candesartan cilexetil, Atacand

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

What is candesartan, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Candesartan cilexetil (candesartan) is a drug used for treating high blood pressure (hypertension). It is in a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) which includes losartan (Cozaar), valsartan (Diovan), and irbesartan (Avapro). Angiotensin, formed in the blood by the action of angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), is a powerful chemical that attaches to angiotensin receptors found in many tissues but primarily on smooth muscle cells surrounding blood vessels. Angiotensin's attachment to the receptors causes the muscle cells to contract and the blood vessels to narrow (vasoconstrict) which leads to an increase in blood pressure. Candesartan blocks the angiotensin receptor and therby prevents the action of angiotensin. As a result blood vessels expand and blood pressure is reduced. Candesartan was approved by the FDA in 1998.

What brand names are available for candesartan?

Atacand

Is candesartan available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for candesartan?

Yes

What are the side effects of candesartan?

The most common side effects of candesartan are:

Other important side effects include:

Rhabdomyolysis (inflammation and destruction of muscle) and angioedema (swelling of soft tissues including those of the throat and larynx) are rare but serious side effects of candesartan.

Quick GuideHow to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips

How to Lower Blood Pressure: Exercise Tips
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