Generic Name: candesartan (kan de SAR tan)
Brand Name: Atacand
Medically reviewed on March 7, 2018
What is candesartan?
Candesartan is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. Candesartan keeps blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow.
Candesartan is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) in adults and children who are at least 1 year old. Lowering blood pressure can reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other heart complications.
Candesartan is also used in adults with certain types of heart failure, to reduce serious complications or death due to heart damage.
Candesartan may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Do not use if you are pregnant. Stop using candesartan and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to candesartan.
If you have diabetes, do not use candesartan together with any medication that contains aliskiren (Amturnide, Tekturna, Tekamlo).
You may also need to avoid taking candesartan with aliskiren if you have kidney disease.
To make sure candesartan 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.
Do not use if you are pregnant. If you become pregnant, stop taking candesartan and tell your doctor right away. Candesartan can cause injury or death to the unborn baby if you take the medicine during your second or third trimester.
It is not known whether candesartan passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I take candesartan?
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 candesartan with or without food.
Your blood pressure will need to be checked often. You may also need frequent blood tests to check your potassium.
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.
Keep using this medicine 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.
If you need surgery, tell the surgeon ahead of time that you are using candesartan. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.
Store 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 while taking candesartan?
Drinking alcohol can further lower your blood pressure and may increase certain side effects of candesartan.
Do not use potassium supplements or salt substitutes while you are taking candesartan, 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.
Candesartan side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
In rare cases, candesartan 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;
fast or slow heartbeats;
high potassium--nausea, slow or unusual heart rate, weakness, loss of movement; or
kidney problems--little or no urination, painful or difficult urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, feeling tired or short of breath.
Common 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.
See also: Side effects (in more detail)
Candesartan 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
-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
-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 extemporaneous suspension may be used instead.
What other drugs will affect candesartan?
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:
other blood pressure medicines;
a diuretic or "water pill";
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 interactions are listed in this medication guide.
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.
Copyright 1996-2018 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.01.
More about candesartan
- Candesartan Side Effects
- During Pregnancy or Breastfeeding
- Dosage Information
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 27 Reviews
- Drug class: angiotensin receptor blockers
Other brands: Atacand