"What are angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) and how do they work?
The class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), as the class name suggests, are drugs that block the action of angiotensin. Specifically, ARBs preve"...
Pregnancy Category D
Use of drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy reduces fetal renal function and increases fetal and neonatal morbidity and death. Resulting oligohydramnios can be associated with fetal lung hypoplasia and skeletal deformations. Potential neonatal adverse effects include skull hypoplasia, anuria, hypotension, renal failure and death. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue ATACAND as soon as possible [see Use In Specific Populations].
Oral doses ≥ 10 mg of candesartan cilexetil/kg/day administered to pregnant rats during late gestation and continued through lactation were associated with reduced survival and an increased incidence of hydronephrosis in the offspring. The 10-mg/kg/day dose in rats is approximately 2.8 times the maximum recommended daily human dose (MRHD) of 32 mg on a mg/m² basis (comparison assumes human body weight of 50 kg). Candesartan cilexetil given to pregnant rabbits at an oral dose of 3 mg/kg/day (approximately 1.7 times the MRHD on a mg/m² basis) caused maternal toxicity (decreased body weight and death) but, in surviving dams, had no adverse effects on fetal survival, fetal weight, or external, visceral, or skeletal development. No maternal toxicity or adverse effects on fetal development were observed when oral doses up to 1000 mg of candesartan cilexetil/kg/day (approximately 138 times the MRHD on a mg/m² basis) were administered to pregnant mice.
Morbidity In Infants
Children < 1 year of age must not receive ATACAND for hypertension. Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) can have effects on the development of immature kidneys.
ATACAND can cause symptomatic hypotension. Symptomatic hypotension is most likely to occur in patients who have been volume and/or salt depleted as a result of prolonged diuretic therapy, dietary salt restriction, dialysis, diarrhea, or vomiting. Patients with symptomatic hypotension may require temporarily reducing the dose of ATACAND, diuretic or both, and volume repletion. Volume and/or salt depletion should be corrected before initiating therapy with ATACAND.
In the CHARM program (heart failure patients), hypotension was reported in 18.8% of patients on ATACAND versus 9.8% of patients on placebo. The incidence of hypotension leading to drug discontinuation in ATACAND-treated patients was 4.1% compared with 2.0% in placebo-treated patients. In the CHARM-Added program, where candesartan or placebo was given in addition to ACE inhibitors, hypotension was reported in 22.6% of patients treated with ATACAND versus 13.8% treated with placebo [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Monitoring of blood pressure is recommended during dose escalation and periodically thereafter.
Hypotension may occur during major surgery and anesthesia in patients treated with angiotensin II receptor antagonists, including ATACAND, due to blockade of the renin-angiotensin system. Very rarely, hypotension may be severe such that it may warrant the use of intravenous fluids and/or vasopressors.
Impaired Renal Function
Monitor renal function periodically in patients treated with ATACAND. Changes in renal function including acute renal failure can be caused by drugs that inhibit the renin-angiotensin system. Patients whose renal function may depend, in part, on the activity of the renin-angiotensin system (e.g., patient with renal artery stenosis, chronic kidney disease, severe heart failure, or volume depletion) may be at particular risk of developing oliguria, progressive azotemia or acute renal failure when treated with ATACAND. Consider withholding or discontinuing therapy in patients who develop a clinically significant decrease in renal function on ATACAND.
In the CHARM program (heart failure patients), the incidence of abnormal renal function (e.g., creatinine increase) was 12.5% in patients treated with ATACAND versus 6.3% in patients treated with placebo. The incidence of abnormal renal function (e.g., creatinine increase) leading to drug discontinuation in ATACAND-treated patients was 6.3% compared with 2.9% in placebo-treated patients. In the CHARM-Added program, where candesartan or placebo was given in addition to ACE inhibitors, the incidence of abnormal renal function (e.g., creatinine increase) was 15% in patients treated with ATACAND versus 9% in patients treated with placebo [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
In the CHARM program (heart failure patients), the incidence of hyperkalemia was 6.3% in patients treated with ATACAND versus 2.1% in patients treated with placebo. The incidence of hyperkalemia leading to drug discontinuation in ATACAND-treated patients was 2.4% compared with 0.6% in placebo-treated patients. In the CHARM-Added program where candesartan or placebo was given in addition to ACE inhibitors, the incidence of hyperkalemia was 9.5% in patients treated with ATACAND versus 3.5% in patients treated with placebo [see DRUG INTERACTIONS].
Patient Counseling Information
See FDA-approved patient labeling (PATIENT INFORMATION)
Female patients of childbearing age should be told about the consequences of exposure to ATACAND during pregnancy. Discuss treatment options with women planning to become pregnant. Patients should be asked to report pregnancies to their physicians as soon as possible.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
There was no evidence of carcinogenicity when candesartan cilexetil was orally administered to mice and rats for up to 104 weeks at doses up to 100 and 1000 mg/kg/day, respectively. Rats received the drug by gavage, whereas mice received the drug by dietary administration. These (maximally-tolerated) doses of candesartan cilexetil provided systemic exposures to candesartan (AUCs) that were, in mice, approximately 7 times and, in rats, more than 70 times the exposure in man at the maximum recommended daily human dose (32 mg).
Candesartan and its O-deethyl metabolite tested positive for genotoxicity in the in vitro Chinese hamster lung (CHL) chromosomal aberration assay. Neither compound tested positive in the Ames microbial mutagenesis assay or the in vitro mouse lymphoma cell assay. Candesartan (but not its O-deethyl metabolite) was also evaluated in vivo in the mouse micronucleus test and in vitro in the Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) gene mutation assay, in both cases with negative results. Candesartan cilexetil was evaluated in the Ames test, the in vitro mouse lymphoma cell and rat hepatocyte unscheduled DNA synthesis assays and the in vivo mouse micronucleus test, in each case with negative results. Candesartan cilexetil was not evaluated in the CHL chromosomal aberration or CHO gene mutation assay.
Fertility and reproductive performance were not affected in studies with male and female rats given oral doses of up to 300 mg/kg/day (83 times the maximum daily human dose of 32 mg on a body surface area basis).
Use In Specific Populations
Pregnancy Category D
Use of drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy reduces fetal renal function and increases fetal and neonatal morbidity and death. Resulting oligohydramnios can be associated with fetal lung hypoplasia and skeletal deformations. Potential neonatal adverse effects include skull hypoplasia, anuria, hypotension, renal failure, and death. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue ATACAND as soon as possible. These adverse outcomes are usually associated with use of these drugs in the second and third trimester of pregnancy. Most epidemiologic studies examining fetal abnormalities after exposure to antihypertensive use in the first trimester have not distinguished drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system from other antihypertensive agents. Appropriate management of maternal hypertension during pregnancy is important to optimize outcomes for both mother and fetus.
In the unusual case that there is no appropriate alternative to therapy with drugs affecting the renin-angiotensin system for a particular patient, apprise the mother of the potential risk to the fetus. Perform serial ultrasound examinations to assess the intra-amniotic environment. If oligohydramnios is observed, discontinue ATACAND, unless it is considered lifesaving for the mother. Fetal testing may be appropriate, based on the week of pregnancy. Patients and physicians should be aware, however, that oligohydramnios may not appear until after the fetus has sustained irreversible injury. Closely observe infants with histories of in utero exposure to ATACAND for hypotension, oliguria, and hyperkalemia. [see Use In Specific Populations].
Labor And Delivery
The effect of ATACAND on labor and delivery in humans is unknown [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
It is not known whether candesartan is excreted in human milk, but candesartan has been shown to be present in rat milk. Because of the potential for adverse effects on the nursing infant, a decision should be made whether to discontinue nursing or discontinue ATACAND, taking into account the importance of the drug to the mother.
Neonates With a History of in Utero Exposure to ATACAND
If oliguria or hypotension occurs, direct attention toward support of blood pressure and renal perfusion. Exchange transfusions or dialysis may be required as a means of reversing hypotension and/or substituting for disordered renal function.
The antihypertensive effects of ATACAND were evaluated in hypertensive children 1 to < 17 years of age in randomized, double-blind clinical studies [see Clinical Studies]. The pharmacokinetics of ATACAND have been evaluated in pediatric patients 1 to < 17 years of age [see Pharmacokinetics].
Children < 1 year of age must not receive ATACAND for hypertension [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Last reviewed on RxList: 2/20/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Atacand Information
Atacand - User Reviews
Atacand User Reviews
Now you can gain knowledge and insight about a drug treatment with Patient Discussions.
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Find out what women really need.