High blood pressure or hypertension is a condition where the resistance to blood flow is higher than it should be. If left unattended, hypertension can damage your vessel wall, increasing the risk of complications such as heart failure. Candesartan is a common hypertension medication that is used alone or with other drugs to manage blood pressure.  Read on to know more about this medicine, its common side effects, how to manage them, and when to seek help.

How Does Candesartan Help?

Candesartan belongs to the class of drugs known as angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB).

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, contracts them. This causes your blood vessels to narrow, increasing the pressure within them.

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 heart complications. It also lowers the risk of other complications such as diabetes and kidney failure.

Common side effects

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

Common Side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Cough, fever, and sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Back pain
  • Nasal congestion

These are mild side effects that can usually be managed at home (more on this below) or take medicine.

Some side effects include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Lightheadedness
  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness or feeling faint
  • Kidney problems
  • Low urine output
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness
  • High potassium levels
  • Muscle weakness
  • Heart rhythm changes
  • Feeling ill
  • Allergic reaction
  • Swelling of your lips, throat, face, and tongue

Very Rare

Some rare side effects include:

  • Coma
  • Decreased urine output
  • Dark or black stools
  • Convulsions
  • Light-colored stools
  • Headache
  • Pale skin
  • Nervousness
  • Bloody urine
  • Skin rash
  • Dark urine
  • Confusion
  • Itching
  • Stomach pain
  • Increased thirst
  • Muscle pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sore throat
  • Weight again
  • Fatigue
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Unusual bleeding

What to Do When Experiencing Each?

If you are common side effects, here are some tips for managing them:

Dizziness

It is common to feel dizzy when you stand up while on Candesartan. If you are feeling dizzy often, here are some things that can help:

  • Get up or lie down slowly
  • Stay sitting until you start feeling better

You should also avoid using heavy machines or drive if you are feeling dizzy.

Nausea

Nausea is again a common side effect with Candesartan. If you feel nauseous, you can try the following:

  • Take Candesartan with or after a snack or meal
  • Avoid taking spicy or fatty food items

You can also ask your doctor to prescribe medicine to manage nausea.

Headaches

Here are some tips that can help:

  • Take adequate rest
  • Drink sufficient water

Your doctor can help you with a painkiller. Headache due to Candesartan should usually resolve in one week. If it stays longer, it is better to consult your doctor.

Diarrhea and Vomiting

The main thing to do is:

  • To have enough water to prevent dehydration

If you have symptoms of dehydration such as strong-smelling urine or peeing less frequently than usual, consult your doctor.

If you have diarrhea or vomiting due to a stomach infection or other disorder, inform your doctor. They may advise you to stop Candesartan until diarrhea or vomiting subsides.

Preventing Common Side Effects

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.

It is also best to avoid this medication if you have the following conditions or are on certain medications unless suggested by your doctor.

You should not take Candesartan if you have the following conditions:

  • Low blood pressure 
  • Allergy to Candesartan or any of its ingredients
  • Diabetes
  • Severe kidney or liver disorders
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Fluid imbalances

You should also avoid taking Candesartan if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Medications that may interfere with the functioning of Candesartan are:

  • Captopril
  • Fosinopril
  • Perindopril
  • Quinapril
  • Trandolapril
  • Bufexamac
  • Choline Salicylate
  • Dexibuprofen
  • Diclofenac
  • Droxicam
  • Etodolac
  • Etoricoxib
  • Fenoprofen
  • Flufenamic acid
  • Flurbiprofen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Indomethacin
  • Ketorolac
  • Lumiracoxib
  • Meclofenamate
  • Morniflumate
  • Naproxen
  • Nimesulide
  • Oxaprozin
  • Oxyphenbutazone
  • Piketoprofen
  • Proglumetacin
  • Propyphenazone
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Sodium Salicylate
  • Tolfenamic Acid

When and How to Seek Medical Help To Treat Side Effects

If you have common side effects, they resolve on their own, and you can manage them at home.

But if you take too much Candesartan or have severe side effects, it is best to seek medical help immediately. 

Symptoms of Overdose

Some common symptoms include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • High heart rate

If you take a higher dose of Candesartan, contact your doctor or seek medical help immediately. 

Severe Side Effects

You should also seek emergency care if the following symptoms are present:

  • Wheezing or breathlessness
  • A skin rash, which could be itchy, blistered, or swollen
  • Tightness in chest or throat
  • Difficulty in breathing or talking
  • Swelling of mouth, lips, throat, face, or tongue
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