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Published on 23 January 2008

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Go-ahead for blood pressure tablets

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved tablets containing a combination of the blood pressure medication Tekturna (aliskiren) and hydrochlorothiazide (HCT).

The hypertension compound aliskiren was approved last March, and is sold as Tekturna in the US, and Rasilez in the rest of the world.

It acts by targeting renin, an enzyme responsible for high blood pressure.

The new version also includes hydrochlorothiazide, a compound that inhibits the kidney’s ability to retain water, and is also used to treat high blood pressure.

The combination tablets are intended for patients whose blood pressure has not been controlled by a single drug, and will be available early next month.

Dr James Shannon, chief medical officer at Novartis, said: “Most patients need at least two medicines to control their high blood pressure.

“The rationale for combining a diuretic, which raises plasma renin activity, with Tekturna, which counters this increase, is compelling and unique, and Novartis is very proud to introduce this innovative combination.”

Dr Alan Gradman, from the Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, added: “Current guidelines call for aggressive treatment of high blood pressure and many patients are still not controlled.

“Tekturna HCT offers patients an effective new treatment option with significant blood pressure reductions and improved convenience, by combining the complementary mechanisms of action of the first direct renin inhibitor and a diuretic in one tablet.”

Copyright © PA Business 2008

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