Discussing Aliskiren and Valsartan With Your Doctor and How It Works
What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider Before Taking It?You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking this medicine if you have:
- Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
- Liver problems, such as liver failure or cirrhosis
- Heart problems, especially congestive heart failure (CHF) or a recent heart attack
- High blood potassium (hyperkalemia)
- Any allergies, including to food, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
- Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant (see Valturna and Pregnancy)
- Breastfeeding (see Valturna and Breastfeeding).
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
(Click Precautions and Warnings With Aliskiren and Valsartan to learn more, including information on who should not take the drug.)
How Does Aliskiren and Valsartan Work?Aliskiren and valsartan contains two different medications that work in different ways. Both medications target the renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS), but they work at different points in the process. The RAAS is an important regulator of blood pressure in the body.
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.
Valsartan belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers. By blocking angiotensin II, it helps to relax the blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure.