Generic Name: candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide (KAN-de-SAR-tan/HYE-droe-KLOR-oh-THYE-a-zide)
Brand Name: Atacand HCT
Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide can cause injury or even death to a fetus when used during pregnancy. Contact your doctor immediately if you suspect that you are pregnant. If you are planning to become pregnant, talk with your doctor about other treatment options.
Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide is used for:
Treating high blood pressure. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide is a combination angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) and diuretic. The ARB works by relaxing the blood vessels. Exactly how the diuretic works to decrease blood pressure is not known, but it helps the kidneys to eliminate fluid and sodium from the body.
Do NOT use candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide or to any other sulfonamide medicine (eg, sulfamethoxazole)
- you are pregnant
- you have severe kidney problems or are unable to urinate
- you are also taking aliskiren and you have either diabetes or kidney problems
- you are taking dofetilide or ketanserin
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide:
Some medical conditions may interact with candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are able to become pregnant
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of angioedema (swelling of the hands, face, lips, eyes, throat, or tongue; trouble swallowing or breathing; hoarseness), including angioedema caused by treatment with any other ARB (eg, losartan) or an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor (eg, captopril)
- if you have low blood sodium, chloride, potassium, or magnesium levels; low blood volume; or high blood calcium levels; or you are dehydrated
- if you have asthma; gout; heart problems (eg, congestive heart failure); liver, gall bladder, or kidney problems; parathyroid gland problems; high blood cholesterol or lipid levels; diabetes; or systemic lupus erythematosus
- if you are on a low-salt (sodium) diet
- if you have recently had a certain type of nerve surgery (sympathectomy)
- if you have had a kidney transplant
- if you have never taken another medicine for high blood pressure
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Potassium supplements or potassium-sparing diuretics (eg, spironolactone) because the risk of high blood potassium levels may be increased
- ACE inhibitors (eg, lisinopril) or aliskiren because the risk of certain side effects (eg, kidney problems, high blood potassium levels, low blood pressure) may be increased
- Dofetilide or ketanserin because the risk of irregular heartbeat may be increased
- Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), barbiturates (eg, phenobarbital), corticosteroids (eg, prednisone), diuretics (eg, furosemide), narcotic pain medicines (eg, morphine), or other medicines for high blood pressure because they may increase the risk of candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide's side effects
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (eg, celecoxib, ibuprofen) because they may decrease candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide's effectiveness and the risk of serious kidney problems may be increased
- Cholestyramine or colestipol because they may decrease candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide's effectiveness
- Diazoxide, digoxin, or lithium because risk of their side effects and toxic effects may be increased by candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide
- Diabetes medicine (eg, glipizide, metformin) or insulin because their effectiveness may be decreased by candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide:
Use candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- Take candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide by mouth with or without food.
- Drinking extra fluids while you are taking candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide is recommended. Check with your doctor for instructions.
- Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide may increase the amount of urine or cause you to urinate more often when you first start taking it. To keep this from disturbing your sleep, try to take your dose before 6 pm.
- If you take cholestyramine or colestipol, ask your doctor or pharmacist how to take it with candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide.
- Continue to take candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
- If you miss a dose of candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide.
Important safety information:
- Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide may cause drowsiness, dizziness, or light-headedness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Take candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide may cause dizziness, light-headedness, or fainting; alcohol, hot weather, exercise, or fever may increase these effects. To prevent them, sit up or stand slowly, especially in the morning. Sit or lie down at the first sign of any of these effects.
- Report any light-headedness or fainting to your doctor immediately. Your risk of light-headedness or fainting may be increased if you experience diarrhea, vomiting, or excessive sweating; if you do not drink enough fluids; or if you are on a low-salt (sodium) diet.
- Patients who take medicine for high blood pressure often feel tired or run down for a few weeks after starting treatment. Be sure to take your medicine even if you may not feel "normal." Tell your doctor if you develop any new symptoms.
- Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide may cause you to become sunburned more easily. Avoid the sun, sunlamps, or tanning booths until you know how you react to candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide. Use a sunscreen or wear protective clothing if you must be outside for more than a short time.
- Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide has a sulfonamide called hydrochlorothiazide in it. Hydrochlorothiazide can cause certain eye problems (myopia, angle-closure glaucoma). Your risk may be increased if you are allergic to sulfonamide medicines (eg, sulfamethoxazole) or to penicillin antibiotics (eg, amoxicillin). Untreated angle-closure glaucoma can lead to permanent vision loss. If these eye problems occur, symptoms usually occur within hours to weeks of starting candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide. Contact your doctor right away if you experience symptoms such as vision changes (eg, decreased vision clearness) or eye pain.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- If you have high blood pressure, do not use nonprescription products that contain stimulants. These products may include diet pills or cold medicines. Contact your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
- Your doctor may have also prescribed a potassium supplement for you. If so, follow the dosing carefully. Do not start taking additional potassium on your own or change your diet to include more potassium without first checking with your doctor.
- Check with your doctor before you use a salt substitute or a product that has potassium in it.
- Diabetes patients - Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide may raise your blood sugar. High blood sugar may make you feel confused, drowsy, or thirsty. It can also make you flush, breathe faster, or have a fruit-like breath odor. If these symptoms occur, tell your doctor right away.
- Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide may interfere with certain lab tests, including parathyroid function tests. Be sure your doctor and lab personnel know you are taking candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide.
- Lab tests, including kidney function, blood pressure, and blood electrolytes, may be performed while you use candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Use candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects.
- Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide may cause birth defects or fetal death if you take it while you are pregnant. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide.
Possible side effects of candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide:
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Back pain; diarrhea; dizziness; tiredness.
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); burning, numbness, or tingling of the skin; chest pain; confusion; dark urine; decrease in sexual ability; decreased, difficult, or painful urination; eye pain; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; light-headedness; mental or mood changes (eg, depression); muscle pain, weakness, tenderness, or cramps; numbness of an arm or leg; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; restlessness; seizures; severe or persistent dizziness or drowsiness; severe or persistent dry mouth or nausea; severe stomach pain; shortness of breath; sluggishness; swelling of the arms or legs; unusual bruising or bleeding; unusual thirst, tiredness, or weakness; vision changes (eg, decreased vision clearness); vomiting; yellowing of the skin or eyes.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include confusion; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; severe or unusual dizziness.Proper storage of candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide:
Store candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
- Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide.
Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.