Blood pressure drug combination increases health risk, Health Canada warns
Warning for aliskiren, ACE inhibitors and ARBs
Combining certain types of blood pressure medications can be risky, Health Canada is warning doctors and patients.
The regulator said Tuesday that recent studies show any combination of aliskiren, a renin inhibitor, and two other classes of drugs, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB), can be risky.
"Recent studies have demonstrated that any combination of aliskiren, ACEIs or ARBs increases the risks of hypotension (low blood pressure), hyperkalemia (high levels of potassium in the blood) and kidney problems," Health Canada said in a notice to health professionals and patients.
The department added that aliskiren should not be taken in combination with ACEIs or with ARBs in patients with diabetes or kidney disease because of their additional risks of stroke and syncope or fainting.
Drug makers are updating product labels to reflect the new recommendations, Health Canada said.
A list of the products containing these medications can be found on Health Canada's website.
People should not stop treatment for high blood pressure without consulting their doctor or healthcare professional.