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Atacand

Last reviewed on RxList: 2/24/2016

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Atacand Patient Information Including Side Effects

Brand Names: Atacand

Generic Name: candesartan (Pronunciation: kan de SAR tan)

What is candesartan (Atacand)?

Candesartan is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. Candesartan keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.

Candesartan is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). It is sometimes given together with other blood pressure medications.

Candesartan is also used to treat kidney problems caused by type 2 diabetes.

Candesartan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of candesartan (Atacand)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In rare cases, candesartan can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
  • chest pain;
  • swelling in your hands or feet; or
  • slow heart rate, weak pulse, tingly feeling.

Common side effects may include:

  • runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough;
  • back pain;
  • joint pain;
  • stomach pain, diarrhea;
  • headache, dizziness; or
  • tired feeling.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about candesartan (Atacand)?

Do not use candesartan if you are pregnant. Stop using this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Candesartan can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester. Use effective birth control while taking candesartan.

Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may increase certain side effects of candesartan.

Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking candesartan, unless your doctor has told you to.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Visit your doctor regularly.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medication even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

In rare cases, candesartan can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Atacand Patient Information including How Should I Take

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking candesartan (Atacand)?

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to candesartan.

If you have diabetes or kidney disease, you may not be able to take candesartan if you are also taking a blood pressure medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo, or Valturna).

To make sure candesartan is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • congestive heart failure;
  • an electrolyte imbalance; or
  • if you are dehydrated.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use if you are pregnant. Stop using and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Candesartan can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester. Use effective birth control.

It is not known whether candesartan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take candesartan (Atacand)?

Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

You may take candesartan with or without food.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.

It may take 2 to 4 weeks of using this medicine before your blood pressure is under control. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 4 weeks of treatment.

If you are being treated for high blood pressure, keep using this medication even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.

If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using candesartan. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Atacand Patient Information including If I Miss a Dose

What happens if I miss a dose (Atacand)?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose (Atacand)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking candesartan (Atacand)?

Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may increase certain side effects of candesartan.

Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking candesartan, unless your doctor has told you to.

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy. Get up slowly and steady yourself to prevent a fall.

What other drugs will affect candesartan (Atacand)?

Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with candesartan, especially:

  • a diuretic or "water pill";
  • lithium; or
  • NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)--ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), celecoxib, diclofenac, indomethacin, meloxicam, and others.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with candesartan, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Where can I get more information?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about candesartan.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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