tekturna may also be present in the breast milk of nursing people, which can harm the infant. Discuss different treatment options or infant feeding options with your healthcare provider if you plan to breastfeed.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose of your Tekturna, do not retake it unless you are about to have a meal. Instead, wait to take your next dose during mealtime. Do not double up on doses.

Try writing in a journal or use a pill box to remind yourself to take your medication as directed by your healthcare provider.

Overdose: What Happens If I Take Too Much Tekturna?

Taking too much Tekturna could cause common side effects to occur, such as diarrhea and potentially lower than normal blood pressure.

What Happens If I Take Too Much Tekturna?

If you think you or someone else may have overdosed on Tekturna, call a healthcare provider or the Poison Control Center (800-222-1222).

If someone collapses or isn't breathing after taking Tekturna, call 911 immediately.

Precautions

Drug Content Provided and Reviewed by IBM Micromedex®

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits. This will allow your doctor to see if the medicine is working properly and to decide if you should continue to take it. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.

Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.

This medicine may cause serious allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis and angioedema. These can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. Call your doctor right away if you have a rash, itching, hoarseness, trouble breathing or swallowing, or any swelling of your hands, face, lips, tongue, or throat while you are using this medicine.

Dizziness or lightheadedness may occur while you are using this medicine, especially if you have been taking a diuretic (water pill). Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know this medicine affects you. If you feel dizzy, lie down so you do not faint. Then sit for a few moments before standing to prevent the dizziness from returning. If you faint, stop using this medicine until you have talked to your doctor.

Check with your doctor right away if you become sick while taking this medicine, especially if you have severe or continuing nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. These conditions may cause you to lose too much water or salt and may lead to low blood pressure. You can also lose water by sweating, so drink of plenty of water during exercise or hot weather.

This may cause serious kidney problems, including kidney failure. Check with your doctor right away if you have a decrease in how much or how often you urinate.

Hyperkalemia (high potassium in the blood) may occur while you are using this medicine. Check with your doctor right away if you have stomach pain, confusion, difficulty with breathing, irregular heartbeat, nausea or vomiting, nervousness, numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips, or weakness or heaviness of the legs. Do not use supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium without first checking with your doctor.

You should not use this medicine (unless your doctor specifically tells you to) if you are also receiving cyclosporine (Gengraf®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®) or itraconazole (Sporanox®).

Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems, since they may increase your blood pressure.

What Are Reasons I Shouldn’t Take Tekturna?

Do not take Tekturna if you:

You should always speak with your primary healthcare provider and receive necessary blood tests before starting this medication.

What Other Medications Interact with Tekturna?

Tekturna should be carefully administered when taking certain medications. The following medications below should not be taken with Tekturna as they may increase the amount of Tekturna in the body:

  • Cyclosporine 
  • Sporanox (itraconazole)

Tekturna may increase the risk of kidney impairment, hyperkalemia, and low blood pressure in people with diabetes when combined with other blood pressure drugs, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) or ARBs. Using these medications together can also enhance the blood pressure lowering effect, causing hypotension. These medications include but are not limited to:

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may also interact with Tekturna and affect how well it works. NSAIDs include:

What Medications Are Similar?

Two classes of medications, known as ACE-Is and ARBs, are similar to Tekturna. Medications commonly used in these classes include the following.

ACE inhibitors:

  • Lisinopril
  • Captopril
  • Enalapril
  • Fosinopril

ARBs:

  • Losartan
  • Olmesartan
  • Irbesartan

This is a list of drugs that are also prescribed for high blood pressure. It is NOT necessarily a list of drugs recommended to take with Tekturna. Ask your pharmacist or a healthcare provider if you have questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Tekturna used for?

    Tekturna is used to treat high blood pressure (also known as hypertension). It can be used alone or in combination with other medications.

  • How does Tekturna work?

    Tekturna is a direct renin inhibitor that works in the kidneys by blocking renin, an enzyme that increases blood pressure.

  • What drugs should not be taken with Tekturna?

    You should always speak with your primary healthcare provider before starting another medication. Medications like cyclosporine, itraconazole, and NSAIDs can interact with Tekturna.

    If you have diabetes or kidney impairment, you will likely need to avoid using Tekturna with other blood pressure-lowering medications, such as Vasotec (enalapril), Benicar (olmesartan), and others.

  • How long does it take for Tekturna to work?

    Tekturna may take as long as two weeks before it reaches its full effect.

  • How do I safely stop taking Tekturna?

    Do not stop taking Tekturna without first consulting your primary healthcare provider. Tekturna helps lower your blood pressure and should only be stopped if you suspect extremely low blood pressure readings and experience dizziness, fatigue, or fainting.

    If you discontinue this medication before it takes effect, it may lead to uncontrolled hypertension. Only stop taking Tekturna under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

  • Should I stop my other medications while taking Tekturna?

    Do not stop taking your other medications unless directed by your healthcare provider first.

How Can I Stay Healthy While Taking Tekturna?

High blood pressure can put you at risk for complications like heart disease or stroke. In addition to taking medications as prescribed, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise plan can also be beneficial in lowering blood pressure. In particular, a low-fat diet helps with the proper absorption of Tekturna.

If you have trouble keeping up with an exercise regimen, try a quick 30 minutes of walking daily for about three to four days a week. Then, slowly increase it to five days for the optimal 150 minutes per week of exercise.

It is best to discuss your nutrition and exercise plan with your healthcare provider, depending on your health status.

Medical Disclaimer

Verywell Health's drug information is meant for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider before taking any new medication(s). IBM Watson Micromedex provides some drug content, as indicated on the page.

The author would like to recognize and thank Jaycob Pena for contributing to this article.

8 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How much physical activity do adults need?