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Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2015 Aug;6(4):166-76. doi: 10.1177/2042098615589905.

Combination use of medicines from two classes of renin-angiotensin system blocking agents: risk of hyperkalemia, hypotension, and impaired renal function.

Author information

1
IIS-Fundacion Jimenez Diaz, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and Fundacion Renal Iñigo Alvarez de Toledo-IRSIN, and REDINREN, Madrid, Spain.
2
IIS-Fundacion Jimenez Diaz, School of Medicine, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and Fundacion Renal Iñigo Alvarez de Toledo-IRSIN, and REDINREN, Madrid, Spain.
3
Department of Nephrology, Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Av Reyes Católicos 2, 28040 Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

European and United States regulatory agencies recently issued warnings against the use of dual renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blockade therapy through the combined use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs), angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) or aliskiren in any patient, based on absence of benefit for most patients and increased risk of hyperkalemia, hypotension, and renal failure. Special emphasis was made not to use these combinations in patients with diabetic nephropathy. The door was left open to therapy individualization, especially for patients with heart failure, when the combined use of an ARB and ACEI is considered absolutely essential, although renal function, electrolytes and blood pressure should be closely monitored. Mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists were not affected by this warning despite increased risk of hyperkalemia. We now critically review the risks associated with dual RAS blockade and answer the following questions: What safety issues are associated with dual RAS blockade? Can the safety record of dual RAS blockade be improved? Is it worth trying to improve the safety record of dual RAS blockade based on the potential benefits of the combination? Is dual RAS blockade dead? What is the role of mineralocorticoid antagonists in combination with other RAS blocking agents: RAAS blockade?

KEYWORDS:

Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone System (RAAS) blockade; Renin Angiotensin System (RAS) blockers; aldosterone; angiotensin; diabetic nephropathy; drug safety; heart failure; patiromer; potassium; zirconium cyclosilicate

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