IMPORTANT: HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION: This is a summary and does NOT have all possible information about this product. This information does not assure that this product is safe, effective, or appropriate for you. This information is not individual medical advice and does not substitute for the advice of your health care professional. Always ask your health care professional for complete information about this product and your specific health needs.
CANDESARTAN/HYDROCHLOROTHIAZIDE – ORAL
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Atacand HCT
WARNING: This drug can cause serious (possibly fatal) harm to an unborn baby if used during pregnancy. Therefore, it is important to prevent pregnancy while taking this medication. Consult your doctor for more details and to discuss the use of reliable forms of birth control while taking this medication. If you are planning pregnancy, become pregnant, or think you may be pregnant, tell your doctor immediately.
USES: This medication is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. This product contains 2 medications: candesartan and hydrochlorothiazide. Candesartan belongs to a class of drugs called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). It works by relaxing blood vessels so blood can flow more easily. Hydrochlorothiazide is a “water pill” (diuretic). It increases the amount of urine you make, especially when you first start the medication. It also helps to relax the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily.
These medications are used together when 1 drug alone is not controlling your blood pressure. Your doctor may direct you to start taking the individual medications first, and then switch you over to this combination product if this is the best dose combination for you.
OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
This medication may also be used to treat heart failure.
HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet if available from your pharmacist before you start taking candesartan/hydrochlorothiazide and each time you get a refill. If you have any questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually once daily. It is best to avoid taking this medication within 4 hours of your bedtime to avoid having to get up to urinate. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about your dosing schedule.
The dosage is based on your medical condition and response to treatment.
Use this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. It is important to continue taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. It may take up to 4 weeks before you get the full benefit of this drug.
If you also take certain drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take this product at least 4 hours before or at least 4 to 6 hours after these medications.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens (such as your blood pressure readings remain high or increase).
SIDE EFFECTS: Dizziness and lightheadedness may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. If either of these effects persists or worsens, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
To reduce the risk of dizziness and lightheadedness, get up slowly when rising from a sitting or lying position.
Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
This product may cause a loss of too much body water (dehydration) and salt/minerals. Tell your doctor right away if you have any symptoms of dehydration or mineral loss, including: extreme thirst, very dry mouth, muscle cramps/weakness, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, confusion, decreased urination.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: fainting, unusual change in the amount of urine (not including the normal increase in urine when you first start this drug), toe/joint pain, symptoms of a high potassium blood level (such as muscle weakness, slow/irregular heartbeat), decrease in vision, eye pain.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US –
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada – Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
PRECAUTIONS: Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to candesartan or hydrochlorothiazide; 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, loss of too much body water and/or minerals (volume depletion, dehydration), untreated mineral imbalance (such as low or high potassium), gout, lupus.
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, diarrhea, or vomiting may cause loss of too much body water (dehydration) and increase your risk of dizziness or lightheadedness. Report prolonged diarrhea or vomiting to your doctor. Be sure to drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration unless your doctor directs you otherwise.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
If you have diabetes, this medication may affect your blood sugar levels. Check your blood sugar levels regularly as directed by your doctor. Tell your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of high blood sugar such as increased thirst and urination. Your doctor may need to adjust your diabetes medication, exercise program, or diet.
This drug may affect your potassium levels. Before using potassium supplements or salt substitutes that contain potassium, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Hydrochlorothiazide may make you more sensitive to the sun. Avoid prolonged sun exposure, tanning booths, and sunlamps. Use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing when outdoors.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness and unusual change in the amount of urine (kidney problems).
This medication is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor for more details. (See also Warning section.)
This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: See also How to Use and Precautions sections.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor’s approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: aliskiren, dofetilide, lithium, drugs that may increase the level of potassium in the blood (such as ACE inhibitors including benazepril/lisinopril, birth control pills containing drospirenone).
Check the labels on all your medicines (such as cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, naproxen) because they may contain ingredients that could increase your blood pressure or worsen your heart failure. Ask your pharmacist for more details.
This product may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including parathyroid test, protein-bound iodide test), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: fast heartbeat, severe dizziness, fainting.
NOTES: Do not share this medication with others.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (such as kidney function, blood mineral levels including potassium) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details.
Lifestyle changes that may help this medication work better include stress reduction programs, exercise, and dietary changes. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.
Have your blood pressure checked regularly while taking this medication. Learn how to monitor your own blood pressure at home, and share the results with your doctor.
MISSED DOSE: If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
STORAGE: Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
Information last revised March 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.