Generic name: Candesartan cilexetilBrand names: Atacand
Atacand controls high blood pressure. It works by blocking the effect of a hormone called angiotensin II. Unopposed, this substance prompts the blood vessels to contract, an action that tends to raise blood pressure. Atacand relaxes and expands the blood vessels, allowing pressure to drop. The drug may be prescribed alone or with other blood pressure medications.
You must take Atacand regularly for it to be effective. Since blood pressure declines gradually, it may be a couple of weeks before you get significant benefits from Atacand, and you must continue taking it even though you feel well. Atacand does not cure high blood pressure, it merely keeps it under control.
So you won't forget, make a habit of taking your dose of Atacand around the same time every day. This medication can be taken with or without food.
Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Atacand.
If Atacand gives you an allergic reaction, you cannot continue using it.
Atacand can cause a severe drop in blood pressure, especially when you first start taking the drug. The problem is more likely to occur if your body's supply of water has been depleted by diuretics (water pills). Symptoms include light-headedness, dizziness, and faintness. Call your doctor if they occur. You may need to have your dose adjusted.
If you have heart failure, the initial usage of Atacan may cause not only a drop in blood pressure, but also a decline in potassium levels, especially if taken with diuretics
If you have kidney or liver disease, Atacand must be used with caution.
The chances of a drug interaction with Atacand are low. Check with your doctor, however, before combining it with lithium.
Atacand can cause injury or even death to an unborn child when used during the last 6 months of pregnancy. As soon as you learn that you are pregnant, stop taking Atacand and call your doctor.
It is not known whether Atacand appears in breast milk, but because of the potential risks to the nursing infant, it's considered best to avoid the drug while breastfeeding. You should decide whether to give up nursing or discontinue Atacand.
Atacand can be taken once or twice a day in doses totaling 8 to 32 milligrams per day. However, the recommended starting dose is 16 milligrams taken once daily. If you are taking a diuretic (water pill) or if you have kidney or liver problems, your doctor will start you on a lower dose.
There have been few reports of overdose with Atacand. However, the most likely results are low blood pressure, dizziness, and an abnormally slow or rapid heartbeat. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.