Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney disease, which affects approximately 26 million people in the United States. For patients with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, reducing proteinuria is associated with slowing the progression of kidney disease, which can reduce the risk of kidney failure. There are approximately 14 million adults in the US diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure.
Data published in this week's New England Journal of Medicine demonstrate that the first direct renin inhibitor Tekturna (aliskiren), when added to the maximum dose of the angiotensin-receptor-blocker (ARB) losartan, reduced proteinuria, a key indicator of kidney disease, independent of its already proven ability to provide powerful blood pressure reductions. Damage to the kidneys caused by diabetes is the leading cause of end-stage renal disease in developed countries, affecting more than 1.5 million people worldwide.
In the AVOID (Aliskiren in the EValuation of PrOteinuria In Diabetes) study, Tekturna, when added to the maximum dose of losartan, reduced proteinuria by 20% compared to losartan alone in patients diagnosed with high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. These patients were initially treated with the maximum dose of losartan, which has been shown to slow the progression of diabetic kidney disease.
Tekturna, the latest type of high blood pressure medication, works differently from other high blood pressure medications by targeting renin, an enzyme that starts a process that when inappropriately activated may lead to high blood pressure.
Tekturna is a prescription medication for adults, used to treat high blood pressure. It can be used alone or in combination with other high blood pressure medications. Tekturna has not been adequately studied in combination with the maximum doses of a class of medications called ACE inhibitors.
IMPORTANT WARNING: If you get pregnant, stop taking Tekturna and call your doctor right away. Tekturna may harm an unborn baby, causing injury and even death. If you plan to become pregnant, talk to your doctor about other treatment options before taking Tekturna.
Do not take Tekturna if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. If you develop an allergic reaction involving swelling of the face, lips, throat and/or tongue which may cause difficulty in breathing and swallowing stop taking Tekturna and contact your doctor immediately.
Your blood pressure may get too low if you also take water pills, are on a low-salt diet, get dialysis treatments, have heart problems, or get sick with vomiting or diarrhea. Lie down if you feel dizzy or faint. Call your doctor right away.
Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions, including whether you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, are breast-feeding, or have kidney problems.
In clinical studies, the most common side effect experienced by more patients taking Tekturna than patients taking a sugar pill was diarrhea. Other less common reactions to Tekturna include cough and rash.
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