Atacand Medication Information:

Price Break On Atacand
Generic is available for less money: Generic Candesartan

Atacand medication comes in several different strengths; click on the strength you need to view prices from pharmacies competing to earn your business.

Atacand 4 mg
Atacand 8 mg
Atacand 16 mg
Atacand Plus 16mg/12.5mg
Atacand 32 mg

What is Atacand

Atacand is a drug prescribed to control high blood pressure. It is used alone or in conjunction with other medications. Atacand is a brand name of the drug candesartan and is manufactured by Astra Merck. It was approved by the FDA in June of 1998.

How does Atacand work

Atacand is a new type of drug that works as a Angiotensin II Receptor Antagonist. What does this mean? Angiotensin II causes blood vessels to contract, with nothing to stop the release of Angiotensin II the blood pressure will continue to raise. Atacand causes blood vessels to relax and expand causing the blood pressure to lower.

How to take Atacand

Atacand should be taken by mouth at around the same time every day to encourage patients to remember to take the medication. This medication can be taken with or without food. If patients skip a dose they should take it as soon as they remember. It it is almost time for the next dose they should skip that dose and take the next dose.

Side Effects

The side effects of Atacand are generally mild such as back pain, sore throat, cough, stomach pain, diarrhea, headache dizziness or tired feeling, runny or stuff nose.

Patients should be advised to call for help if they have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. Atacand can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. They should call the doctor right away if they have muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if they also have fever, nausea or vomiting, and dark colored urine or feel like they might pass out; chest pain; swelling in the hands or feet; slow heart rate, weak pulse, tingly feeling.

Other Brand Names

Candasartan is not distributed as anything but the drug Atacand.

Safety Information:

Atacand can cause a severe drop in blood pressure, especially when a patient first starts taking the drug. The problem is more likely to occur if the body's supply of water has been depleted by diuretics (water pills). Symptoms can include light-headedness, dizziness, and syncopal episodes (fainting). A dose adjustment may be needed.

Patients should not use Atacand if they are pregnant. This is an FDA Catagory D drug. Atacand may cause injury and even death to the unborn baby if taken during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Patients must be advised to use an effective form of birth control. A patient must stop using this medication and tell their doctor right away if they become pregnant during treatment. A patient should not use Atacand if they are allergic to Candesartan. Patients should avoid drinking alcohol as it can lower their blood pressure and may increase some of the side effects of Atacand.The use of potassium supplements or salt substitutes while taking Atacand is discouraged unless prescribed by a physician. To be sure this medication is helping the condition, regular blood pressure checks will be needed. Do not miss scheduled appointments.

Advise patients to keep taking the medication on days even when they feel fine as sometimes high blood pressure has no symptoms.

In rare cases, Atacand can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Patients should call their doctor right away if they have muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if in conjunction with fever, nausea or vomiting, and dark colored urine.

Before using Atacand, patients must tell their doctor if they are allergic to any drugs, or if they have kidney disease; liver disease; congestive heart failure; an electrolyte imbalance; or if you are dehydrated.If a patient has any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take this medication.


Atacand can be taken once or twice a day in doses totaling 8 to 32 milligrams per day. The recommended starting dose is 16 milligrams taken once daily.

Visual Description:

4mg Atacand is a round white pill stamped with the numbers 004. 8mg Atacand is a mauve colored pill stamped with the number 008. 16mg Atacand is a mauve colored pill stamped 016. 32mg Atacand is a mauve colored pill stamped with the number 032.

About Atacand

What Atacand is used for

ATACAND is used to treat hypertension (high blood pressure).

You may not experience any signs of high blood pressure. It is important to take ATACAND as directed by your doctor. If high blood pressure is not treated, damage may result to vital organs such as the heart or the kidneys. High blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart attacks, heart failure, kidney failure, or blindness.

ATACAND can also be taken for treatment of a heart condition known as heart failure. This is a condition in which your heart does not pump blood around your body as well as it should.

It is important to take ATACAND as directed by your doctor.

What Atacand does

ATACAND is the brand name for this drug, candesartan cilexetil. It belongs to the group of drugs called “angiotensin II receptor blockers”. Its main action is to relax the arteries, letting the blood flow more freely, thereby lowering the blood pressure.

When Atacand should not be used

You should not take ATACAND if:

  • You are allergic to “nonmedicinal” substances like food products, preservatives, or dyes, which may be present in ATACAND tablets (see What the nonmedicinal ingredients are:).

  • You have ever had a bad, unusual or allergic reaction to candesartan cilexetil.

What the medicinal ingredient is

Candesartan cilexetil.

What the nonmedicinal ingredients for Atacand are

Most medicines contain more ingredients than just the active drug. These ingredients are needed to keep medicines in a form that you can swallow. Check with your doctor if you think you might be allergic to any of the following items (listed in alphabetical order): calcium carboxymethylcellulose, maize starch, hydroxypropyl cellulose, iron oxide (except 4 mg tablets), lactose, magnesium stearate, and polyethylene glycol.

What dosage forms Atacand comes in

ATACAND is available as 4 mg, 8 mg, 16 mg and 32 mg tablets.

Warnings and Precautions

Serious Warnings and Precautions

ATACAND should not be used during pregnancy. If you discover that you are pregnant while taking ATACAND, stop the medication and please contact your physician.

Before you start ATACAND be sure you have told your doctor:

  • If you are pregnant, breast feeding or thinking about becoming pregnant.

    Taking ATACAND during pregnancy can cause injury and even death to your baby. This medicine should not be used during pregnancy. If you are planning to become pregnant while taking ATACAND, contact your doctor immediately.

    It is possible that ATACAND passes into breast milk. You should discuss with your doctor about taking ATACAND while breast feeding.

  • About all health problems you have or have had in the past including any heart, liver or kidney problems.

  • If you are taking a diuretic therapy (water pills) or are on salt restrictive diet.

  • If you are undergoing dialysis.

  • If you are vomiting or have diarrhea.

The treatment of high blood pressure may cause dizziness or weariness in some patients. Make sure you are not affected in this way before driving or operating machinery.

If you are currently taking ATACAND and are going to have an operation, be sure to tell your doctor or dentist about your medication before you are given an anaesthetic.

Interactions with Atacand

Before taking ATACAND be sure your doctor knows about all medicines you take, including ones you can buy without a prescription. If you visit more than one doctor make sure that each knows about all the medicines you are taking.

Drugs that may interact with ATACAND include:

  • Other medicines used to lower blood pressure, including diuretics (water pills);

  • Potassium-sparing diuretics, potassium supplements or potassium-containing salt substitutes;

  • Lithium therapy.

Proper Use of Atacand

Remember, you may not notice any signs of high blood pressure. Therefore, it is important to take ATACAND even when you feel well. A constant amount of drug is needed in your body to control your blood pressure. Do not stop taking ATACAND on your own.

Usual dose

Take ATACAND exactly as your doctor tells you. Do not miss doses or take extra doses, unless your doctor tells you. If you are not clear about the directions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

The dosage of ATACAND is individualized.

ATACAND is not for use in children under 18 years of age.

Try to take ATACAND with something you do regularly each day; for example, upon waking or at breakfast. This will help you remember each dose.

ATACAND may be taken with food or on an empty stomach but it should be taken consistently the same way each day.

Swallow ATACAND with a glass of water.

ATACAND is taken once a day. Even if your doctor has prescribed 2 tablets a day, both should be taken at the same time, unless otherwise indicated.

To start, take a tablet in the first row that matches the day you begin the pack. Then, take a tablet on each of the following days to complete the 28 labeled tablets. The 2 extra non-labeled tablets should be taken after all other tablets are gone. The 2 extra tablets are exactly the same as all the other tablets.

To help you keep track of your doses, ATACAND 32 mg tablets come in a blister pack (2 sheets of 15 tablets) with days of the week printed on the back of the blister. Start with the tablet that matches the day of the week and continue taking them in order until they are all finished.

There are 14 days of labeled tablets in each blister, with one extra to make 15. All 15 pills, including the one labeled “Take this tablet last”, are exactly the same. Once you have finished the 14 labeled pills in the blister pack, take the one marked “Take this tablet last” before starting your next blister pack.

Remember to get a new prescription from your doctor or a refill from your pharmacy a few days before all your tablets are taken.

The package protects each tablet. When you first open the package, if you find any damage to the plastic seal or foil which exposes the tablet, ask your pharmacist to check the package.

Do not transfer ATACAND to other pill containers. To protect your ATACAND tablets, keep them in the original package.


If you take more ATACAND than you should, contact a doctor, the Regional Poison Control centre or pharmacist immediately.

Missed dose

If you miss a dose of ATACAND and remember within 12 hours, you should take your usual dose as soon as possible. Then go back to your regular schedule. But if it is more than 12 hours when you remember, do not take the missed dose. Just take the next dose on time.

Never take a double dose of ATACAND to make up for missed tablets. If you are still unsure, check with your doctor or pharmacist to see what you should do.

Side Effects for Atacand and What to Do About Them

Along with its effects on controlling blood pressure, ATACAND, like any medication, may cause side effects. These side effects are usually mild and should go away as your body gets used to ATACAND. Talk to your doctor if you suffer from any of these effects or if you get any other unusual or unexpected symptoms.

Common side effects that may occur (in 1% or more of patients but less than 10%):

  • Dizziness

  • Headache

  • Cold symptoms

  • Worsening of the kidney function (especially in patients with existing kidney problems or heart failure)

  • Abnormally low blood pressure (especially in patients with heart failure)

  • High levels of potassium in the blood (especially in patients with heart failure)

  • Back pain

Rare side effects that may occur (in between 0.01% and 1% of patients):

  • Fainting spells

Very rare side effects that may occur (in less than 0.01% of patients):

  • Changes to the way the liver works, including inflammation of the liver

Side effects such as muscle pain, muscle weakness, muscle inflammation and rhabdomyolysis (a muscle-wasting disease), in rare cases leading to kidney failure, have been reported with the use of angiotensin II receptor blockers, the class of drugs to which ATACAND belongs.

Blood samples may be taken occasionally to check whether ATACAND has had any effect on your blood or on your kidneys.

Medicines affect different people in different ways. Just because side effects have occurred in other patients does not mean you will get them. Discuss how you feel on ATACAND with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not stop taking ATACAND on your own.

Serious Side Effects, How Often They Happen and What to Do About Them
Symptom/Effect Talk with your doctor or pharmacist Stop taking drug and call your doctor or pharmacista
Only if severe In all cases
Rare Allergic reactions: swelling of the face, lips, tongue and/or throat; rash or other skin reactions    
Jaundice (yellow skin and/or eyes)    
Muscle pain that you cannot explain, muscle tenderness or weakness, generalized weakness    
Dark/brown urine    
a. If you think you have these side effects, it is important that you seek medical advice from your doctor immediately.

This is not a complete list of side effects. For any unexpected effects while taking ATACAND, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Atacand Facts

ATACAND belongs to a class of drugs that keeps blood vessels from narrowing.

The active ingredient in ATACAND is classified as an angiotensin II receptor antagonist.

ATACAND is the trade name for a medication containing the active ingredient candesartan.

The effectiveness of the active ingredient in ATACAND to treat hypertension was proven in a four-year controlled trial.


Technical Information