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Generic Name: candesartan (kan de SAR tan)
Brand Names: Atacand

What is Atacand?

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

Atacand is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults and children who are at least 1 year old. Lowering blood pressure can reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other heart complications.

Atacand is also used in adults with certain types of heart failure, to reduce serious complications or death due to heart damage.

Important information

Do not use Atacand if you are pregnant. Stop using this medicine and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.

If you have diabetes, do not use Atacand together with any medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo).

Before taking this medicine

You should not use Atacand if you are allergic to candesartan.

If you have diabetes, do not use Atacand together with any medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo).

You may also need to avoid taking candesartan with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.

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

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease;

  • congestive heart failure;

  • an electrolyte imbalance;

  • if you are on a low-salt diet; or

  • if you are dehydrated.

Do not use Atacand if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away. Candesartan can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester.

It is not known whether candesartan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using Atacand.

How should I take Atacand?

Take Atacand exactly as prescribed by your doctor. 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 Atacand with or without food.

You may have very low blood pressure while taking this medication. Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. You may also need frequent blood tests to check your potassium.

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.

Keep using Atacand even if you feel well. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You may need to use blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life.

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

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Atacand dosing information

Usual Adult Dose of Atacand for Hypertension:

Initial dose: 16 mg orally once a day
Maintenance dose: 8 to 32 mg/day orally in 1 to 2 divided doses
Maximum dose: 32 mg/day

Comments:
-Consider administration of a lower initial dose in volume depleted patients.
-Most of the antihypertensive effect is present within 2 weeks; maximum blood pressure reduction at a given dose is generally observed within 4 to 6 weeks of starting that dose.

Usual Adult Dose of Atacand for Congestive Heart Failure:

Initial dose: 4 mg orally once a day; double dose every 2 weeks, as tolerated, to target dose of 32 mg orally once a day

Use: Treatment of New York Heart Association (NYHA) class II through IV heart failure

Usual Pediatric Dose of Atacand for Hypertension:

1 TO LESS THAN 6 YEARS:
Initial dose: 0.2 mg/kg/day orally in 1 to 2 divided doses
Maintenance dose: 0.05 to 0.4 mg/kg/day orally in 1 to 2 divided doses

6 TO LESS THAN 17 YEARS:
Less than 50 kg:
-Initial dose: 4 to 8 mg/day orally in 1 to 2 divided doses
-Maintenance dose: 2 to 16 mg/day orally in 1 to 2 divided doses
Greater than 50 kg:
-Initial dose: 8 to 16 mg/day orally in 1 to 2 divided doses
-Maintenance dose: 4 to 32 mg/day orally in 1 to 2 divided doses

Comments:
-For patients with possible intravascular volume depletion (e.g., patients treated with diuretics, especially those with renal impairment), initiate this drug under close supervision and consider administration of a lower dose.
-Antihypertensive effect is present within 2 weeks; maximum blood pressure reduction at a given dose is generally observed within 4 weeks of starting that dose.
-For children unable to swallow tablets, an extemporaneous suspension may be used instead.

See also: Dosage Information (in more detail)

What happens if I miss a dose?

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?

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

What should I avoid while taking Atacand?

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

Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking Atacand, 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.

Atacand side effects

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

In rare cases, Atacand 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;

  • fast or slow heartbeats;

  • high potassium - nausea, slow or unusual heart rate, weakness, loss of movement; or

  • kidney problems - little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath.

Common Atacand side effects may include:

  • headache, dizziness;

  • back pain; or

  • cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.

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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Atacand?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

  • other blood pressure medicines;

  • a diuretic or "water pill";

  • lithium; or

  • NSAIDs (nonsteroidal 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 Atacand.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Atacand only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2016 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.01. Revision Date: 2016-03-07, 7:35:00 AM.

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