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Hypertension. 2007 Feb;49(2):276-84. Epub 2006 Dec 11.

Aliskiren reduces blood pressure and suppresses plasma renin activity in combination with a thiazide diuretic, an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, or an angiotensin receptor blocker.

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  • 1Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.


Thiazide diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and angiotensin receptor blockers all cause reactive rises in plasma renin activity. We hypothesized that renin inhibition with aliskiren would prevent this reactive rise and also enhance blood pressure lowering. In 3 open-label studies in which blood pressure was assessed with ambulatory measurement, aliskiren was administered to patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension in combination with hydrochlorothiazide (n=23), ramipril (n=21), or irbesartan (n=23). In the diuretic combination study, the addition of 25 mg of hydrochlorothiazide to 150 mg of aliskiren daily for 3 weeks significantly lowered daytime pressure, compared with aliskiren monotherapy (systolic/diastolic mean change from baseline [SEM]: daytime: -18.4 [2.1]/ -10.6 [1.7] versus -10.4 [1.8]/-5.8 [1.4]; nighttime: -15.6 [2.7]/-8.1 [1.8] versus -8.8 [2.9]/-5.0 [2.2]). In the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor combination study, the addition of 75 or 150 mg of aliskiren to 5 mg of ramipril alone for 3 weeks further lowered both daytime and nighttime pressures compared with ramipril monotherapy (daytime: -10.5 [2.9]/-8.1 [2.1] and -14 [3.7]/-8.7 [2.3] versus -6.1 [2.4]/-5.9 [1.5]; nighttime: -8.1 [2.6]/-5.3 [2.4] and -9.6 [3.4]/-5.3 [2.4] versus -2 [2.3]/-0.7 [2.2]). In the angiotensin receptor blocker combination study, the addition of 75 or 150 mg of aliskiren to 150 mg of irbesartan alone, for 3 weeks, resulted in significantly lower nighttime pressures compared with irbesartan monotherapy (daytime: -14.8 [2]/-8.2 [1.3] and -13.3 [1.6]/-6.8 [0.9] versus -11.4 [1.6]/-6.5 [1.1]; nighttime: -16.1 [2.4]/-8.6 [1.7] and -13.2 [2.7]/-7.2 [1.9] versus -9.0 [2.5]/-4.7 [1.9]). Aliskiren (150 mg) alone significantly inhibited plasma renin activity by 65% (P<0.0001). Ramipril and irbesartan monotherapy caused 90% and 175% increases in plasma renin activity, respectively. By contrast, when aliskiren was coadministered with hydrochlorothiazide, ramipril, or irbesartan, plasma renin activity did not increase but remained similar to baseline levels or was decreased (combination therapy versus untreated; median [interquartile range]; aliskiren and hydrochlorothiazide: 0.4 [0.2 to 1.1] versus 0.7 [0.5 to 1.3]; ramipril and aliskiren: 0.5 [0.3 to 0.9] versus 0.6 [0.5 to 0.8]; irbesartan and aliskiren: 0.4 [0.2 to 0.9] versus 0.6 [0.4 to 0.9]). These results suggest that renin inhibition with aliskiren in these combinations increases renin-angiotensin system suppression, improves 24-hour blood pressure control, and may ultimately provide better end-organ protection in patients with hypertension.

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