What is Candesartan?
Candesartan is a medicine that belongs to a group called angiotensin II receptor antagonists, used to treat high blood pressure and reduced heart muscle function.
How does Candesartan work?
Candesartan works by relaxing the blood vessels, allowing blood to pass through them more easily. It also helps to make it easier for your heart to pump blood to all the parts of your body.
What are the benefits of taking Candesartan?
High blood pressure (also known as hypertension) or heart problems can be linked to a number of factors, such as a family history, a diet high in salt or being overweight or inactive.
In addition to some lifestyle changes (such as smoking and/or drinking less and exercising more), it’s often advised to take medication, such as Candesartan, to manage the conditions in order to prevent more serious ailments such as stroke, heart attack or blood clots.
How do I use Candesartan?
Candesartan is a prescription-only medication. Always follow the advice of your doctor and read the patient information leaflet provided in the medication packet.
Take the tablets by swallowing whole with a drink of water, with or without food. You should take it at the same time of day, in order to help you remember.
Candesartan contains the active ingredient candesartan cilexetil, in strengths of either 2mg, 4mg, 8mg, 16mg or 32mg per tablet.
The normal starting dose is one 8mg tablet a day, which then may be increased by your doctor if they think you need it. You may be prescribed a slightly lower starting dose if you have liver or kidney problems, or based on your age or weight. The dose will also be slightly different if you’re using Candesartan to treat heart failure, as opposed to high blood pressure.
If you forget to take your Candesartan tablet then you should skip the forgotten dose and move straight onto the next one. Don’t worry but don’t double up on your dose to make up for a missed one.
If you take more Candesartan than you should, then go to your nearest doctor or emergency department immediately.
Side effects & precautions
Before taking Candesartan, you should always first consult your doctor. You should not take Candesartan if any of the following apply to you:
- you are allergic to candesartan cilexetil or any of the other ingredients of this medicine
- you are more than 3 months pregnant
- you have severe liver disease or biliary obstruction
- the patient is a child under 1 year of age
- you have diabetes or impaired kidney function and you are treated with a blood pressure lowering medicine containing aliskiren
Your prescription of Candesartan may also be affected by a number of other factors, so you should make your doctor aware if any of the following apply:
- have heart, liver or kidney problems, or are on dialysis
- have recently had a kidney transplant
- are vomiting, have recently had severe vomiting, or have diarrhoea
- have a disease of the adrenal gland called Conn’s syndrome
- have low blood pressure
- are taking other medicines used to treat high blood pressure
- have ever had a stroke
- are taking other medicines for the treatment of heart failure.
Like many medications with active ingredients, Candesartan can affect or be affected by other medicines. Particular medications that you may experience this with include the following:
- Other medicines to help lower your blood pressure
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Aspirin (if you are taking more than 3g each day)
- Potassium supplements or salt substitutes containing potassium
- Heparin (a medicine for thinning the blood)
- Water tablets (diuretics)
- Lithium (a medicine for mental health problems)
- Other medicines for the treatment of heart failure.
If you are taking any of the above medications, then you should make your doctor aware so that they can advise whether or not Candesartan will be the best course of action for you.
Like with all sufferers of high blood pressure or heart failure, you should pair your medication with some lifestyle changes such as eating healthily, exercising regularly and avoiding excessive smoking or drinking.
You should consult your doctor before drinking alcohol while on Candesartan, as it could make you feel faint or dizzy. Your doctor may also perform regular blood pressure, kidney function and blood tests while on this medication.
The most common side effects of using Candesartan include:
- Feeling dizzy/spinning sensation
- Respiratory infection
- Low blood pressure
- An increased amount of potassium in your blood
- Effects on how your kidneys work, especially if you already have kidney problems or heart failure.
If you do experience one or more of these side effects and they persist or worsen, then inform your doctor right away. You should also contact your doctor if you notice any serious side effects, such as difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, or severe skin reactions.