Atacand HCT (Oral)
Generic Name: candesartan and hydrochlorothiazide (Oral route)
kan-de-SAR-tan sye-LEX-e-til, hye-droe-klor-oh-THYE-a-zide
When pregnancy is detected, discontinue candesartan cilexetil/hydrochlorothiazide as soon as possible. Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and death to the developing fetus
Medically reviewed on June 7, 2018
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
- Atacand HCT
Available Dosage Forms:
Therapeutic Class: Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonist/Thiazide Combination
Pharmacologic Class: Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonist
Chemical Class: Thiazide
Uses For Atacand HCT
Candesartan and hydrochlorothiazide combination is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). High blood pressure adds to the workload of the heart and arteries. If it continues for a long time, the heart and arteries may not function properly. This can damage the blood vessels of the brain, heart, and kidneys, resulting in a stroke, heart failure, or kidney failure. Lowering blood pressure reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Candesartan is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). It works by blocking the action of a substance in the body that causes the blood vessels to tighten. As a result, candesartan relaxes the blood vessels. This lowers blood pressure and increases the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart.
Hydrochlorothiazide is a thiazide diuretic (water pill). It reduces the amount of water in the body by increasing the flow of urine, which helps lower the blood pressure.
This medicine is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before Using Atacand HCT
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies have not been performed on the relationship of age to the effects of candesartan and hydrochlorothiazide combination in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of candesartan and hydrochlorothiazide combination in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require caution and an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving candesartan and hydrochlorothiazide combination.
|All Trimesters||D||Studies in pregnant women have demonstrated a risk to the fetus. However, the benefits of therapy in a life threatening situation or a serious disease, may outweigh the potential risk.|
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with Medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Amtolmetin Guacil
- Arsenic Trioxide
- Choline Salicylate
- Flufenamic Acid
- Mefenamic Acid
- Niflumic Acid
- Nimesulide Beta Cyclodextrin
- Salicylic Acid
- Sodium Salicylate
- Tiaprofenic Acid
- Tolfenamic Acid
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Aminolevulinic Acid
Interactions with Food/Tobacco/Alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Anuria (not able to pass urine) or
- Diabetic patients who are also taking aliskiren (Tekturna®) or
- Patients with kidney disease who are also taking aliskiren (Tekturna®) or
- Sulfa drug allergy, history of—Should not be used in patients with these conditions.
- Asthma, history of—May increase likelihood of having an allergic reaction.
- Congestive heart failure (severe) or
- Dehydration or
- Diarrhea or
- Heart or blood vessel disease or
- Hyponatremia (low sodium in the blood) or
- Hypovolemia (low blood volume) or
- Kidney problems or
- Major surgery or anesthesia—Use with caution. These conditions may cause the blood pressure to fall too low with this medicine.
- Diabetes or
- Edema (swelling or fluid in the body) or
- Electrolyte imbalance (eg, low levels of magnesium, potassium, salt or sodium in the body) or
- Fluid imbalance (due to excessive perspiration, vomiting, diarrhea) or
- Glaucoma, secondary angle closure or
- Gout or
- Hypercalcemia (high calcium in the blood) or
- Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol or fats in the blood) or
- Liver disease or
- Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Kidney disease—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Proper Use of Atacand HCT
This medicine should not be the first medicine you use to treat your condition. It is meant to be used only after you have tried other medicines that have not worked or have caused unwanted side effects.
In addition to the use of this medicine, treatment for your high blood pressure may include weight control and changes in the types of foods you eat, especially foods high in sodium (salt). Your doctor will tell you which of these are most important for you. You should check with your doctor before changing your diet.
Many patients who have high blood pressure will not notice any signs of the problem. In fact, many may feel normal. It is very important that you take your medicine exactly as directed and that you keep your appointments with your doctor even if you feel well.
Remember that this medicine will not cure your high blood pressure but it does help control it. Therefore, you must continue to take it as directed if you expect to lower your blood pressure and keep it down. You may have to take high blood pressure medicine for the rest of your life. If high blood pressure is not treated, it can cause serious problems such as heart failure, blood vessel disease, stroke, or kidney disease.
This medicine works best if there is a constant amount in the blood. To help keep this amount constant, do not miss any doses and take the medicine at the same time each day.
This medicine may be taken with or without food.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (tablets):
- For high blood pressure:
- Adults—1 tablet once or two times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose if needed.
- Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
- For high blood pressure:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions While Using Atacand HCT
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that this medicine is working properly. Blood and urine tests may be needed to check for unwanted effects.
Using this medicine while you are pregnant can harm your unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant. If you think you have become pregnant while using this medicine, tell your doctor right away.
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur after the first dose, especially if you have been taking a diuretic (water pill). Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you dizzy or not alert. If you feel dizzy, lie down so you do not faint. Then sit for a few moments before standing to prevent the dizziness from returning.
Check with your doctor right away if you experience confusion, dizziness, muscle pain, weakness, or a fast heartbeat. Drink more fluids when you exercise or if the weather is hot. Heavy sweating or diarrhea and vomiting can cause dehydration (loss of too much water) or electrolyte imbalances (loss of sodium in the body). Check with your doctor if you become sick with severe nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Check with your doctor immediately if blurred vision, difficulty in reading, eye pain, or any other change in vision occurs during or after treatment. Your doctor may want an eye doctor to check your eyes.
Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. You may need to stop using this medicine several days before having surgery or medical tests.
Avoid alcoholic beverages while you are using this medicine. Alcohol may make the low blood pressure effect worse and/or increase the possibility of dizziness or fainting.
This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. Diabetic patients may notice a change in the results of your blood or urine sugar tests. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This especially includes potassium supplements or salt substitutes that contain potassium, since they may change your blood potassium levels, or over-the-counter (nonprescription) medicines for appetite control, asthma, colds, cough, hay fever, or sinus problems, since they may tend to increase your blood pressure.
Atacand HCT Side Effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- dryness of the mouth
- increased thirst
- irregular heartbeat
- muscle cramps
- sore throat
- unusual tiredness
- weak pulse
- Arm pain
- chest pain
- chest tightness
- fast or irregular heartbeat
- large, hive like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
- shortness of breath
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- Back pain
- joint pain
- loss of appetite
- muscle aches and pains
- runny nose
- trouble sleeping
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
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More about Atacand HCT (candesartan / hydrochlorothiazide)
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- Drug class: angiotensin II inhibitors with thiazides