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). It is sometimes given together with other blood pressure medications.
Atacand is also used to treat kidney problems caused by type 2 diabetes.
Atacand may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use Atacand if you are pregnant. Stop using this medication 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, Valturna).
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, Valturna). You may also need to avoid taking Atacand with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.
To make sure Atacand is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
congestive heart failure;
an electrolyte imbalance;
if you are on a low-salt diet; 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. Atacand can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester. Use effective birth control.
See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)
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 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.
Your blood pressure will need to be checked often.
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.
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 Atacand. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
Store Atacand at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
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?
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 any of these 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;
little or no urinating;
swelling, rapid weight gain; or
high potassium (slow heart rate, weak pulse, muscle weakness, tingly feeling).
Common Atacand side effects may include:
runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, cough;
stomach pain, diarrhea;
headache, dizziness; or
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 medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Atacand, especially:
a diuretic or "water pill";
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 Atacand, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.
Compare with other treatments for:
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 this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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