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ATACAND
(candesartan cilexetil)

WARNING

USE IN PREGNANCY

When used in pregnancy during the second and third trimesters, drugs that act directly on the reninangiotensin system can cause injury and even death to the developing fetus. When pregnancy is detected, ATACAND should be discontinued as soon as possible [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, Fetal/Neonatal Morbidity and Mortality].

DRUG DESCRIPTION

ATACAND (candesartan cilexetil), a prodrug, is hydrolyzed to candesartan during absorption from the gastrointestinal tract. Candesartan is a selective AT1 subtype angiotensin II receptor antagonist.

Candesartan cilexetil, a nonpeptide, is chemically described as (±)-1-Hydroxyethyl 2-ethoxy-1-[p-(o-1H­tetrazol-5-ylphenyl)benzyl]-7-benzimidazolecarboxylate, cyclohexyl carbonate (ester).

Its empirical formula is C33H34N6O6, and its structural formula is:

ATACAND® (candesartan cilexetil) Structural Formula Illustration

Candesartan cilexetil is a white to off-white powder with a molecular weight of 610.67. It is practically insoluble in water and sparingly soluble in methanol. Candesartan cilexetil is a racemic mixture containing one chiral center at the cyclohexyloxycarbonyloxy ethyl ester group. Following oral administration, candesartan cilexetil undergoes hydrolysis at the ester link to form the active drug, candesartan, which is achiral.

ATACAND is available for oral use as tablets containing either 4 mg, 8 mg, 16 mg, or 32 mg of candesartan cilexetil and the following inactive ingredients: hydroxypropyl cellulose, polyethylene glycol, lactose, corn starch, carboxymethylcellulose calcium, and magnesium stearate. Ferric oxide (reddish brown) is added to the 8-mg, 16-mg, and 32-mg tablets as a colorant.

What are the possible side effects of candesartan (Atacand)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In rare cases, candesartan can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, nausea or vomiting, and dark colored urine.

Call your doctor at once if you have any other serious side effect, such as:

  • feeling like you might pass...

Read All Potential Side Effects and See Pictures of Atacand »

What are the precautions when taking candesartan cilexetil (Atacand)?

Before taking candesartan, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: kidney disease (such as renal artery stenosis), liver disease, high blood levels of potassium in the blood (hyperkalemia), loss of too much body water and/or minerals (volume depletion, dehydration).

This drug may make you dizzy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

Too much sweating,...

Read All Potential Precautions of Atacand »

Last reviewed on RxList: 4/26/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.