The main function of your heart is to deliver pure, oxygenated, and nutrient-rich blood to other body cells. When your heart cannot function normally, the nutrition of the cells is affected. Gradually, the body fails to function normally.

You may start feeling breathless and tired, and even daily chores may seem challenging. One such condition where your heart cannot function adequately is congestive heart failure, which alters the pumping effect of the heart.

Congestive heart failure is a serious condition, and its treatment is based on the underlying cause. For instance, hypertension can increase the load on your heart and cause it to fail (more on it below). In such cases, controlling blood pressure can help prevent and manage heart failure.

If you have hypertension, your doctor may prescribe Candesartan to lower the risk of congestive heart failure. It can also help manage the symptoms of heart failure and allow you to lead a productive and enjoyable life.

Let’s understand more about this condition, how hypertension can cause your heart to fail, and how Candesartan can prevent this.

What Is Congestive Heart Failure

Congestive heart failure is a long-term condition that progressively lowers the efficiency of your heart’s pumping action.

Your heart is divided into four chambers. The upper two are known as atriums, and the lower ones are known as ventricles. The atriums receive blood while the ventricles pump blood to other body parts.

Congestive heart failure occurs when the ventricles cannot pump blood efficiently to other parts of your body. Gradually, blood and other body fluids build up in your lungs, liver, abdomen, and lower body.

Here is more about congestive failure and its causes, especially hypertension.

Congestive Heart Failure and High Blood Pressure- Correlation and Causes

Health conditions that weaken or damage your heart muscles can ultimately result in congestive heart failure. It can also occur if the heart muscles become too stiff.

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Functioning of the heart

The right half of your heart receives deoxygenated blood from your body and passes the blood to the lungs through the pulmonary artery, where it is oxygenated.

The left half of the heart receives this oxygenated blood from your lungs through pulmonary veins. It pumps this pure blood to the rest of your body.

In heart failure, the muscles of the ventricles become weak or stiff, and they may not fill completely while they dilate between two beats. In some cases, the ventricles may also stretch and cannot pump effectively during contraction. 

The heart has to pump harder to fulfill the body’s blood supply needs. Gradually, the heart cannot meet up the amount of blood needed to pump to the rest of the body, resulting in heart failure.

Causes of Heart Failure

Some common conditions that may result in congestive heart failure are:

  • Hypertension
  • Abnormality of heart valves
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Coronary heart diseases
  • Birth heart defects
  • Myocarditis
  • Arrhythmias
  • Virus affecting heart muscles
  • Blood clots in the lungs
  • Anemia
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Health conditions such as diabetes and hypertension
  • Certain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Risk factors for congestive heart failure:

  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking
  • Consuming food rich in fats or cholesterol
  • Excess alcohol consumption

Hypertension and Congestive Heart Failure

Hypertension is one of the most common modifiable risk factors for heart failure. This means, managing blood pressure prevents its occurrence.

Here is how hypertension leads to heart failure:

  • Increases your heart’s load: Hypertension results in narrowing of blood vessels. These narrowed arteries are less elastic and make it difficult for blood to pass through them. This, in turn, causes the heart to pump harder.
  • Results in an enlarged heart: To cope with greater demand, the heart muscles get larger and thicker. While the enlarged heart pumps blood, it is not able to do that efficiently. So, the heart has to work still harder to meet the body’s nutrients and oxygen demands.

When your heart cannot pump blood to your body parts, it gets build up in the lungs and also other body organs such as the liver and abdomen. All this results in symptoms of congestive heart failure such as breathlessness, swelling of extremities, and extreme fatigue.

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How Does Candesartan Prevent Congestive Heart Failure?

Candesartan belongs to the class of drugs known as angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). By controlling blood pressure, it can help prevent congestive heart failure.

Mechanism of Blood Pressure

Blood pressure depends on the resistance to blood when it flows to your arteries and the effort put by your heart to pump the blood to other body parts. So, narrowing of arteries is one of the causes of high blood pressure.

Angiotensin II, a chemical formed in your blood, when attached to its receptors on muscles around your blood vessels, contracting the muscles. This causes your blood vessels to narrow, increasing the pressure within them.

Effect of Candesartan

Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) prevent this action by blocking angiotensin II from binding to its receptors on the muscles surrounding the blood vessels. All this relaxes your blood vessels, lowering blood pressure.

This decrease in blood pressure also lowers the load on your heart, reducing the risk of congestive heart failure.

Use and Dosage of Medication

Use

Read the patient information leaflet carefully before taking this medicine. Take Candesartan as advised by your doctor. Generally, it is best to follow the mentioned precautions:

  • Take medicine as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Do not stop taking medicine without consulting your physician. Your condition may get worse and increase the risk of complications such as stroke and heart attack.
  • If you forget the dose, take it as soon as you remember it the same day and carry on as usual from the next day.
  • If you completely forget the dose for the whole day, skip it and carry on, as usual, the next day.
  • Do not take double the dose to compensate for the missed dose.

Dose

Your doctor will decide the ideal dose based on various factors, such as:

  • Age
  • Blood pressure readings
  • Health disorders
  • Medications you may be taking

Adults

The standard dose is 4 mg to be taken once a day. It could be extended up to 32 mg a day.

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Children (ages 0 to 17 years)

Its use is not studied for the treatment of heart failure in children. It thus shouldn’t be used for kids.

Side Effects of This Medicine

As with every medication, Candesartan may also have some side effects in specific individuals.

Common

  • Dizziness
  • Back pain
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Cold symptoms such as cough, fever, sneezing, and runny nose

Uncommon

  • Sneezing
  • Head congestion
  • Ear pain or congestion
  • Stuffy or runny nose

Rare

  • Bleeding gums
  • Chest heaviness or tightness
  • Cough
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Chills
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Joint pain
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Fever
  • Back, arm, or jaw pain
  • Light-headedness
  • Side or lower back pain
  • Nosebleeds
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Discomfort or pain in the jaw, arms, neck, or back
  • Swelling of lower legs or feet

Very Rare

  • Black or dark stools
  • Coma
  • Convulsions
  • Decreased urine output
  • Headache
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Light-colored stools
  • Nervousness
  • Pale skin
  • Skin rash
  • Bloody urine
  • Confusion
  • Dark urine
  • Difficult or troubled breathing
  • A general feeling of tiredness or weakness
  • Hives or welts
  • Increased thirst
  • Itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Stomach pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue
  • Weight gain
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Ulcers, sores, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Swelling of ankles, face, or hands

Visit the doctor if you get any side effects, and it holds even for those side-effects not mentioned here.

However, if you get the following side effects, you should visit your doctor immediately:

  • Swelling of face, eyes, or lips
  • Sudden chest pain, breathing difficulty, or wheeziness
  • Swelling of the tongue
  • Severe skin allergy including hives, skin rash, intense itching, and peeling of the skin
  • Abnormal heartbeats

Lifestyle Changes

Medicines, including Candesartan, work more effectively when taken along with lifestyle modifications.

Some beneficial lifestyle changes include:

  • Consume a healthy diet comprising of lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
  • Maintaining normal weight
  • Be physically active
  • Get enough sleep
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid excess consumption of alcohol
  • Indulge in stress lowering techniques, including yoga, deep breathing, and meditation
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