How Aliskiren/Amlodipine Works and What to Tell Your Doctor
Important Information for Your Healthcare ProviderYou should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking aliskiren/amlodipine if you have:
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Congestive heart failure (CHF)
- Heart disease
- Liver disease, such as cirrhosis, hepatitis, or liver failure
- Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Tekamlo and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Tekamlo and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all medicines you are taking, including prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Aliskiren/Amlodipine to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
How Does Aliskiren/Amlodipine Work?As mentioned, aliskiren/amlodipine contains two different medications, which work in the following ways:
- Aliskiren is classified as a renin inhibitor and is the first medication of its kind. Renin is an enzyme produced in the kidneys that acts throughout the body. It works to convert angiotensinogen to angiotensin I. A different enzyme (angiotensin-converting enzyme or ACE) then converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II, a powerful substance that increases blood pressure by narrowing blood vessels and indirectly stimulating the kidneys to retain salt.
Several different blood pressure medications work in various steps in this process (such as ACE inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers, known as ARBs). However, aliskiren is different; it acts at the very beginning of the process, preventing renin from converting angiotensinogen to angiotensin I (the first step in the process).
- Amlodipine is a calcium channel blocker. It helps slow down the rate at which calcium moves into your blood vessel walls. This, in turn, helps to relax the vessels, which allows for better blood flow and causes lower blood pressure.