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Atacand

Pronounced: AT-uh-kand
Generic name: Candesartan cilexetil


Why is this drug prescribed: 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.

Most important fact about this drug: 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.

How should you take this medication: 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. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it's almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Do not take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature in a tightly sealed container.

What side effects may occur: 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. More common side effects may include: Back pain, dizziness, respiratory tract infection Less common side effects may include: Abdominal pain, bronchitis, chest pain, cough, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, joint pain, nausea, runny nose, sinus inflammation, sore throat, swelling, vomiting Rare side effects may include: Anxiety, blood disorders, blood in urine, depression, difficulty breathing, drowsiness, fever, gastrointestinal disorders, hives, increased blood sugar, indigestion, itching, liver disorders, muscle aches, nosebleed, rapid heartbeat, rash, sweating, tingling, tiredness, weakness

Why should this drug not be prescribed: If Atacand gives you an allergic reaction, you cannot continue using it.

Special warnings about this medication: 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 kidney disease or congestive heart failure, Atacand must be used with caution.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: No significant drug interactions have been reported.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: 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. Recommended dosage

Recommended dosage: 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 problems, your doctor will start you on a lower dose.

Overdosage: 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.









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