Do we need Tekturna (aliskiren)?

Thursday saw the delivery of a new Novartis drug: Tekturna (aliskiren). None of us had any idea what it was for, so we looked it up on Facts and Comparisons, and there was next to no information whatsoever, except that it is a “direct renin inhibitor” — whatever that meant.

Now that I’m home on a non-firewalled Internet connection, I can actually get real drug information. (How sad is it that I can’t do this at the pharmacy?) Aliskiren:

Aliskiren is a direct renin inhibitor, decreasing plasma renin activity (PRA) and inhibiting the conversion of angiotensinogen to Ang I. Whether aliskiren affects other RAAS components, e.g., ACE or non-ACE pathways, is not known

I’m sure you could play games targeting specific points and pathways in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system until the cows come home, but how many of them will be meaningful? Medscape has an article comparing, contrasting, and using Diovan and Tekturna in parallel:

Comparison of Diovan and Tekturna

Do we need Tekturna? Would not an ARB plus a diuretic do a better job? There are benefits to combining an ACEi with an ARB, that are fairly well understood. Is Tekturna going to create some sort of super trifecta?

I’m thinking not. Combining an ACEi with an ARB does a couple of things. First off, ACE inhibitors only stop the conversion of angiotensin I to angiotensin II. Blocking the pathway there does nothing to stop any non-specific binding to the angiotensin II receptor sites. ARBs block much of this non-specific binding because the receptor sites themselves are blocked. However ACEis also block the breakdown of bradkinin (which is broken down by ACE) which leads to greater vasodilation, which is why ACEis and ARBs are usually similar is study results. Bradykinins, of course, are a double-edged sword: they may contribute to vasodilation, but they are also responsible for the dry cough and angioedema associated with ACEis.

I don’t see how aliskiren is going to add to this. Is there component to the RAAS that I’m not thinking of? Is it not better to attack a problem from many different angles instead of hitting the same pathway three different ways?

298 thoughts on “Do we need Tekturna (aliskiren)?

  1. Hm…..that is very interesting! Last visit to the doctor after taking a blood analysis my blood sugar was high. My doctor did not want to put me on meds right away so just told me to take 2 tablets of cinnamon daily, get off sodas,
    and anything with sugar ( a huge challenge). I also took a vitamin for diabetics
    and began walking. Next checkup two weeks later my blood sugar reading was
    normal. So that was that. Of course, I never got it checked again so I definitely will check it out next week. i really thank you for the observation. Take care.

  2. Well, I’ve been taking Tekturna HCT for nine weeks. It was working GREAT at controlling my BP until three days ago. Now it’s going up, up and away again! I’m so annoyed. Now what am I supposed to do? I don’t think there’s anything left to try. I can’t say Tekturna is my favorite thing in the world because of all the side effects I’m experiencing but I was willing to put up with them because I loved reading the low BPs every time I took it. I’m at the end of my rope. Any ideas/suggestions?
    Thanks so much—and Happy New Year to everyone.

  3. Hi Judy,

    I have been taking tekturna for 2 years now along with the .2 clonidine patch. ( this after almost a year of different combinations with terrible side effects or no effect) MY BP like yours stabilized once Tekturna and clondine combo was tried. It stayed in the 120/70-80 ranges most days but every now and then ( later a pattern emerged- they finally asked me to keep a journal ) my BP bumped up to 170-190 with other symptoms and then fall back to normal for weeks. So they gave me clondine pills which I took on those 3-4 days which always happen in a cluster. Worked great for me. 3 months ago we even cut my tekturna down from 300 to 150 mg. These ‘episodes’ are interesting and according to all the many DR I was sent to ( they looked for many things, cushings, pheo tumors, cortisol etc.) They concluded it was caused by hormone fluctaions. Now after 2 years these episodes are much smaller- while still occuring there are fewer symptoms and BP highs (140-150 range) and much easier to reduce with less clonidine or even meditation and a relaxation tech I learned to do. I am glad we worked thru it and I was able to stay on tekturna. For me learning to meditate was incrediable – I wasn’t a believer at all but over time to effects have been dramatic but subtle.


  4. Thanks, Debbie
    I appreciate the time you took to answer me. I have an appointment in three weeks to see the doctor. Right now, I’m inclined to wait and keep monitoring my bp. If it goes over 200/100, I’ll just go to the ER (again). I just can’t stand this constant battle with trying to control something that’s so out of whack. The side effects every time I try something new are horrendous and I’m not looking forward to that again. When do you get to the point where you say, okay, my bp obviously can’t be controlled and this is just the way it is and I’ll have to live (or more likely) die with the consequences? (As you might guess, I’m more than a little depressed right now:()

  5. Just wondering—what kind of specialty are your doctors? I’ve only gone to my regular internist. Is there a special type of doctor I should consider consulting?

  6. Judy
    I know you have an appt with your doctor in 3 weeks, but if you been on this medicine 9 weeks and your pressure is going back up, call and let him know. I had to go to the doctor just before Christmas because I caught a bug, was coughing and sore throat. Never even thought about my bp when i went. The nurse took it and didnt say anything so I figured it was probably still high, but the doctor came in and said he was really glad about my bp. I said, What was it? He said 106/74. I couldnt beleive it, I hadnt bothered to take it at all for the 3 weeks before, since I had started Sular.
    Sular is an Calcium Channel blocker which I had never tried before. The side effect was headaches, but nothing noncontrollable. You cant eat anything for an hour after you take it, or two hours after youve eaten. So i take it first thing in the morning and just wait an hour to eat.
    I don’t know how long this will last, but for now, Im very Thankful its working.. And there are still many other bp meds your doctor can try.
    Please don’t give up, but be sure and keep your doctor informed. Maddy

  7. I have been on Sular for about 6 weeks. BP is lower. However, I have also had a swollen eye from time to time (the reason I was taken off of Lisinopril). Not sure if the cause is the Sular or my typically dry eyes (I use preservative free eye drops). Anyway, with Sular you have to make sure to floss your teeth after every meal; it has a tendency to cause gum disease. It also tremendously increases my appetite.
    Always something.

    It has been very cold, snowy around here so I miss the long walks and sunshine in summer that really helped to lower the BP.

  8. Hi Judy,

    I hear your depression and frustration and I am sorry you are going thru this. I hope you have family and someone you can talk to. I experienced that depression plus I was just plain scared and confused. I too went to ER a few times, was finally put on xanax and Lexapro for a time. ( I actually think these helped me on many levels for the first part of my process into sudden and uncontrolled BP- I had never been depressed before this time nor since..knock on wood). I was struggling and had a difficult time coping with it all – the side effects didn’t help. I just plodded along and soon found the right combinations of doctors and medicines. I combined western and eastern medicine at the advise of my GP who was there for me all the way. You asked who I see- I see a GP, a cardiologist, an acupuncturist and I pay for a massage twice a month plus I meditate and have learned how to finally relax deeply. All of this was unheard of for me 2+ years ago. To answer your question, I never said I accept the High BP. I just kept searching.
    The first thing that helped me was a device called an emwave. It helped me regulate and calmly breathe slowly. Amazing devise.


  9. Wow, here we are starting 2009 and still struggling with high BP and side effects from meds. I, too, am sick and tired of the continuing roller coaster of fear,
    frustration and anxiety of not being able to control my BP. The weird thing is that I recently had to be taken to Emergency Hospital due to a severe panic attack. I usually take 1/2 xanax which helps me sleep due to the increased stress and fear I feel at night. I live alone and I am OK until I go to bed. The ER
    doctor took my BP which was high but then asked me to sit, stand, lay down and then to my surprise told me that he did not think I should be on BP medications.
    I was stunned! He explained that most people’s reading changes all through the
    day. I do not get it!
    Even now as I am writing I can feel and know my BP is high. This morning I took by BP – it was 150/75. I then went for a short walk and came home feeling better and took it again. This time it was 125/75. My lower number
    is always OK. It is the top number that at times just soars. I am so sick and
    tired of seeing doctors and being afraid that I am going to do some suggested
    meditation, perhaps yoga and continue my walks. I do take 150mg of Tekturna and panic taking it since it is relatively a new medication . I don’t know what “emwave” is but I am going to research it and give it a try.
    Thanks to all …….everyone’s post helps.

  10. Hi,

    Blood pressure does fluctuate- I think the concern for me now is finding ways to reduce it with less and less medication – but because I have both parents with PB issues, I may need some medication for the rest of my life. I used to hate taking the Tekturna ( although it worked with no side effects for me) and now I see it as a blessing that it works. My mind set has changed- finally.
    Emwave is put out by a company called Heartmath. I love in Boulder Creek where it is made and it is a BIG thing up here. Many doctors know of it around here.


  11. Thanks Debbie for the update on Emwave. It looks very encouraging and it is endorsed by may reputable doctors and hospitals. I am definitely going to buy one. I think you are right in us finding ways to calm down and have alternatives to medications to help us lower our BP. I have noticed that most postings here
    are made by women. I do know men who have high BP but they seem to handle it better I guess. My brother has BP issues but has been on the same medication for years now and his readings never change…….always normal. He is on Diovan and Prazason (Minipress). I don’t know why it did not work as well on me. I started having severe hair loss which I thought was due to the Diovan but now think it was due to Stress. Hope we all do better this year. Good luck to all.

  12. Angie,
    You wrote indirectly something my doctors and I spent a great deal of time dealing with – hormones. I don’t think men handle this better, I think it is a hormonal difference. I was finally sent up to Stanford to see a cardiologist who was interested in hormones and PB. She along with others was very clear that my sudden onset ‘malignant HPB’ ,depression etc was due to my going into menopause. I was told numerous times after I was scanned by every known device that it was hormonal and hereditary. I too had sudden panic attacks-again none before a few years ago and none now. It was as if my mind/body flipped out over my decreasing estrogen etc. And it was so sudden and severe that took me so off guard! They tested all my hormones too- cortisol was high and a few others hormones were off. The odd thing as soon as they put me on any dose of estrogen my BP soared! This was confusing until a doctor who had seen this before said some women have adverse reactions like mine to estrogen. I use other supplements my acupuncturist and GP recommended for hormones and they are helping (I know this due to if I stop hot flashes are wild!) I am fortunate that I have a doctor who is also well versed and recommends good folks in alternative medicines and therapies. I am glad you are looking into the emwave. I got mine from heartmath because I live in Boulder Creek where the company is- but I also bought one for my son off ebay a bit cheaper.

    Anyway, my rambling post is trying to say that for me I think women are on this board primarily for two reasons: our hormones make us more prone to the anxiety, etc., and women I think prefer to talk and network about issues than men. Women reach out to others easier I think.


  13. Thanks Debbie and everyone else for your responses and comments. I think another reason women are having more trouble with the BP meds is because to a large extent, the trials are on men, supposedly average men, who—at least compared to me–are twice as big. I remain short, very thin and very active. Your “average” male in the studies is much taller, MUCH heavier and much more sedentary than I am. I’m looking into the emwave and I’ve also come across Resperate. Anyone know anything either positive or negative about that one? I’m going to try to make an appointment with a cardiologist at a very large university-associated, well-regarded hospital not too far from me to see if that might help to conquer this ridiculous rising and falling BP of mine. Any other suggestions, please send them my way.

  14. Thanks Debbie. You make a good point and opened the possibility that it may
    be well worth my effort to speak to my doctor about getting a hormonal blood test to see if I have unbalanced hormones. I went into menopause in my
    early 40’s so it is definitely possible that my hormones are off. I already know that I cannot take hormone replacement (well at least not estrogen) as I once did and got terrible acne which left me with facial scaring. Something else which gets me down.

    With the New Year here I am going to approach my BP issues differently.
    I am in the process of buying the Emwave, continue my walks and change
    my frustration with a positive attitude. Taking Zanax really helps me but
    I feel as though I am getting “hooked” on it……..not so good even though
    I only take 1/2 a pill at night.

    I am grateful for all your information…….I feel hopeful. Your statements on men having different hormonal differences also make great sense to me.

    You have been a great help……thanks so much and have a great day.


  15. Hi,
    I too looked into Resperate but got the emwave and veered into another direction. I can’t give you any feedback on the Resperate. What I found was that during all this time I have learned A LOT about myself. For that I am thankful- odd that I say this and I pause even as I write it…2- 3 years ago I would have never believed it or thought my journey would lead to this thinking.

    As to the xanax- I understand your worry about addiction. I share it. I have problems mentally taking any thing on a regular bases. I have a strong aversion to anything that alters my state of mind. I like to feel clear headed and in control ( which is by the way a double edge sword as I have learned) . I think if xanax or the like is used as needed while learning how to manage anxiety then as a bridge it is great. I still have a prescription I seldom use except on those episodes I still get in a consistent pattern- hormones induced. I was very careful with it and still am.

    I recall when this all started that I also struggled with my strong emotional reactions to taking drugs. I told my doctor of my internal struggle with all the medication and my preference to ‘herbs’ . She smiled and rattled off a bunch of ‘herbs’ that are now medicines. It was a point I didn’t forget. I finally found a balance I can live between western and alternative meds and have come to accept that Tekturna is actually helping me for now.

    This subtle shift in mental attitude has helped me.

    I am also getting ready for a hip replacement in 8 weeks-sigh…So this BP process is also good in that I have learned how to relax and accept things easier. I know I would have been a wreck going into this 3 years ago.


  16. “I then went for a short walk and came home feeling better and took it again. This time it was 125/75”

    I believe this is THE BEST thing for our high BP: EXERCISE!! Last summer, I was on a semi-intense work out routine. For 4 weeks, I went 4X a week, doing 50 mminutes of cardio plus weight resistance Machines. After only 4 weeks,my BP went down on both numbers by about 10pts and those number stayed consistent for a couple of weeks after; my cholesteral numbers were down significantly AND I actually lost inches everywhere! I was shocked because I totally was convinced that, because of my age (I’ll be 60 this year), my belly fat would never go down!! But it did!!! So exercise does work!! (Now I just have to go back to it!!)

    And as Debbie said – our hormones play havoc with us for the rest of our lives!! Lack of sleep? Boom! The hormones get all messed up. Stressed? Again, the hormones get short circuited. A diabetic? Forget it!! Your body doesn’t know WTF is happening!! Our bodies are just one big hormonal mess. Try and explain this to a man!! They think you’re crazy or are making up excuses why you put on 10 lbs and you’re not eating anything! And as you get older, it gets worse. It’s just a never ending battle.

  17. I wish exercise was as successful for me as it is for you. I run a minimum of 3 miles every day, I do Pilates, I do cardio, I do yoga….Yes, my BP is down immediately after I run (not so for Pilates, cardio or yoga) but it doesn’t stay down. Maybe my body is so accustomed to exercise that for me it’s the norm. I don’t know. I don’t exercise with the hope that it will lower or control my BP—although it sure would be nice if it did.
    On to something else—I made an appointment to see a cardiologist earlier this morning but his first available appointment is January 29th at 8 AM. That seems like such a long time to wait….. Maybe this guy will figure out what to do to control my BP—at least I hope so.

  18. Judy, It does take some time to get that first appt. with a cardo, but this is a move in the right direction in my opinion.
    If he/she seems to think all women are neurotic and a bother…run…….and find another cardio! It is my opinion that women do not get good health care . Hang in here and best wishes. I know how frustrating this is. We do finally have my BP under control.

  19. Thanks, Sue for your kind comments. The doctor with whom I made the appointment is a researcher and part of a large cardiology practice at Duke University Medical Center. There are several women in the practice, too. I agree with you about women receiving inferior medical care—I’ve been the victim of that more times than I care to remember. The internist I see now is not like that at all, which is probably why I’ve stayed with him so long.

  20. Nancy

    Well I have false teeth, so im not to worried about gum disease, lol on sular. I have the new sular, which is time release supposedly, and although I have had headaches some, and extremely dry mouth, Im hoping thats all the side effects I end up with.. My pharmicist told me this medicine is more popular in Europe and hasnt really caught on here in the states yet.
    I take it first thing in the morning with a whole glass of water, and you can’t eat for at least an hour after you take it.
    Im hoping it continues to work, let me know how you are doing on it…. Maddy

  21. I’m sorry to hear, Judy and Sue, that you’re not happy with how you are getting health care. When I lived in Chicago, my internist was almost obsessive about womens’ issues, especially heart disease. I now live in Las Vegas and I find BOTH of my doctors are totally obsessed with it!! My endo doctor always is making me go for tests and also does a lot of tests right in her office – she does this because of my being diabetic and heart disease being a possible byproduct of that disease. My internist, too, is always very attentive to all the diseases, both related to diabetes and not, that women used to fall in the cracks with. I have a friend who moved here about a year and a half ago and at the time, she was 6 months away from being at the 5 year cancer-free mark when she was diagnosed with it again. She almost went back to Chicago so she could go back to her doctors there, but decided to see what the oncologists here had to say. She was glad she stayed here because the doctors here were much much better than those in Chicago – and those who were doctors at one of the best hospitals in the country!! The doctors here knew of new treatments which the doctors back in Chicago didn’t even TRY when she was there. So she is very happy. She has accepted the fact that she will always have cancer, and she is just learningi to live with it.

  22. Hi,

    I to use to believe that exercise helped BP too and before all this I swam 3-4 times a week (bad hip all my life). Once BP diagnosed-the excise didn’t help at all so I was discouraged. What helped me in dramatic ways was meditation (a side note it also helped with my attention and concentration which was an added perk) I also stretch and try Yoga ( hip makes it hard) This gentle approach seems to be what helps my body and mind- go figure. Really if you knew me this would surprise you as much as it did me and family. I was ( glimmers still there!) a very active ( some say hyper active person ;-) tons of energy and stamina…. sitting down to be quiet was so hard at 1st! My 1st 2 months or so of meditation was hysterical. I’d lie down flat, ipod on, breathing well ( thanks emwave) and suddenly I was up doing something- dishes, dusting you name it. Without even realizing I had gotten up ! so reflexive was my constant ‘doing.’ I could not sit still for any length of time.

    Also, YES, find a doctor who listens to YOU! if you don’t like your Dr go out and find one you do. Also, I have learned I must be very organized, and take charge of my own health care. I do not just accept what they tell me- I often go in with written questions. I am nice but I want to understand what is happening at all times and I want my opinions heard. It’s hard I know I still get nervous when I ask questions but it is so important and I have found the good ones don’t mind at all. I also like a doctor with a sense of humor- a big criteria for me. Helps me feel comfortable.


  23. Debbie: I know that if I lose just 20lbs, that’s going to help my BP. So that is one of my priorities this year – lose this weight already! It will help my BP, cholesteral and my diabetes. I have to really push myself to get motivated; so far, I’m not doing too bad. I also have to go find a new job since I was layed off from my current one. That in itself is very stressful.

    I’m with you about finding a doctor who will listen. My internist is wonderful!! I’m always in there more than the alloted time; we talk not only about my health but everything else, too!!! She also appreciates that I take my health matters into my own hand and ask questions and also I’ve been known to bring her stuff off the internet and she does appreciate that. My endocrinologist is another matters. She’s nice enough when she wants to be, but she is stand offish a t times and doesn’t let me talk as much as I would like when I have questions. Her practice is very busy so sometimes I attribute her attitude towards that. I can tell by how many are waiting in the waiting room on what her attitude will be. When its empty – she’s great!! When it’s not – forget it. Not only will she be rushed, but the visit turns into a 2.5 hr ordeal!!! One time I got so mad and told them that I have a job and my time is just as important. If i LOSE my job, you will not only lose a patient but your bill’s not going to get paid. It helped – for maybe one visit and then it went back to normal!! I also NEVER take a new drug without doing research. She is the one that prescribed the Tekturna. She never ever gives samples so when I stopped taking it, I was out the money that I paid for it. (She also was pissed that I stopped taking it without her knowledge!). My other doctor is always giving me free stuff!! My endo prescribed the new diabetes drug Januvia. I was telling my internist that I hate when Dr. A does that because what if I can’t take it? Then I’m out the mo ney again. So she was nice enough to give me a month’s supply of the drug!! And luckily – I can take with hardly any side effects and it’s a great drug!!

  24. Is it just me or does anyone else notice tremendous variations in BP readings at different times of the day? I find that within an hour or so after I take my Tekturna HCT I have pretty much my lowest reading of the day no matter what I do…exercise, no exercise, etc. I also find that after about 4PM my BP starts going upwards…sometimes so much so that I feel at any moment I’m going to have to go visit the ER….Anyone else experiencing anything like this or know of an explanation for it? Thanks:) Judy

  25. Dear Judy,
    We seem to be having an identical problem. My afternoon levels are way too high and the only thing that seems to bring it down is clonidine. I tried Tekturna but it had no effect. My renin levels are normal but my doctor wants me to take another ACE Inhibitor in addition to the clonidine. I can see why they say medicine is more of an art than science. It seems like a guessing game.

  26. Thanks, Patty, for answering so quickly. It makes me feel less alone to know I’m not the only one with these problems.

  27. Judy,

    You are not alone for sure. I too have my BP reading fluctuate drastically. I am on Tekturna which I am not sure is the right medicine for me. I am so tired of
    trying so many meds – each bringing different side effects. I so wish we could all find a magic pill. I do know that everyones BP reading is different throughout the day depending what we are doing. I share your concern though when our readings climb so much. Are you just on 1 medicine? I used to be on 2 before my doctor gave me the Tekturna. When I was on Diovan and Minipress I had fluctuations at times as well but not as many as I do now. Anyway, many of share your concern. Take care.

  28. Angie–

    Right now I’m “only” taking Tekturna HCT. I know exactly what you mean about the side effects—sure, I have plenty of them with this medication but I’m used to them now and I really don’t want to try anything else and have something worse. I know that it’s “normal” for BP to fluctuate throughout the day but being on medication is supposed to somewhat control that. Sure I know that if I didn’t take anything my BP would be off the charts—but would it also be more consistent? I don’t know how good this 50-75 point yo-yoing of my BP day after day can be…. I have an appointment on the 29th and I’d so like to cancel it. I just know I’m going to be dealing with not only a new doctor but I’m sure I’ll be told that there are tests and scans that I need and then I’ll probably have to take additional medicine and deal with new side effects. Very depressing:( My husband would like me to plan a short vacation and I’m really afraid to, knowing what’s coming up.

  29. Judy and Patty: For awhile there, when I got home from work about 6:00, my BP was so high!! At times, it scared me because it was abnormally “stroke” high! But then it would go down. I couldn’t figure out why that was since I was never stressed out on the way home. I haven’t checked it in about 6 weeks so I don’t know if it’s still doing that. I take Clonidine but not until after I get home. I take 3 per day and at first I was taking the first one in the morning after breakfast. By 10:30am, I was falling asleep sitting at my desk!! At lunch time, I sometimes had to go find an empty office to take a 20 minute cat nap! Then my doctor suggested to start taking them in the evening and that’s what I now do. One at about 6:30, and I have found just recently, the other two about 9:00-9:30. If I take them later, after 10:00, I get up in the morning feeling foggy and extremely tired. The couple of times that my BP was sooo high, it so happened that the night before I forgot to take my 3 Clonidine so my BP was even higher in the morning when I got up and stayed kind of high all day. I have one kidney (and diabetes) so I take 4 different meds during the day. But, as BOTH my doctors told me: get thee to thy gym!! If anything, that alone will help the diabetes! I really would love to get off at least 2 of these BP meds, but I don’t know if that’s possible because of the kidney situation. My doctor did tell me that it is not uncommon anymore for someone to be on 3-4 different BP meds, regardless of any other complications such as diabetes or being overwieght. She has some young 20-30 something patients and some of them are on 2-4 different types of BP meds because they are so stressed out.

    I also have learned NOT to take my BP all the time during the day. It fluctuates too much. It is also normal for anyone’s BP to be higher in the mornings

  30. I saw the cardiologist on Thursday and he wants to, at this time, add Coreg ER to my regimen. But, he’s also like to get me off Tekturna eventually. He doesn’t think the Tekturna is doing what it should be and apparently, the studies he’s been involved in don’t have enough positive conclusive evidence about its long term effects. I have no problems getting off Tekturna…it’s expensive and right now it’s not controlling my BP. My first question is, has anyone here ever taken Coreg ER and if so, how was it? What sorts of side effects, etc? I’ve read everything I can find about it and it definitely scares me. Second question–what have any of you heard/read about the long term Tekturna effects?

  31. Hi Judy,

    I am on Tekturna too and have done hours of research on it. There is really not that much info since it is relatively a new drug as you said. And that is my concern . I do not have insurance and I agree it is very expensive. It is helping my lower BP reading – it is always around 76-82 but the upper number is still
    high – 145-150 which is high. I have never heard of Coreg ER. Is it supposedly going to replace the Tekturna as you said “eventually get off the tekturna”.
    Just remember that anytime someone makes a complaint about a drug, they
    have to post it to the public so maybe it won’t affect you in the same way. I know it is really hard to battle HBP….wish I could help you more. thanks for the post as I want to get off Tekturna as well. Good luck and keep us posted if you get on the Coreg ER. I am going to ask my dr about it as well.

  32. I mis-typed the name of the new drug the doctor gave me—it’s actually Coreg CR. Coreg’s not a new drug but the ‘continued release” CR—is a new version of it. I see that it’s not covered by my insurance:( Anyway, the cardio doc thinks I need the CR because of the tremendous daily fluctuations of my BP. We’ll see what happens…and what the side effects are going to be. I’m sure we’ve all researched the heck out of Tekturna — at least I know I did! My internist is always amazed at the random info I spout about it during my visits. Anyway, back to the Coreg CR–one of the side effects that totally scares me is that supposedly people who wear contact lenses could experience dry eyes and be unable to continue to wear the lenses. Of course, I wear contacts. I can’t use an eye lubricant because there isn’t one on the market that’s preservative free–another one of my issues–I’m allergic to preservatives in contact lense liquid and cosmetics. So, when I read that side effect, I sort of freaked. The doctor, his PA and his nurse all have called me back to tell me that should this problem occur, it’s reversable when I stop the medication. I can’t find any documentation to support that:( Also, there’s supposedly a large number of people taking the Coreg CR who gain weight. Losing that weight is next to impossible:( The thought of that is unacceptable to me. Bad enough I’m exhausted all the time; now they want me to be a fat, tired person who has to wear glasses? I can picture many of you saying, boy is she vain. And I can understand that… But I’m an active person, would like to continue being so, I see much, much better with my contacts….I could go on and on but you probably get the point. I want my BP controlled but I still want my life. Being unable to do anything because of the side effects of the drug I’m in is not acceptable.

  33. Judy,
    Just a thought…Re: preservative free eye drops that I have to use for dry eyes do not come in a bottle. Any drops that come in a bottle that you reuse will have preservatives in it.
    Have you checked in the individual packaged vials that come in a box? This is probably no help at all….I do not wear contacts so I’m not familiar as to how the liquids you use are packaged. I’m having major eye problems now, but not from BP meds I use. Just don’t let that BP go and risk having a stroke.
    No you aren’t vain, but eye glasses and a little weight gain aren’t the end of the world. Best wishes.

  34. Judy,

    About the eye drops- I have dry eyes and use the individual drops which are preservative free.


  35. What I have noticed about Tekturna and Sular and the mention of Coreg, etc. is none of them are perfect and all of them have undesirable side effects. My research shows that there are literally hundreds of BP meds and everyone reacts differently to them. Most people go on diuretics and then an ACE. Norvasc is also quite popular. Since doctors have no idea what medication will work best, they give us the most popular ones — the “one size fits all approach”. Of course, when we don’t have good results, we are frustrated.

    I wish I knew the answer. It would be wonderful if there was just one great pill without side effects that would lower our BP. Did you ever notice some ot the commericals on TV for different types of medications and then the mention the “possible” side-effects, sometimes they mention in “rare cases, fatal side-effects”. In “rare” cases? I don’t care if only one person suffered a fatal heart attack from a medication, that is one too many.

    Some people have mentioned the poor quality of life on these meds. It seems to be a trade-off. Take the BP med and feel like garbage or discontinue and possibly die. Not very good options. I think the less meds the better, but, unfortunately, sometimes that is all that is offered. Has anyone gone to a doctor that prescribed a low BP menu, like the DASH Diet or suggested the right exercise program?
    Also, there is a lot of research on Vitamin D not only being helpful for bones but for the heart. Anyone been put on an increased Vitamin D regime?

  36. Nancy,
    I have tried so many BP meds I know, just as you do, no one drug is for everyone. They all have side effects.
    I am slowed down by the BP meds, but I take them. I have seen what a stroke can do to a person. I’m glad you brought up the Vitamin D issue. About a year ago one of my drs. had my Vit. D level checked. I couldn’t believe I was so low on it. I live in Az where the sun shines. I was told the sun screen products we use blocks or decreases Vitamin D absorption. I suggest you see a doctor as to dosage. I was initaly put on 50,000 IU (not a typo) once a day for a month about a year ago. It helped but not for long. The level dropped again and I tried 5,000 IU’s once a week for a while.
    That has been changed to 2,000 IU’s per day 3 months ago. I don’t know how it works, but it helps with the fatigue……okay it works for me or I’m just a nut. With all the BP meds I have tried maybe it’s both. LOL Seriously my endocrinologist put me on Vitamin D. He’s a firm believer in it. Please check with your doctor.I am offering a suggestion, not advice!! I am not a doctor..just another person with HBP like you. The huge dose is prescription only and may not be used anymore.
    Best wishes!

  37. Just wanted to give you an update. I’m no longer on any Tekturna. Some of the horrible side effects are definitely leaving, only to be replaced with the side effects of what I am on now. For about a week I took Coreg CR; that definitely did a number on me. I was unable to continue with that and only hope that what it did to my eyes will reverse. Now I’m on Bystolic 5mg. I haven’t been on it very long and the biggest change I notice is that it’s slowed down my pulse rate. That’s good. Bystolic has it’s own side effects for me namely constant headaches and nausea. From what I’ve read that’s supposed to either clear up or go away withing about 3-4 weeks. Does anyone here have any knowledge of or experience with Bystolic? I guess since I no longer take Tekturna that’s the end of my contributions to this blog. Thanks for all the support you’ve given me!!! Good luck to you all.

  38. Dear Judi,
    I’m no longer on Tekturna either but I like to check into this site anyway. I was on three meds for BP until two weeks ago and now I am on one. I went to see a “Holistic” MD who put me on a huge dose of Vitamin D, because my level was low), and magnesium. Vit D acts like an ACE Inhibitor (like Tekturna) in the kidney, and magnesium acts like a Calcium Channel blocker (like norvasc or amlodipine). My pressure on my one remaining drug is the same as when I was taking all three. I am so encouraged and hope others will investigate these supplements.

  39. Hi,

    I am very interested in what you wrote as my BP is dropping slowly now and I am only on 150 mg of Tekturna every other day. I have found accupunture and meditation also helpful. I am curious about what you wrote-

    I went to see a “Holistic” MD who put me on a huge dose of Vitamin D, because my level was low), and magnesium.

    I am on daily Calcium /Mag. and Zinc and Vit D. What are your huge dosage? I don’t take a large dose just daily maintenance.



  40. Debbie,
    I was just SO tired of going to an internist who was only interested in putting out fires; giving me a diagnosis or a new medication. I wanted someone who would take time and connect the dots, so to speak. I heard about a board certified family practice physician in my town who takes the whole person in account and assesses nutritional status. I was taking 800 iu of Vit D for months and my level was only 14! Since i live in alaska, I knew I didn’t get enough sunlight like other Americans, but this shocked me. The normal levels are 50 and above. My new Doc wants levels above 100. He put me on 50,000 ius a day for a month, and then I’m to go three times a week. I know it sounds shocking but I’m close to having osteoporosis and he is certain my low levels of this Vitamin is the cause, as well as contributing to my hypertension. Thanks for your interest. Patty

  41. Wow, all your lasts posts are amazing. Quite coincidentally, I went to a health store because I read a study which posted that taking Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey lowers your BP. I am on Tekturna and scared to death being it has not been on the market long enough to know its long term usage. I have an appt. with the owner of this health store who is a Dr. PH, MPH . The clerk told me that he has helped many people get off medications which he feels are very dangerous. And, I agree when she mentioned that high BP is not a disease but a symptom of something else in our bodies. So, perhaps, Vitamin D could indeed be a factor. I will be seeing him tomorrow and will let you all know what he tells me and what he recommends. Also, when one has a chemistry blood panel,
    does it usually show our vitamin deficiencies or is this a special test that is
    taken? I hope someone answers before I go to the doctor tomorrow.
    thanks, angie

  42. Angie,
    Re: you question about the test for Vit. D. All I can do is tell you where I am, it’s a separate test. I was on a huge dose of Vit. D about 2 yrs. ago when I was first tested for a D deficiency. Now I take 2,000 I.U. per day. I will see my dr.
    this week and find out if this dose is working.
    Best Wishes

  43. Thanks Sue, I appreciate your reply. It is good to know as I live in a small town and needed to know if it was a special test that is taken. Now, I can inquire about that. I cannot eat dairy products so it is definitely worth looking into.


  44. Angie: Seeing a holistic doctor who prescribes Vitamin D after a clinical test is one thing, going to a health food store owner who recommends Vinegar + honey for lowering BP doesn’t sound like good sense. I don’t mean to be so blunt, but, if vinegar+ honey was the answer, we would all be healthy.

    Vitamin D has been in the news for quite some time and seems to be effective for both bone health and heart health.

    My MD tested me last year and my Vit. D level was only 21. He gave me the prescription but the dose was too high, made me go to the bathroom constantly. Wonder how Sue managed on the high dose. Anyway, it was in spring and I got out in the sun every sunny day in Illinois + I took 2000 mg of the D everyday. I haven’t had my D levels checked since but I had a bone scan and it was remarkably good for my age (69) + my BP is now 128/70.
    I am no longer on Tekturna, it had too many bad side effects and my BP was very high on it – 179/82. I am now on Sular but it isn’t perfect either. I am having trouble with dry eyes (yes, I take the artificial, non-preservative tear drops, but, I try different brands and they all cause some irritation.)
    On cold but sunny + dry days I try to walk at the very least a mile. On bad weather days I just put on my favorite CD and do a modified exercise dance routine for about 1/2 hour. Exercise is really, really important. No getting around it.

    I lost some weight but during winter it is difficult. The cold weather + the Sular increases my appetite. I have decided to toss out the tempting foods. If it’s around I will eat it. Stock up on fruits, veggies and high protein, low fat meat. Not crazy about fish but have it occasionally and take a fish oil supplement (also prescribed by doctor).
    It does help to have a doctor who does more than push the pills.

  45. Angie and Nancy,
    I live in sunny Az. and my Vit. D has been down to 4. when tested 6 mo. after taking 50,000 I.U. weekly for 3 mo. I was low again.
    So I’ve been on 2,000 daily for 3 mo. now and will find out this week if it’s holding steady. I have no bad effects from the Vit D. It makes me feel better and my BP is staying about 130/70.
    Angie, I agree with Nancy about the health food store person.
    I suggest you stick with the doctor’s recommendatons.
    And again….Best wishes…to both of you.

  46. Thanks Nancy and Sue,

    I truly appreciate your thoughts and observations. I totally understand anyones
    concern in going to a health store for HBP. I am just so tired of being on medications, living with so many side effects, and ending up with no results to
    speak of. My BP with Tekturna is 158/82 and sometimes higher. When I speak to my doctor about it all he wants to do is add another medication and suggests
    that I stay on it for a while and see if I get any better results. I guess at this point I am willing to try anything that might work. I am really thankful for your
    feedback and will definiitely look into getting a Vitamin D reading soon.
    Many thanks, Angie

  47. Nancy
    Im still on Sular also. I was trying to take it every other day, but guess Im going to have to take it everyday. Cause My BP started going back up.
    Your right, it does give you dry mouth, nose, eyes. Im on a low dose 8.5. After 3 weeks in december my bp was 100/66 doc was thrilled, but the dry mouth , nose was driving me nuts. So I thought since it was time release I could take it every other day, the dryness did get better, after the last month, but my BP is going back up…
    So back to the routine.
    By the way everyone, if you are on BP meds, please check with your Doctor or pharmicist before you take vitamin supplements.

  48. Maddy, What is the deal with taking multivitamins with HBP meds? I take double multivitamins that my gynecologists told me to take due to menopausal issues.
    Is it dangerous or does it just interfere with the medication. Please write back
    what you know. thanks, angie

  49. I’ve been off Tekturna for about 4 weeks now and just found out that my renin level is STILL low. Just wanted to suggest that next time you see your doctor be sure to ask for a renin level test if you haven’t had one recently. Also, I had my Vitamin D levels checked and I’m VERY low. I’m expecting to hear from my nephrologist early next week telling me how much Vitamin D I’ll need to take.

    I hope you’re all doing well. I definitely miss writing to all of you and the support I received here.

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