1 What is Atacand?

Brand: Atacand

Generic: Candesartan

Candesartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker that is used to help to control high blood pressure in adults and children 1 to 16 years of age. It can be used in combination with other medication.

It acts by blocking the angiotensin receptor and thereby prevents the action of angiotensin (powerful chemical that attaches to angiotensin receptors). As a result, candesartan dilate the blood vessels and blood pressure is reduced.

Controlling blood pressure can decrease the risk of strokes and heart attacks. This medicine is also used to treat heart failure in adults.

2 What to Know Before Using

Tell to your doctor if you are allergic to candesartan or to any other medications.

This medicine has not demonstrated pediatric and geriatric-specific problems. However, elderly patients may be more sensitive to the effects of candesartan than younger adults. Treating hypertension in newborn babies and infants up to 1 year of age using this medication is not recommended.

Pregnancy category C – The use of candesartan during pregnancy is warranted only if benefits justify risks to the fetus and only when no alternative management is appropriate.

There are no adequate studies whether candesartan can pass through breast milk or if it could cause harmful effects to the infant. Discuss with your doctor if you are breastfeeding a baby.

Taking this medicine with any of the following medications is usually not recommended, but with exception in some cases. Your doctor may change the dose or the frequency of one or both of your medicines if both medicines are prescribed together.

  • Benazepril
  • Captopril
  • Enalapril
  • Enalaprilat
  • Fosinopril
  • Lisinopril
  • Lithium
  • Moexipril
  • Perindopril
  • Quinapril
  • Ramipril
  • Trandolapril
  • Trimethoprim

Some medical conditions can interact with this medication. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Diabetic patients who are also taking aliskiren
  • Patients with kidney problems who are also taking aliskiren
  • Electrolyte imbalances
  • Fluid imbalances
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease

3 Proper Usage

This medication will not cure your high blood pressure but it will help you to control it. You should take this medication exactly as directed. Do regular visits to your doctor as well to monitor your progress with this medication.

This medication may be taken with or without food.

Your doctor will advise you to do exercises and weight control. Your diet may also be changed to low salt and low fat diet to aim the desired effect of the medication.

An oral liquid may be given if your child cannot swallow the medicine. Talk to your doctor when you have a concern about this matter.

Recommended dosage of candesartan tablets for high blood pressure:

  • Adults—starting dose is 16 milligrams once a day. The dose may change by the doctor as necessary. However, the dose is usually not more than 32 mg per day.
  • Children 6 to 16 years of age and weighing more than 50 kilograms — Starting dose is 8 to 16 mg once a day. The dose may change by the doctor as necessary. However, the dose is usually not more than 32 mg per day.
  • Children 6 to 16 years of age and weighing less than 50 kg— Starting dose is 4 to 8 mg once a day. The dose may change by the doctor as necessary. However, the dose is usually not more than 16 mg per day.
  • Children 1 to 5 years of age— Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The dose is usually 0.05 to 0.4 mg per kg of body weight per day.
  • Children younger than 1 year of age — This medicine is not recommended for this age group.

Recommended dosage of candesartan tablets for heart failure:

  • Adults — Starting dose is 4 milligrams once a day. The dose may increase by your as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 32 mg per day.
  • Children — Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is near for your next dose, skip the missed dose and start again to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Store the medication in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep out of reach of children. Do not keep expired medications.

4 Precautions to Take

Your doctor will be checking you regularly for the effectiveness of the medication. Blood tests may be ordered as well for undesirable effects.

Contraceptives must be used to keep you or your partner from getting pregnant. Tell your doctor immediately if you think you have become pregnant while using this medication.

Slowly get up from a lying or sitting position since this medication may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting. Avoid driving, operating machineries, or any other unsafe activities as well. Check with your doctor if this problem continues or gets worse.

Check with your doctor immediately if you have severe diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting while under candesartan treatment. These can cause decreased level of water and salt to your body and may lead to low blood pressure. Drink plenty of water when exercising or during hot weather.

Tell your doctor that you are using this medicine before undergoing any kind of surgery or emergency treatment.

Talk to your doctor if you are planning to take any other medication, especially medications that contain potassium.

Black patients may have a lesser response to the blood pressure-lowering effects of this medicine.

5 Potential Side Effects

If any of the following side effects occur, check with your doctor right away:

  • Arm, back, or jaw pain
  • Bleeding gums
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Chest tightness or heaviness
  • Chills
  • Cough or hoarseness
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • Lightheadedness
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Nausea
  • Nosebleeds
  • Pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • Black, tarry stools
  • Bloody urine
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions
  • Dark urine
  • Decreased urine output
  • Difficult or troubled breathing
  • General feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • Headache
  • Hives or welts
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased thirst
  • Itching
  • Light-colored stools
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Nervousness
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • Pale skin
  • Redness of the skin
  • Skin rash
  • Sore throat
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • Swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • Weakness or heaviness of the legs
  • Weight gain
  • Yellow eyes or skin

Less serious side effects:

  • Ear congestion or pain
  • Head congestion
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing

Not all side effects are listed above. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.