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Atacand

Generic name: candesartan (kan de SAR tan)
Brand name: Atacand
Drug class: Angiotensin receptor blockers

Medically reviewed by Philip Thornton, DipPharm. Last updated on Jun 8, 2021.

What is Atacand?

Atacand (candesartan) is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (sometimes called an ARB). 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 may lower your risk of a stroke or heart attack.

Atacand is also used in adults to treat certain types of heart failure and lower your risk of death or needing to be hospitalized for heart damage.

Warnings

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

If you have diabetes, do not take Atacand with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

Before taking this medicine

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

If you have diabetes, do not take Atacand with any medication that contains aliskiren (a blood pressure medicine).

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:

  • a heart condition other than one being treated with Atacand;

  • kidney disease (or if you are on dialysis);

  • liver disease; or

  • if you are on a low-salt diet.

Do not use Atacand if you are pregnant. Stop using the medicine 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.

If you plan to get pregnant, ask your doctor for a safer medicine to use before and during pregnancy. Having high blood pressure during pregnancy may cause complications in the mother and the baby.

You should not breastfeed while using this medicine.

How should I take Atacand?

Take Atacand exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose.

You may take Atacand with or without food.

For a child who cannot swallow an Atacand tablet whole, a pharmacist can mix the medicine into a liquid.

Shake the liquid before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Candesartan doses are based on weight in children and/or teenagers. Your child's dose needs may change if the child gains or loses weight.

Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. Your kidney function may also need to be checked.

Call your doctor if you are sick with vomiting or diarrhea, or if you are sweating more than usual. You can easily become dehydrated while taking Atacand.

It may take 2 to 4 weeks before your blood pressure is under control. Keep using Atacand as directed, 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. Treatment may also include diet, exercise, lowering cholesterol, not smoking, and controlling diabetes.

If you need surgery, tell your surgeon you currently use Atacand. You may need to stop for a short time.

Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

Dosing information

Usual Adult Dose 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 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 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 extemporaneously compounded suspension may be used instead.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

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

Overdose symptoms may include dizziness, fast heartbeats, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking Atacand?

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

Avoid getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position, or you may feel dizzy.

Atacand side effects

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

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;

  • little or no urination; or

  • high potassium level - nausea, weakness, tingly feeling, chest pain, irregular heartbeats, loss of movement.

Common Atacand side effects may include:

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 other drugs will affect Atacand?

Tell your doctor about all your other medicines, especially:

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 drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

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.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.