Hypertension is a widespread condition that increases the pressure of blood against the vessel wall. This may disturb the blood supply to your body parts. Unattended hypertension mainly alters the flow of blood to your brain and heart, increasing the risk of stroke and heart attack. It is thus crucial to manage your blood pressure levels with medications and lifestyle changes.

Candesartan is commonly used to treat hypertension and prevent the risk of stroke and heart attack. It also improves the survival rate by preventing heart failure. Studies have shown that the use of Candesartan can lower stroke and heart attack risk by 42%, especially in the elderly. It is usually the second-choice of treatment and prescribed if the first medicine you took caused a dry cough. It works by relaxing your blood vessels, improving blood flow, and lowering the risk of complications (more on this below).

While it is safe for use in most individuals, it may cause some side effects. Some common ones include headaches, dizziness, and cold. But these symptoms are short-lived and usually resolves on their own. This article details more about Candesartan and how it aids in preventing hypertension-associated complications such as heart attack and stroke.

How Does Candesartan Work?

Candesartan belongs to the class of drugs known as angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB). It lowers your blood pressure, preventing the risk of complications.

The effort put by your heart to pump blood to body parts and resistance to blood flow are the main factors that determine your blood pressure. Narrowed arteries, mainly due to the deposition of fat on the vessel wall, increase resistance to blood flow, thus causing hypertension.

Angiotensin II, a chemical formed in your blood, when attached to its receptors on muscles around your blood vessels, contract these muscles. 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 cardiovascular complications.

ARBs are used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure and prevent kidney failure in people with diabetes or high blood pressure. ARBs are also used in patients with high blood pressure and an enlarged heart to prevent diabetes and reduce the risk of stroke. ARBs also may prevent atrial fibrillation from recurring.

Correlation Between Controlling High Blood Pressure and Preventing Stroke

A stroke is a result of reduced or interrupted blood supply to a part of the brain. Altered blood supply prevents your brain cells from getting adequate nutrients and oxygen, causing them to die. Stroke is thus a medical emergency.

One of the commonest causes of stroke is hypertension. There are two main types of stroke depending, ischemic and hemorrhagic.

Let’s understand how hypertension may be the cause for each of them

Ischemic Stroke

This type of stroke occurs due to a clot in blood vessels supplying your brain. 

Hypertension offers resistance to blood flow in all the blood vessels, including those supplying your brain cells. Unattended hypertension narrows blood vessels and damages them. This gradually increases the risk of clot formation.

The clot can block the blood vessel, compromising the blood flow. The oxygen and nutrient supply of the brain cells is reduced, resulting in an ischemic stroke.

Hemorrhagic Stroke

Hemorrhagic stroke occurs due to bleeding around or in the brain. 

Hypertension puts extra strain on your blood vessels, which may weaken the vessel wall. The blood vessel becomes susceptible to burst inside your brain, causing bleeding in and around your brain tissues.

The bleeding blocks the blood supply to a part of the brain, causing them to die and resulting in a hemorrhagic stroke.

Controlling High Blood Pressure and Preventing A Heart Attack

Your heart is a pumping machine. It receives impure blood from body parts and sends it to your lungs to purify them. The heart blood vessels then pump this pure blood to other body parts.

As we learned before, hypertension damages your blood vessels by making them narrow and rigid. The damaged vessels increase the risk of fat deposition on the vessel wall, impeding blood flow.

These narrow and blocked arteries offer more resistance to blood flow, so the heart has to work harder to pump blood through them. This increased stress can increase the heart’s muscle mass. This enlarged heart does not get enough space to function properly.

When the blood supply to your vessels supplying your heart is compromised, the heart cells start dying. This is known as a heart attack.

Medication – Use and Dosage

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 16 mg to be taken once a day. It could range between 8-32 mg in a single or divided dose.

Children (ages 6 to 17 years)

The standard dose is 4–8 mg per day for kids weighing less than 50kg. It may range between 2–16 mg a day.

The dose is 8–16 mg per day for kids weighing more than 50 kgs. It may range between 4–32 mg a day.

The dose can be taken as a single dose or twice a day in divided doses.

Children (ages 1 to 5 years)

The standard dose is 0.05–0.4 mg/kg of body weight per day or about 0.20 mg/kg per day.

The dose can be taken as a single dose or twice a day in divided doses. 

Precautions While Taking Medication

It is also a good idea to know about the side effects and precautions to be followed while taking Candesartan.

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
  • Lightheadedness
  • 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

Precautions

You should 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. 

Interactions

Medications that may interfere with the functioning of Candesartan are:

  • Captopril
  • Enalaprilat
  • Fosinopril
  • Lithium
  • Perindopril
  • Quinapril
  • Trandolapril
  • Trimethoprim
  • Bufexamac
  • Choline Salicylate
  • Dexibuprofen
  • Diclofenac
  • Diflunisal
  • Droxicam
  • Etodolac
  • Etoricoxib
  • Fenoprofen
  • Feprazone
  • Flufenamic acid
  • Flurbiprofen
  • Ibuprofen
  • Indomethacin
  • Ketorolac
  • Loxoprofen
  • Lumiracoxib
  • Meclofenamate
  • Meloxicam
  • Morniflumate
  • Naproxen
  • Nepafenac
  • Nimesulide
  • Oxaprozin
  • Oxyphenbutazone
  • Phenylbutazone
  • Piketoprofen
  • Proglumetacin
  • Propyphenazone
  • Proquazone
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Sodium Salicylate
  • Tenoxicam
  • Tolfenamic Acid
  • Tolmetin
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