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What is Atacand?

Candesartan works by keeping blood vessels from narrowing, which lowers blood pressure and improves blood flow to the heart and other organs. Atacand is used in adults with high blood pressure (hypertension) and children who are older than one year old. By keeping the blood vessels open, Atacand lowers your risk of stroke, heart attack, or other heart complications. This drug can also be used for those with certain types of heart failure to reduce further damage to the heart.

How does Atacand work?

Atacand is an angiotensin II receptor antagonist. The angiotensin II chemical constricts blood vessels, so candesartan blocks the action of this chemical and relaxes the blood vessels instead. This relaxation causes blood pressure to decrease and results are seen around two weeks after you start seeing the medication.

Always take Atacand exactly as prescribed by your doctor. It is important that you follow all the directions on the prescription label.

  • Take Atacand with or without food.
  • You may have low blood pressure while taking this drug, so call your doctor if you experience frequent diarrhea or if you are sweating more than usual.
  • Check your blood pressure often.
  • It may take up to 4 weeks for the drug to take effect on your blood pressure. Tell your doctor if your blood pressure is not improving.
  • Keep taking this medication even if your high blood pressure improves. You may need to use this medication for the rest of your life.
  • Store at room temperature and away from moisture and heat.


While taking Atacand, you may feel dizzy when getting up too fast from a sitting or lying position. Do not use potassium or salt substitutions, unless your doctor says you can. Do not use Atacand if you are pregnant and stop taking this drug if you become pregnant. This drug can cause harm to unborn babies if taken during the second or third trimester. Do not breastfeed while on Atacand.

Tell your doctor if:

  • You are taking other blood pressure medicines
  • You are taking diuretics or lithium
  • You are taking NSAIDs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), diclofenac, and others

Side Effects

Common side effects of Atacand include but are not limited to:

  • Headache or back pain
  • Dizziness
  • Cold symptoms like stuffy nose, sneezing, or sore throat

More severe side effects can include:

  • Feeling light-headed, like you may pass out
  • Unusual muscle pain or weakness
  • High potassium levels, which can cause nausea, irregular heartbeats, chest pain.
  • Kidney problems, which can cause little to no urination, swelling in your feet or ankles, tiredness or shortness of breath.


What happens if I miss a dose of Atacand?

Take the medication as soon as you can, but skip the dose if it is close to the time of your next dose. Seek emergency medical attention if you overdose on this medication.

Should I tell other medical professionals I’m taking Atacand?

If you plan to have surgery, even dental surgery, tell your doctor or dentist if you are taking Atacand. Be sure to keep all doctor’s appointments so that your blood pressure progress can be checked.

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