Candesartan is a commonly used medication used to manage high blood pressure. Its active ingredient is candesartan cilexetil.
Candesartan causes your blood vessels to dilate and relax. This means your blood pressure will lower over time and reduce your risk of other health problems. Candesartan is available in doses of 4mg, 8mg, 16mg and 32mg tablets.
You can request candesartan from ZAVA if you’ve been taking candesartan for at least 3 months and are stable on this medication.
Candesartan is a generic, unbranded medication. You can also request Amias tablets which is the brand name for candesartan.
3 x 28 tablet(s) - £18.00
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Candesartan is a medication used to treat high blood pressure, also known as an antihypertensive. Candesartan can also be used to manage a heart condition called congestive heart failure.
Hypertension is a common condition but can often happen without any symptoms. You may not realise you have high blood pressure until you have a routine medical appointment where it is picked up.
You may be started on candesartan to manage high blood pressure. It’s important to take it every day as uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to other health problems, like stroke or a heart attack.
Your risk of high blood pressure gets higher as you get older. Some health conditions can also increase your risk of getting high blood pressure, like diabetes or thyroid disorders.
You can take candesartan once a day with or without food. It’s best to take blood pressure treatment in the morning when your blood pressure is naturally higher. You should take candesartan around the same time each day.
If you forget to take candesartan, take the next dose as normal. Do not double up tablets to make up for a missed dose.
You should avoid drinking too much alcohol when taking candesartan as this can make you feel dizzy.
Candesartan is part of a group of medicines called angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs). Angiotensin II is a hormone that controls your blood pressure by constricting your blood vessels.
If you are healthy, your body will have mechanisms that return your blood pressure to normal. When this does not happen your blood pressure will remain raised. This is called essential hypertension.
ARBs work by blocking angiotensin II which leads to a lower blood pressure.
Candesartan is effective in keeping your blood pressure stable. You may not see any change in your blood pressure reading until after a few weeks of treatment.
Your nurse or doctor will check your blood pressure after a month of treatment to make sure you are responding to the medication. They'll also do blood tests to check your kidney function and potassium levels.
Depending on your health conditions, you may need more than one medication to control your blood pressure. Your doctor will first increase the dose of candesartan before prescribing another medication.
Not everyone will get side effects with candesartan. You’re likely to get side effects when you first start taking candesartan, but this should wear off over time.
The common side effects of candesartan are:
If you have an allergic reaction when taking candesartan, contact 999 immediately. Take the packet of medicines with you so the medical staff know what might have caused the reaction.
Signs of an allergic reaction include:
- swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat
- difficulty in breathing or swallowing
- severe skin rash or itchiness
You can find more information about the side effects of candesartan in the patient information leaflet.
You can take candesartan if you need treatment for high blood pressure.
In some cases, you should not take candesartan at all. This is because it can make you feel worse. This includes if you:
- are pregnant or think you are pregnant
- are breastfeeding
- have severe liver disease
- have biliary obstruction
- if you are taking a medicine called aliskiren
Speak to your doctor or pharmacist before you take candesartan if you:
- have low blood pressure
- have ever had a stroke
- have a condition called Conn’s syndrome that affects how you produce the hormone aldosterone
- have kidney disease, including being on dialysis
- have had a recent kidney transplant
- have heart problems
- have liver problems
You will not need to stop taking candesartan in these cases, but your doctor may want to adjust the dose to make sure it’s safe for you to take.
Candesartan can interact with other medications. This means candesartan may interfere with how your other medications work.
Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you take:
- medication that increases the potassium in your blood, like spironolactone or potassium supplements
- heparin, a blood thinning medication
- diuretics (water tablets) like furosemide
- lithium taken for bipolar disorder
- painkillers called non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen or naproxen
- other blood pressure lowering medication
Try to avoid having excessive alcohol when taking candesartan. Alcohol can make you feel dizzy or light headed when taken with candesartan.
There are many types of medications you can use to treat high blood pressure. High blood pressure treatment is a step by step process. Your doctor or nurse will often increase the dose of your current medication to manage your blood pressure. If you have any side effects or cannot take the medication due to other health conditions, you may be switched to a different medication.
Similar medications to candesartan include losartan and irbesartan. If you have side effects with losartan, you may be asked to try one of these alternatives.
Lisinopril and enalapril are medicines that work slightly differently to candesartan. They are called ACE inhibitors (angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors). They are sometimes used interchangeably if you get side effects from candesartan.
Indapamide is a type of diuretic (water tablet) that is effective in lowering your blood pressure.
Remember to make healthier lifestyle choices to lower your blood pressure. This might be taking up an exercise class or reducing the amount of salt you have in your diet. Even small changes can have a big impact on your health in the long term.
Dr Babak Ashrafi Clinical Lead for Service Expansion
Accreditations: BSc, MBBS, MRCGP (2008)
Babak studied medicine at King’s College London and graduated in 2003, having also gained a bachelor’s degree in Physiology during his time there. He completed his general practice (GP) training in East London, where he worked for a number of years as a partner at a large inner-city GP practice. He completed the Royal College of GPs membership exam in 2007.Meet our doctors
Last reviewed: 31 Mar 2022
Candesartan cilexetil 8mg tablets, Patient Information Leaflet, EMC [accessed February 2023]
About candesartan, National Health Service [accessed February 2023]
Candesartan cilexetil, NICE/British National Formulary [accessed February 2023]
Hypertension in adults: diagnosis and management, NICE [accessed February 2023]
How and when to take candesartan, National Health Service [accessed February 2023]
In order to avoid related health risks, your blood pressure needs to be kept within the normal range. Because of this, you shouldn’t miss doses of your blood pressure treatment if possible. You reorder your treatment quickly and conveniently from ZAVA, to avoid running out.