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Drugs reference index «Candesartan Cilexetil»

Candesartan Cilexetil

Pronunciation: (kan-deh-SAHR-tan sigh-LEX-eh-till)Class: Angiotensin ΙΙ receptor antagonist

Trade Names:Atacand- Tablets 4 mg- Tablets 8 mg- Tablets 16 mg- Tablets 32 mg


Antagonizes the angiotensin ΙΙ effect (vasoconstriction and aldosterone secretion) by blocking the angiotensin ΙΙ receptor (AT 1 receptor) in vascular smooth muscle and the adrenal gland, producing decreased BP.



Bioavailability is about 15%. T max is 3 to 4 h.


Vd is 0.13 L/kg. More than 99% protein bound.


Candesartan cilexetil is bioactivated by ester hydrolysis during absorption from the GI tract to candesartan. Candesartan undergoes minor hepatic metabolism by O-deethylation to an inactive metabolite.


The t ½ is about 9 h. Plasma Cl is 0.37 mL/min/kg. Renal Cl is 0.19 mL/min/kg. About 26% is excreted unchanged in urine.

Special Populations

Renal Function Impairment

In hypertensive patients with Ccr less than 30 mL/min/1.73 m 2 , the AUC and C max are approximately doubled. In heart failure patients with renal function impairment, AUC is 36% and 65% higher and C max is 15% and 55% higher in patients with mild and moderate renal function impairment, respectively.

Hepatic Function Impairment

The AUC and C max increased 30% and 56% in mild impairment and 145% and 73% in moderate impairment, respectively.


C max is about 50% higher; AUC is about 80% higher.

Indications and Usage

Treatment of hypertension; treatment of heart failure.


Standard considerations.

Dosage and Administration


PO Initial dose: 16 mg/day; consider lower dose if volume-depleted. Total daily doses range from 8 to 32 mg in 1 or 2 doses.

Heart FailureAdults

PO Initial dose: 4 mg/day. Double the dose at 2wk intervals to achieve target dose of 32 mg/day.

Hepatic Function Impairment

Consider using a lower initial dose in patients with moderate hepatic function impairment.

General Advice

Administer without regard to food. Administer with food if GI upset occurs.


Store at controlled room temperature (59° to 86°F) in a tightly closed container.

Drug Interactions


Plasma concentrations of lithium may be increased, resulting in an increase in pharmacologic and adverse reactions.

Potassium-sparing diuretics (eg, amiloride, spironolactone, triamterene)

Coadministration may cause elevated serum potassium concentrations in certain high-risk patients.

Laboratory Test Interactions

None well documented.

Adverse Reactions


Dizziness (4%); fatigue, headache (1%).


Pruritis, urticaria (postmarketing).


Pharyngitis, rhinitis (2%); sinusitis.


Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting (1%).


Renal failure, renal function impairment (postmarketing).


Agranulocytosis, leukopenia, neutropenia (postmarketing).


Hepatic function impairment, hepatitis (postmarketing).


Hyperkalemia, hyponatremia (postmarketing).


Upper respiratory tract infection (6%); bronchitis (1%); cough.


Back pain (3%); arthralgia, chest pain, peripheral edema (1%); albuminuria; edema.




When used in pregnancy during the second and third trimesters, drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system can cause injury and even death to the developing fetus. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue therapy as soon as possible.


Monitor BP, serum potassium, and serum creatinine during therapy and periodically thereafter.


Category D (second and third trimester); Category C (first trimester).




Safety and efficacy not established.

Renal Function

Use caution in treating patients whose renal function may depend on the activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (eg, patients with severe CHF).

Heart failure

Use with caution when initiating therapy; hypotension may occur.


May occur, especially in heart failure patients.

Hypotension/Volume-depleted patients

Symptomatic hypotension may occur in patients who are intravascularly volume depleted (eg, those treated with diuretics). Correct these conditions prior to administration or use a lower starting dose.



Bradycardia, dizziness, hypotension, tachycardia.

Patient Information

  • Provide patient information leaflet.
  • Instruct patient to take the medication as prescribed at the same time each day.
  • Inform patient that candesartan can control but does not cure hypertension.
  • Caution patient to take the dose exactly as prescribed and not to stop taking the medication even if feeling better.
  • Instruct patient not to decrease or increase the dosage without talking with health care provider.
  • Inform patient of the following possible adverse reactions: dry cough, renal function impairment, fetal injury.
  • Advise women to notify health care provider if pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breast-feeding. Advise women to discontinue candesartan as soon as possible if pregnancy is detected.
  • Instruct the patient in BP and pulse measurement skills. Caution patient to call health care provider if abnormal readings occurs.
  • Instruct patient on methods of fall prevention, including rising slowly and sitting on the side of the bed before standing, especially early in therapy.
  • Instruct patient that other medications, especially hypertensive medications, can have additive or synergistic effects. Have patient inform health care provider of all medication being taken, including OTC drugs.
  • Inform patient of the importance of adjunctive therapies, such as dietary planning, a regular exercise program, weight reduction, a low sodium diet, smoking cessation program, alcohol reduction, and stress management.
  • Instruct patient to monitor renal, hepatic, and hematologic symptoms including urinary output and any discomfort during urination, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, lightheadedness, and jaundice. Patient should inform primary caregiver if symptoms occur.
  • Warn patient that inadequate fluid intake, excessive perspiration, diarrhea, or vomiting, resulting in reduced fluid volume, may lead to an excessive fall in BP, lightheadedness, and possible fainting.
  • Tell patient not to use potassium supplement or salt substitutes containing potassium to prevent possible hyperkalemia.
  • Instruct patient to report any indications of an infection such as a sore throat, which could indicate neutropenia.
  • Caution patient to inform health care provider or dentist of drug therapy prior to surgery or treatment.

Copyright © 2009 Wolters Kluwer Health.

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