The first new type of drug for treating high blood pressure in more than a decade is hitting the shelves this month.

Tekturna (aliskiren) is the first in a new class of drugs called direct renin inhibitors. The pills act by targeting renin, an enzyme responsible for triggering a process that can contribute to high blood pressure.

The United States earlier this month became the first country to approve Tekturna. Manufacturer Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp. said Tekturna is expected to be available in March in pharmacies as 150 mg and 300 mg tablets.

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