Lack of pharmacokinetic interactions of aliskiren, a novel direct renin inhibitor for the treatment of hypertension, with the antihypertensives amlodipine, valsartan, hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ) and ramipril in healthy volunteers


William P. Dole, MD, Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, 400 Technology Square, Building 605-820, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
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Aliskiren is a novel, orally active direct renin inhibitor that lowers blood pressure alone and in combination with existing antihypertensive agents. As aliskiren does not affect cytochrome P450 enzyme activities, is minimally metabolised, and is not extensively protein bound, the potential for drug interactions is predicted to be low. Four open-label studies investigated the pharmacokinetic interactions between aliskiren 300 mg and the antihypertensive drugs amlodipine 10 mg (n = 18), valsartan 320 mg (n = 18), hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg (HCTZ, n = 22) and ramipril 10 mg (n = 17) in healthy subjects. In each study, subjects received multiple once-daily doses of aliskiren and the test antihypertensive drug alone or in combination in two dosing periods separated by a drug-free washout period. Plasma concentrations of drugs were determined by liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry methods. At steady state, relatively small changes in exposure to aliskiren were observed when aliskiren was co-administered with amlodipine (AUC increased by 29%, p = 0.032), ramipril (Cmax,ss increased by 31%, p = 0.043), valsartan (AUC decreased by 26%, p = 0.002) and HCTZ (Cmax,ss decreased by 22%, p = 0.039). Co-administration with aliskiren resulted in small changes in exposure to ramipril (AUC increased by 22%, p = 0.002), valsartan (AUC decreased by 14%, p = 0.062) and HCTZ (AUC decreased by 10% and Cmax,ss by 26%, both p < 0.001). All other changes in pharmacokinetic parameters were also small, and not statistically significant. None of the observed pharmacokinetic changes was considered clinically relevant. Aliskiren inhibited plasma renin activity (PRA) and also prevented the reactive rise in PRA induced by valsartan. The most commonly reported adverse events were headache, dizziness and gastrointestinal symptoms (all mild in severity), which were similar in frequency during antihypertensive drug treatment alone and in combination with aliskiren except for an increase in dizziness during treatment with the combination of aliskiren and HCTZ. In conclusion, aliskiren shows no clinically relevant pharmacokinetic interactions and is generally well tolerated when administered in combination with amlodipine, valsartan, HCTZ or ramipril.