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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 189-193

Aliskiren: An orally active renin inhibitor


Pranveer Singh Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India

Correspondence Address:
Ankita Wal
Pranveer Singh Institute of Technology, Kanpur
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0975-7406.80764

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Renin inhibitors are antihypertensive drugs that block the first step in the renin-angiotensin system. Their mechanism of action differs from that of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and angiotensin-receptor antagonists, but like these drugs, renin inhibitors interrupt the negative feedback effects of angiotensin II on renin secretion. The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) has long been recognized to play a significant role in hypertension pathophysiology. Certain agents that modify the RAAS can control blood pressure and improve cardiovascular outcomes. Optimization of this compound by Novartis led to the development of aliskiren - the only direct renin inhibitor which is clinically used as an antihypertensive drug. Aliskiren is the first of a new class of antihypertensive agents. Aliskiren is a new renin inhibitor of a novel structural class that has recently been shown to be efficacious in hypertensive patients after once-daily oral dosing. In short-term studies, it was effective in lowering blood pressure either alone or in combination with valsartan and hydrochlorothiazide, and had a low incidence of serious adverse effects. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2007 for the use as a monotherapy or in combination with other antihypertensives. Greater reductions in blood pressure have been achieved when aliskiren was used in combination with hydrochlorothiazide or an angiotensin-receptor blocker. The most common adverse effects reported in clinical trials were headache, fatigue, dizziness, diarrhea, and nasopharyngitis. Aliskiren has not been studied in patients with moderate renal dysfunction; as an RAAS-acting drug, it should be prescribed for such patients only with caution.


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