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Tekturna HCT (Aliskiren / Hydrochlorothiazide) - Description and Clinical Pharmacology



Tekturna HCT is a fixed combination of aliskiren, an orally active, nonpeptide, direct renin inhibitor, and hydrochlorothiazide, a thiazide diuretic.

A liskiren

Aliskiren hemifumarate is chemically described as (2S,4S,5S,7S)-N-(2-Carbamoyl-2-methylpropyl)-5-amino-4-hydroxy-2,7-diisopropyl-8-[4-methoxy-3-(3-methoxypropoxy)phenyl]-octanamide hemifumarate and its structural formula is

Molecular formula: C30H53N3O6 • 0.5 C4H4O4

Aliskiren hemifumarate is a white to slightly yellowish crystalline powder with a molecular weight of 609.8 (free base- 551.8). It is soluble in phosphate buffer, n-Octanol, and highly soluble in water.

H ydrochlorothiazide

Hydrochlorothiazide USP is a white, or practically white, practically odorless, crystalline powder. It is slightly soluble in water; freely soluble in sodium hydroxide solution, in n-butylamine, and in dimethylformamide; sparingly soluble in methanol; and insoluble in ether, in chloroform, and in dilute mineral acids. Hydrochlorothiazide is chemically described as 6-chloro-3,4-dihydro-2H-1,2,4-benzothiadiazine-7-sulfonamide 1,1-dioxide.

Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic. Its empirical formula is C7H8ClN3O4S2, its molecular weight is 297.73, and its structural formula is




Tekturna HCT tablets are formulated for oral administration to contain aliskiren and hydrochlorothiazide, USP 150/12.5 mg, 150/25 mg, 300/12.5 mg and 300/25 mg. The inactive ingredients for all strengths of the tablets are colloidal silicon dioxide, crospovidone, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, iron oxide colorants, lactose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, polyethylene glycol, povidone, talc, titanium dioxide, and wheat starch.


Mechanism of Action


Renin is secreted by the kidney in response to decreases in blood volume and renal perfusion. Renin cleaves angiotensinogen to form the inactive decapeptide angiotensin I (Ang I). Ang I is converted to the active octapeptide angiotensin II (Ang II) by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and non-ACE pathways. Ang II is a powerful vasoconstrictor and leads to the release of catecholamines from the adrenal medulla and prejunctional nerve endings. It also promotes aldosterone secretion and sodium reabsorption. Together, these effects increase blood pressure. Ang II also inhibits renin release, thus providing a negative feedback to the system. This cycle, from renin through angiotensin to aldosterone and its associated negative feedback loop, is known as the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). 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.

All agents that inhibit the RAAS, including renin inhibitors, suppress the negative feedback loop, leading to a compensatory rise in plasma renin concentration. When this rise occurs during treatment with ACE inhibitors and ARBs, the result is increased levels of PRA. During treatment with aliskiren, however, the effect of increased renin levels is blocked, so that PRA, Ang I and Ang II are all reduced, whether aliskiren is used as monotherapy or in combination with other antihypertensive agents.

H ydrochlorothiazide

Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic. Thiazides affect the renal tubular mechanisms of electrolyte reabsorption, directly increasing excretion of sodium and chloride in approximately equivalent amounts. Indirectly, the diuretic action of hydrochlorothiazide reduces plasma volume, with consequent increases in plasma renin activity, increases in aldosterone secretion, increases in urinary potassium loss, and decreases in serum potassium. The renin-aldosterone link is mediated by angiotensin II, so coadministration of agents that block the production or function of angiotensin II tends to reverse the potassium loss associated with these diuretics.

The mechanism of action of the antihypertensive effect of thiazides is unknown.


Tekturna  HCT

In placebo-controlled clinical trials, PRA was decreased with aliskiren monotherapy (ranging from 54% to 65%) and increased with hydrochlorothiazide monotherapy (ranging from 4% to 72%). Treatment with Tekturna HCT resulted in PRA reductions ranging from approximately 46% to 63% in various doses despite the increase in PRA with hydrochlorothiazide treatment. The clinical implications of the differences in effect on PRA are not known.


PRA reductions in clinical trials ranged from approximately 50% to 80%, were not dose-related and did not correlate with blood pressure reductions. The clinical implications of the differences in effect on PRA are not known.


After oral administration of hydrochlorothiazide, diuresis begins within 2 hours, peaks in about 4 hours, and lasts about 6 to 12 hours.


Absorption and Distribution

Tekturna  HCT

Following oral administration of Tekturna HCT combination tablets, the median peak plasma concentration time are within 1 hour for aliskiren and 2.5 hours for hydrochlorothiazide. When taken with food, mean AUC and Cmax of aliskiren are decreased by 60% and 82%, respectively; mean AUC and Cmax of hydrochlorothiazide increased by 13% and 10%, respectively. As a result, patients should establish a routine pattern for taking Tekturna HCT with regard to meals and should be advised that high-fat meals decrease absorption of aliskiren substantially.

H ydrochlorothiazide

Hydrochlorothiazide crosses the placental but not the blood-brain barrier and is excreted in breast milk.

Metabolism and Elimination


About one-fourth of the absorbed dose appears in the urine as parent drug. How much of the absorbed dose is metabolized is unknown. Based on the in vitro studies, the major enzyme responsible for aliskiren metabolism appears to be CYP 3A4.


Hydrochlorothiazide is not metabolized but is eliminated rapidly by the kidney. At least 61% of the oral dose is eliminated as unchanged drug within 24 hours. The elimination half-life is between 5.8 and 18.9 hours.

Special Populations

P ediatri c Patients

The pharmacokinetics of aliskiren have not been investigated in patients <18 years of age.

Geriatri c Patients

The pharmacokinetics of aliskiren were studied in the elderly (≥65 years). Exposure (measured by AUC) is increased in elderly patients. Adjustment of the starting dose is not required in these patients [see Dosage and Administration (2)].


Too few non-Caucasians have been studied with Tekturna HCT to assess pharmacokinetic differences among races. The pharmacokinetic differences among Blacks, Caucasians, and Japanese are minimal with aliskiren therapy.

Renal I mpairment

The pharmacokinetics of aliskiren were evaluated in patients with varying degrees of renal impairment. Rate and extent of exposure (AUC and Cmax) of aliskiren in subjects with renal impairment did not show a consistent correlation with the severity of renal impairment. Adjustment of the starting dose is not required in patients with mild or moderate renal impairment, but Tekturna HCT is not recommended in patients with severe renal impairment [s ee Dosage and Administration (2) and Warnings and Precautions (5.4) ] .

Hepatic Impairment

The pharmacokinetics of aliskiren were not significantly affected in patients with mild-to-severe liver disease. Consequently, adjustment of the starting dose is not required in these patients [s ee Dosage and Administration (2)].


Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

Tekturna  HCT

No carcinogenicity, mutagenicity or fertility studies have been conducted with Tekturna HCT. However, these studies have been conducted for aliskiren as well as hydrochlorothiazide alone.


Carcinogenic potential was assessed in a 2-year rat study and a 6-month transgenic (rasH2) mouse study with aliskiren hemifumarate at oral doses of up to 1500 mg aliskiren/kg/day. Although there were no statistically significant increases in tumor incidence associated with exposure to aliskiren, mucosal epithelial hyperplasia (with or without erosion/ulceration) was observed in the lower gastrointestinal tract at doses of 750 or more mg/kg/day in both species, with a colonic adenoma identified in one rat and a cecal adenocarcinoma identified in another, rare tumors in the strain of rat studied. On a systemic exposure (AUC0-24hr) basis, 1500 mg/kg/day in the rat is about 4 times and in the mouse about 1.5 times the maximum recommended human dose (300 mg aliskiren/day). Mucosal hyperplasia in the cecum or colon of rats was also observed at doses of 250 mg/kg/day (the lowest tested dose) as well as at higher doses in 4- and 13-week studies.

Aliskiren hemifumarate was devoid of genotoxic potential in the Ames reverse mutation assay with S. typhimurium and E. coli, the in vitro Chinese hamster ovary cell chromosomal aberration assay, the in vitro Chinese hamster V79 cell gene mutation test and the in vivo mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay.

Fertility of male and female rats was unaffected at doses of up to 250 mg aliskiren/kg/day (8 times the maximum recommended human dose of 300 mg Tekturna/60 kg on a mg/m2 basis.


Two-year feeding studies in mice and rats conducted under the auspices of the National Toxicology Program (NTP) uncovered no evidence of a carcinogenic potential of hydrochlorothiazide in female mice (at doses of up to approximately 600 mg/kg/day) or in male and female rats (at doses of up to approximately 100 mg/kg/day). The NTP, however, found equivocal evidence for hepatocarcinogenicity in male mice.

Hydrochlorothiazide was not genotoxic in vitro in the Ames mutagenicity assay of S. typhimurium strains TA 98, TA 100, TA 1535, TA 1537, and TA 1538 and in the Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) test for chromosomal aberrations, or in vivo in assays using mouse germinal cell chromosomes, Chinese hamster bone marrow chromosomes, and the Drosophila sex-linked recessive lethal trait gene. Positive test results were obtained only in the in vitro CHO Sister Chromatid Exchange (clastogenicity) and in the Mouse Lymphoma Cell (mutagenicity) assays, using concentrations of hydrochlorothiazide from 43 to 1300 mcgm/mL, and in the Aspergillums Nidulans nondisjunction assay at an unspecified concentration.

Hydrochlorothiazide had no adverse effects on the fertility of mice and rats of either sex in studies wherein these species were exposed, via their diet, to doses of up to 100 and 4 mg/kg, respectively, prior to mating and throughout gestation. These doses of hydrochlorothiazide in mice and rats represent 19 and 1.5 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose on a mg/m2 basis. (Calculations assume an oral dose of 25 mg/day and a 60-kg patient.)


Tekturna  HCT

In all clinical trials including over 6,200 patients, more than 2,700 patients were exposed to combinations of aliskiren and hydrochlorothiazide. The safety and efficacy of Tekturna HCT were evaluated in patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension in an 8-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, 15-arm factorial trial (n=2762). Patients were randomized to receive various combinations of aliskiren (75 mg to 300 mg) plus hydrochlorothiazide (6.25 mg to 25 mg) once daily (without titrating up from monotherapy) and followed for blood pressure response. The combination of aliskiren and hydrochlorothiazide resulted in additive placebo-adjusted decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure at trough of 10-14/5-7 mmHg at doses of 150-300 mg/12.5-25 mg, compared to 5-8/2-3 mmHg for aliskiren 150 mg to 300 mg and 6-7/2-3 mmHg for hydrochlorothiazide 12.5 mg to 25 mg, alone. Blood pressure reductions with the combinations were greater than the reductions with the monotherapies as shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Placebo-Subtracted Reductions in Seated Trough Cuff Blood Pressure in Combination with Hydrochlorothiazide
Hydrochlorothiazide, mg
0 6.25 12.5 25
Aliskiren, mg Placebo Mean Change Placebo-subtracted Placebo-subtracted Placebo-subtracted Placebo-subtracted
0 7.5/6.9 -- 3.5/2.1 6.4/3.2 6.8/2.4
75 -- 1.9/1.8 6.8/3.8 8.2/4.2 9.8/4.5
150 -- 4.8/2 7.8/3.4 10.1/5 12/5.7
300 -- 8.3/3.3 -- 12.3/7 13.7/7.3

The safety and efficacy of Tekturna HCT as initial therapy was evaluated in this trial. All patients randomized to the combination groups received the combination treatment of Tekturna HCT at assigned doses as initial therapy without titration from monotherapy. The figures [see Indications and Usage (1)] display the probability that a patient will achieve systolic or diastolic blood pressure goal with Tekturna HCT 300/25 mg, based upon their baseline systolic or diastolic blood pressure. At all levels of baseline blood pressure, the probability of achieving any given diastolic or systolic goal is greater with the combination than for either monotherapy..

The antihypertensive effect of Tekturna HCT was largely manifested within 1 week. The maximum antihypertensive effect was generally attained after about 4 weeks of therapy.

One active-controlled trial investigated the addition of 300 mg aliskiren in obese hypertensive patients who did not respond adequately to hydrochlorothiazide 25 mg, and showed incremental decreases of systolic and diastolic blood pressure of approximately 7/4 mmHg.

In long-term follow-up studies (without placebo control) the effect of the combination of aliskiren and hydrochlorothiazide was maintained for over 1 year.

The antihypertensive effect was independent of age and gender. There were too few non-Caucasians to assess differences in blood pressure effects by race.

A liskiren Monotherapy

The antihypertensive effects of aliskiren have been demonstrated in six randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 8-week clinical trials in patients with mild-to-moderate hypertension. The placebo response and placebo-subtracted changes from baseline in seated trough cuff blood pressure are shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Reductions in Seated Trough Cuff Blood Pressure in the Placebo-Controlled Studies of Aliskiren Monotherapy
Aliskiren Daily Dose, mg
75 150 300 600
Study Placebo Mean Change Placebo-subtracted Placebo-subtracted Placebo-subtracted Placebo-subtracted
1 2.9/3.3 5.7/4* 5.9/4.5* 11.2/7.5* --
2 5.3/6.3 -- 6.1/2.9* 10.5/5.4* 10.4/5.2*
3 10/8.6 2.2/1.7 2.1/1.7 5.1/3.7* --
4 7.5/6.9 1.9/1.8 4.8/2* 8.3/3.3* --
5 3.8/4.9 -- 9.3/5.4* 10.9/6.2* 12.1/7.6*
6 4.6/4.1 -- -- 8.4/4.9 --
*p<0.05 vs. placebo by ANCOVA with Dunnett’s procedure for multiple comparisons.
p<0.05 vs. placebo by ANCOVA for the pairwise comparison.

The studies included approximately 2,730 patients given doses of 75 mg to 600 mg of aliskiren and 1,231 patients given placebo. As shown in Table 2, there is some increase in response with administered dose in all studies, with reasonable effects seen at 150 mg to 300 mg, and no clear further increase at 600 mg. A substantial proportion (85% to 90%) of the blood pressure lowering effect was observed within 2 weeks of treatment. Studies with ambulatory blood pressure monitoring showed reasonable control throughout the interdosing interval, e.g., the ratios of mean daytime to mean nighttime ambulatory BP ranged from 0.6 to 0.9.

Patients in the placebo-controlled trials continued open-label aliskiren for up to one year. A persistent blood pressure lowering effect was demonstrated by a randomized withdrawal study (patients randomized to continued drug or placebo), which showed a statistically significant difference between patients kept on aliskiren and those randomized to placebo. With cessation of treatment, blood pressure gradually returned toward baseline levels over a period of several weeks. There was no evidence of rebound hypertension after abrupt cessation of therapy.

The effectiveness of aliskiren was demonstrated across all demographic subgroups, although Black patients tended to have smaller reductions in blood pressure than Caucasians and Asians, as has been seen with ACE inhibitors and ARBs.

Aliskiren in Combination with Other Antihypertensives

V alsartan

Aliskiren 150 mg and 300 mg and valsartan 160 mg and 320 mg were studied alone and in combination in an 8-week, 1,797-patient, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group, 4-arm, dose-escalation study. The dosages of aliskiren and valsartan were started at 150 mg and 160 mg, respectively, and increased at four weeks to 300 mg and 320 mg, respectively. Seated trough cuff blood pressure was measured at baseline, 4, and 8 weeks. Blood pressure reductions with the combinations were greater than the reductions with the monotherapies as shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Placebo-Subtracted Reductions in Seated Trough Cuff Blood Pressure of Aliskiren in Combination with Valsartan
Valsartan, mg
Aliskiren, mg Placebo Mean Change 0 160 320
0 4.6/4.1* -- 5.6/3.9 8.2/5.6
150 -- 5.4/2.7 10.0/5.7 --
300 -- 8.4/4.9 -- 12.6/8.1
* The placebo change is 5.2/4.8 for Week 4 endpoint which was used for the dose groups containing aliskiren 150 mg or valsartan 160 mg.

ACE   I nhibitors and Amlodipine

Aliskiren has not been studied when added to maximal doses of ACE inhibitors to determine whether aliskiren produces additional blood pressure reduction with a maximal dose of an ACE inhibitor. Aliskiren 150 mg provided additional blood pressure reduction when coadministered with amlodipine 5 mg in one study, but the combination was not statistically significantly better than amlodipine 10 mg.

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