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Precautions and Warnings With Aliskiren

Before starting a new medication, it's important to be aware of its precautions and warnings. With aliskiren, for example, a person may develop high potassium levels, which can be dangerous. Pregnant women should not take the drug, and anyone who is allergic to any of its components should avoid aliskiren. Precautions and warnings also apply to people with kidney disease or high blood potassium.

Aliskiren: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking aliskiren hemifumarate (Tekturna®) if you have:
  • Kidney disease, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • High blood potassium (hyperkalemia)
  • Diabetes 
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
Make sure to tell your healthcare provider about any other medications you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Precautions and Warnings With Aliskiren

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking aliskiren include the following:
  • Pregnant women should not take aliskiren. This medication is a renin inhibitor, and medications that affect the renin-angiotensin system have been shown to cause serious problems when used during pregnancy (see Tekturna and Pregnancy).
  • Aliskiren can cause angioedema, a life-threatening reaction involving swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, or throat. If you experience such symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
  • As with all blood pressure medications, aliskiren may cause low blood pressure (hypotension). Let your healthcare provider know if you develop signs of low blood pressure, such as dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting.
  • Make sure your healthcare provider knows if you have kidney problems before you take aliskiren. Your healthcare provider may need to monitor you more closely and, in some situations, this drug may not be the best choice for you.
  • Aliskiren rarely causes high blood potassium (hyperkalemia). However, this may be more common if you already have elevated potassium levels or if you take certain medications that also increase potassium levels (see Drug Interactions With Aliskiren).
  • It is not known whether aliskiren passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Tekturna and Breastfeeding).
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