Hypertension or high blood pressure (BP) is usually defined as a systolic BP> 90 mm Hg. It is a serious condition affecting millions of people every year. The prevalence varies with age, race, education and many other variables. Although number of techniques have been employed for control of blood pressure, still a lot needs to be done in this regard. Lifestyle changes (including weight loss, increased physical activity, and decreased salt and alcohol intake) are the first step in treating hypertension. Hypertension is closely linked to the renin-angiotensinaldosterone system (RAAS). Drugs that inhibit renin have been available for many years but have been limited by low potency, bioavailability and duration of action. Aliskiren is the most advanced of a new class of non-peptide, low–molecular weight, orally active inhibitors introduced recently. In healthy subjects, it produces a dose-dependent reduction in plasma renin activity, angiotensin I and II and aldosterone concentrations. In patients with essential hypertension, aliskiren suppresses plasma renin activity and causes dose-related reductions in blood pressure. The safety and tolerability of aliskiren appears to be comparable to angiotensin antagonists and placebo. Aliskiren has, therefore, a considerable promise for the treatment of hypertension and other cardiovascular and renal diseases.
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