What is ALISKIREN HEMIFUMARATE?
(ALISKIREN HEMIFUMARATE) This medication is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. Aliskiren works by relaxing blood vessels so blood can flow more easily. It belongs to a class of drugs known as direct renin inhibitors. This drug is not recommended for use in children younger than 2 years due to an increased risk of side effects.
How should I use ALISKIREN HEMIFUMARATE?
Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking this medication and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. You may take this medication with or without food, but it is important to choose one way and take this medication the same way with every dose. High-fat foods may decrease how well this drug is absorbed by the body, so it is best to avoid taking this medication with a high-fat meal. Do not take with fruit juices (such as apple, grapefruit, or orange) since they may decrease the absorption of this drug. The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. It may take 2 weeks before you get the full benefit of this medication. Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (your blood pressure readings remain high or increase).
What should I tell my health care provider before I take ALISKIREN HEMIFUMARATE?
Before taking aliskiren, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details. Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: diabetes, kidney disease, dehydration, high level of potassium in the blood. This drug may make you dizzy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis). Too much sweating, diarrhea, or vomiting may cause you to feel lightheaded. Report prolonged diarrhea or vomiting to your doctor. This medication may increase your potassium levels. Before using potassium supplements or salt substitutes that contain potassium, consult your doctor or pharmacist. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products). Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while using aliskiren. Aliskiren may harm an unborn baby. If you become pregnant, talk to your doctor right away about the risks and benefits of this medication. See also Warning section. It is unknown if this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
What may interact with ALISKIREN HEMIFUMARATE?
See also How to Use and Precautions sections. Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval. Some products that may interact with this drug include: drugs that may increase the level of potassium in the blood (including sparsentan, ACE inhibitors such as benazepril/lisinopril, ARBs such as candesartan/losartan, birth control pills containing drospirenone). Other medications can affect the removal of aliskiren from your body, which may affect how aliskiren works. Examples include itraconazole, cyclosporine, quinidine, among others. Some products have ingredients that could raise your blood pressure. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen).
What should I watch for while using ALISKIREN HEMIFUMARATE?
This drug can cause serious (possibly fatal) harm to an unborn baby if used during pregnancy. It is important to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control while taking this medication. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor right away.
What if I miss a dose of ALISKIREN HEMIFUMARATE?
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
What side effects may I notice from receiving ALISKIREN HEMIFUMARATE?
Dizziness, lightheadedness, cough, diarrhea, or tiredness may occur. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly. To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position. Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects. Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fainting, symptoms of a high potassium blood level (such as muscle weakness, slow/irregular heartbeat), signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine). A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist. In the US - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch. In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Where should I keep ALISKIREN HEMIFUMARATE?
Store in the original container at room temperature away from light and moisture. To help prevent moisture, keep the desiccant in the container. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets. Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.