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Candesartan Side Effects

Not all side effects for candesartan may be reported. You should always consult a doctor or healthcare professional for medical advice. Side effects can be reported to the FDA here.

For the Consumer

Applies to candesartan: oral tablet

In addition to its needed effects, some unwanted effects may be caused by candesartan. In the event that any of these side effects do occur, they may require medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if any of these side effects occur when taking candesartan:

  • Arm, back, or jaw pain
  • bleeding gums
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • chest tightness or heaviness
  • chills
  • cough or hoarseness
  • dizziness
  • fainting
  • fast or irregular heartbeat
  • fever
  • joint pain
  • large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • lightheadedness
  • lower back or side pain
  • nausea
  • nosebleeds
  • pain or discomfort in the arms, jaw, back, or neck
  • painful or difficult urination
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating
  • swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • vomiting
Incidence not known
  • Abdominal or stomach pain
  • black, tarry stools
  • bloody urine
  • coma
  • confusion
  • convulsions
  • dark urine
  • decreased urine output
  • difficult or troubled breathing
  • general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • headache
  • hives or welts
  • increased blood pressure
  • increased thirst
  • itching
  • light-colored stools
  • loss of appetite
  • muscle pain or cramps
  • nervousness
  • numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or lips
  • pale skin
  • redness of the skin
  • skin rash
  • sore throat
  • sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • swelling of the face, ankles, or hands
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • unusual tiredness or weakness
  • upper right abdominal or stomach pain
  • weakness or heaviness of the legs
  • weight gain
  • yellow eyes or skin

Some of the side effects that can occur with candesartan may not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine during treatment these side effects may go away. Your health care professional may also be able to tell you about ways to reduce or prevent some of these side effects. If any of the following side effects continue, are bothersome or if you have any questions about them, check with your health care professional:

Less common
  • Ear congestion or pain
  • head congestion
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • sneezing

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to candesartan: oral tablet


In general, candesartan has been well tolerated in large, prospective, placebo-controlled clinical trials. Overall, the rates of withdrawal of therapy due to adverse events among treated versus placebo patients were 3.3% and 3.5%, respectively.[Ref]

Nervous system

Nervous system side effects have been reported the most frequently. These have included headache (3%) and dizziness. Fatigue, vertigo, and paresthesias have been reported in at least 0.5% of patients.[Ref]


Cardiovascular side effects including peripheral edema and chest pain have been reported in 1% of patients and at rates similar to placebo. Myocardial infarction and angina pectoris have been reported rarely. Hypotension (18.8% vs. 9.8% in placebo), tachycardia (0.5%), and palpitations (0.5%) have been reported. Rare cases of angioedema have also been reported.[Ref]

Caution should be observed when initiating therapy in patients with heart failure. Patients with heart failure given candesartan commonly have some reduction in blood pressure. In the CHARM program, the incidence of hypotension leading to drug discontinuation in candesartan-treated patients was 4.1% compared with 2.0% in placebo-treated patients.[Ref]


Respiratory side effects have included cough, but it has been less frequent with the use of candesartan or other angiotensin II antagonists (reported in approximately 1% of treated patients and placebo patients alike) than with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. Bronchitis, coughing, sinusitis, pharyngitis, upper respiratory tract infection, and dyspnea have been reported in approximately 0.5% to 1.0% of patients. Upper respiratory tract infections have been reported among 6% of treated patients (compared with 4% placebo patients) in controlled clinical trials. These infections have included pharyngitis (2% vs. 1% of patients) and rhinitis (2% vs. 1% of patients). A cause-and-effect relationship is unlikely.[Ref]

Candesartan did not significantly affect pulmonary function, bronchial hyperreactivity, or cough in patients with asthma.[Ref]


Gastrointestinal side effects including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea have been reported in at least 1% of patients and at rates similar to placebo. Dyspepsia and gastroenteritis have been reported in 0.5% of patients. Alteration of taste sensitivity has also been associated with candesartan use.[Ref]


Musculoskeletal side effects have included back pain (3%), arthralgias (1%), and myalgias (0.5%). Rarely, rhabdomyolysis have been reported during postmarketing experience in patients receiving angiotensin II receptor blockers.[Ref]


Endocrinologic side effects have been reported rarely. These have included hyperuricemia, hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, and elevated plasma creatine phosphokinase in approximately 0.5% of patients.[Ref]


Hematologic side effects including epistaxis has been reported in 0.5% of patients. Neutropenia, leukopenia, and agranulocytosis have been reported rarely. A causal relationship has not been established.[Ref]


Psychiatric side effects have been reported rarely. These have included anxiety, depression, and somnolence in approximately 0.5% of patients.[Ref]


Dermatologic side effects have been reported rarely. These have included rash or increased sweating in approximately 0.5% of patients. Psoriasis development or exacerbation has been reported. Pruritus and urticaria have been reported in postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Genitourinary side effects including hematuria has been reported in 0.5% of patients. A causal relationship has not been established.[Ref]


Metabolic side effects have rarely included increased creatine phosphokinase, hyperglycemia, hypertriglyceridemia, hyperuricemia, hyperkalemia, and hyponatremia.[Ref]


Hepatic side effects have included transient elevations of serum liver transaminases. At least one case of hepatotoxicity with icterus, hepatomegaly, and abnormal liver function tests has been reported.[Ref]


Renal side effects including renal impairment and renal failure have been reported during postmarketing experience.[Ref]


Hypersensitivity side effects have been reported rarely. At least one case of acute nephritic syndrome with accompanying pruritic rash has been reported.[Ref]


Other side effects including asthenia and fever have been reported in approximately 0.5% of patients.[Ref]


1. Riegger GAJ, Bouzo H, Petr P, Munz J, Spacek R, Pethig H, vonBehren V, George M, Arens HJ "Improvement in exercise tolerance and symptoms of congestive heart failure during treatment with candesartan cilexetil." Circulation 100 (1999): 2224-30

2. Oparil S, Levine JH, Zuschke CA, Gradman AH, Ripley E, Jones DW, Hardison JD, Cushing DJ, Prasad R, Michelson EL "Effects of Candesartan cilexetil in patients with severe systemic hypertension." Am J Cardiol 84 (1999): 289-93

3. Stoukides CA, McVoy HJ, Kaul AF "Candesartan cilexetil: an angiotensin II receptor blocker." Ann Pharmacother 33 (1999): 1287-98

4. "Product Information. Atacand (candesartan)." Astra Pharmaceuticals, Wayne, PA.

5. Bell TP, DeQuattro V, Lasseter KC, et al "Effective dose range of candesartan cilexetil for systemic hypertension." Am J Cardiol 83 (1999): 272-5, A6

6. Reif M, White WB, Fagan TC, et al. "Effects of candesartan cilexetil in patients with systemic hypertension." Am J Cardiol 82 (1998): 961-5

7. See S, Stirling AL "Candesartan cilexetil: an angiotensin II-receptor blocker." Am J Health Syst Pharm 57 (2000): 739-46

8. Lo KS "Angioedema associated with candesartan." Pharmacotherapy 22 (2002): 1176-9

9. Tanaka H, Teramoto S, Oashi K, Saikai T, Tanaka S, Suzuki K, Hashimoto M, Abe S "Effects of candesartan on cough and bronchial hyperresponsiveness in mildly to moderately hypertensive patients with symptomatic asthma." Circulation 104 (2001): 281-5

10. Cuspidi C, Muiesan ML, Valagussa L, et al. "Comparative effects of candesartan and enalapril on left ventricular hypertrophy in patients with essential hypertension: the candesartan assessment in the treatment of cardiac hypertrophy (CATCH) study." J Hypertens 20 (2002): 2293-2300

11. Sever PS "Clinical profile of the novel angiotensin II type I blocker candesartan cilexetil." J Hypertens Suppl 15 (1997): s9-12

12. Tsuruoka S, Wakaumi M, Ioka T, et al. "Angiotensin II receptor blocker-induces blunted taste sensitivity: comparison of candesartan and valsartan." Br J Clin Pharmacol 60 (2005): 204-7

13. Tsuruoka S, Wakaumi M, Nishiki K, et al. "Subclinical alteration of taste sensitivity induced by candesartan in healthy subjects." Br J Clin Pharmacol 57 (2004): 807-12

14. Marquart-Elbaz C, Grosshans E, Lipsker D, Lipsker D "Sartans, angiotensin II receptor antagonists, can induce psoriasis." Br J Dermatol 147 (2002): 617-8

15. GonzalezJimenez D, Varela JM, Calderon E, Galindo J, delaPuente MAG "Candesartan and acute liver injury." Eur J Clin Pharmacol 56 (2000): 769-70

16. Morton A, Muir J, Lim D "Rash and acute nephritic syndrome due to candesartan." BMJ 328 (2004): 25

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