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Blood Pressure Drug, Tekturna, Continues to be Linked to Injuries

Filed January 18th, 2013 admin

The blood pressure drug, Tekturna, continues to be put under the microscope due to an association with serious side effects.

Tekturna, manufactured by Novartis, was approved in the U.S. in 2007 as a treatment for high blood pressure, but has been connected with an increased risk of strokes and kidney problems over the last few years. Shortly after Tekturna gained approval, Novartis launched a series of trials to determine if the drug could protect key organs, including the kidneys and the heart, if taken for a long period of time. One of those trials, ALTITUDE, was halted in December 2011 after its independent review committee found higher adverse events in patients taking Tekturna in addition to standard care. The committee also found that the chances of an adverse event increased after 18-24 months. Some of the side effects were stroke, renal complications, low blood pressure, high potassium and angioedema.

As a precautionary measure, Novartis announced that it would halt production of Tekturna products for use in combination with ACE inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also been investigating the side effects associated with the blood pressure medication. In November 2012, the FDA announced that it had received at least 100 adverse event reports involving Tekturna. The most serious and prominent side effect was angioedema, which causes rapid swelling of the face, tongue, throat or lip. The report also found that Tekturna may be harmful when taken with similar drugs.

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