The Medical Letter on Drugs and Therapeutics
Aliskiren/Valsartan (Valturna) for Hypertension
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The FDA has approved the use of aliskiren (Tekturna), a direct renin inhibitor, with valsartan (Diovan), an angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB), in a fixed-dose combination as Valturna (Novartis) for treatment of hypertension in patients already taking both drugs or not adequately controlled on monotherapy, and as initial therapy in those likely to need multiple drugs to control their blood pressure.

MECHANISM OF ACTION — Aliskiren and valsartan block the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) at different points. Renin cleaves angiotensinogen to form angiotensin I, which is converted to angiotensin II. This raises blood pressure, leading to a decrease in renin secretion by the kidney. Valsartan blocks binding of angiotensin II to the AT1 receptor, which lowers blood pressure and increases plasma renin activity. Aliskiren binds to the catalytic site of renin, inhibiting formation of angiotensin ... more      

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Title: Aliskiren Valsartan (Valturna) for Hypertension
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