A combination drug, Valturna is used for the treatment of high blood pressure in adults. It comes in tablet form and is usually taken once a day. This product contains two medicines for high blood pressure: aliskiren and valsartan. Possible side effects include fatigue, high potassium levels in the blood, and symptoms of the common cold.
(Click Valturna Uses for more information on what this medication is used for, including possible off-label indications.)
In April 2012, it was decided that this medication should no longer be available, due to the risks it poses to people with diabetes or with moderate-to-severe kidney problems. Production will officially cease in July 2012.
Who Makes It?
Valturna is made by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
How Does Valturna Work?
Valturna contains two different medications that work in different ways. Both medicines 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. It 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, this drug helps to relax the blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Valturna [package insert]. East Hanover, NJ: Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation;2011 April.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. FDA drug safety communication: new warning and contraindication for blood pressure medicines containing aliskiren (Tekturna) (4/20/2012). FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/DrugSafety/ucm300889.htm. Accessed April 25, 2012.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed April 10, 2012.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed October 7, 2009.
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