Consumer Medicine Information
This leaflet answers some of the common questions people ask about ATACAND. It does not contain all the information that is known about ATACAND.
It does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist.
All medicines have risks and benefits. Your doctor will have weighed the risks of you taking ATACAND against the benefits they expect it will have for you.
If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Keep this leaflet with the medicine. You may need to read it again.
What ATACAND is used for
ATACAND is a type of medicine called an angiotensin II receptor inhibitor (or antagonist).
ATACAND is used to treat high blood pressure, also called hypertension.
ATACAND is also used to treat heart failure - increase survival, reduce hospitalisation and improve symptoms. It is used in combination with other medicines to treat your condition.
All people have blood pressure. This pressure helps to push blood all around your body. Your blood pressure changes during the day, depending on how busy you are or how you are feeling.
You have hypertension (high blood pressure) when your blood pressure stays higher than is needed, even when you are calm and relaxed.
Regular blood pressure checks are the only way of knowing that you have hypertension. There are usually no symptoms of hypertension and you may feel fine. If hypertension is not treated, serious health problems such as stroke or heart attack and heart or kidney failure may occur.
ATACAND lowers blood pressure by dilating (expanding) small blood vessels from the heart, letting the blood be pumped around the body more easily.
Heart failure means that the heart muscle cannot pump blood strongly enough to supply all the blood needed throughout the body. Heart failure is not the same as heart attack and does not mean that the heart stops working.
Heart failure may start off with no symptoms, but as the condition progresses, patients may feel short of breath or may get tired easily after light physical activity such as walking. Some patients may wake up short of breath at night. Fluid may collect in different parts of the body, often first noticed as swollen ankles and feet.
ATACAND helps to treat heart failure and may improve your symptoms.
One of the ways ATACAND helps heart failure is that it widens the blood vessels, so that the heart does not have to pump as hard to move the blood around the body. This also means that when you place extra demands on your heart, such as during exercise, the heart may cope better so you may not get short of breath as easily.
When used to treat heart failure, ATACAND is almost always used with other medicines called diuretics or fluid tablets. These medicines help the kidney to get rid of excess fluid from the body.
Your doctor will have explained why you are being treated with ATACAND and told you what dose to take.
Ask your doctor if you have any questions about why this medicine has been prescribed for you. Your doctor may prescribe this medicine for another reason.
ATACAND is not addictive.
Before you use ATACAND
When you must not use it
Do not use ATACAND if you have an allergy to:
any medicine containing candesartan cilexetil
any ingredient listed at the end of this leaflet
any medicine containing an angiotensin II receptor inhibitor (or antagonist)
Some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction may include:
shortness of breath
wheezing or difficulty breathing
swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or other parts of the body
rash, itching or hives on the skin
Do not use ATACAND if you are pregnant. It may affect your baby if you take it during pregnancy.
Do not breast-feed if you are taking ATACAND. It is not known if ATACAND passes into breast milk.
Do not give ATACAND to children. There is no information about its use in children, so ATACAND is not recommended for children.
Do not use ATACAND after the use by (expiry) date printed on the pack or if the packaging is torn or shows signs of tampering If it has expired or is damaged, return it to your pharmacist for disposal.
If you are not sure whether you should take this medicine, talk to your doctor.
Before you start to use it
Tell your doctor if you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, dyes or preservatives.
Tell you doctor if you have any of the following medical conditions:
You may have to take a lower dose of ATACAND if you have these conditions.
Taking other medicines
Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medicines, including any that you buy at the chemist, supermarket or health food shop. Some medicines and ATACAND may interfere with each other. These include:
any containing potassium, including salt substitutes
diuretics (fluid tablets)
Lithium, a medicine used to treat mood swings and some types of depression
These medicines may be affected by ATACAND or may affect the way ATACAND works. You may need different amounts of your medicines, or may need to take different medicines.
It may be necessary to have regular blood tests done if you take any of these medicines.
Your doctor and pharmacist have more information on medicines to be careful with or avoid while taking this medicine.
How to take ATACAND
Follow all directions given to you by your doctor carefully. They may differ from the information contained in this leaflet.
If you do not understand the instructions on the box, ask your doctor or pharmacist for help.
How to take it
The usual dose is 8 or 16 mg taken once daily. Sometimes an increase in dose to 32 mg once daily is needed.
Take ATACAND once a day, at about the same time each day. Keeping a regular time for taking ATACAND will help to remind you to take it.
It does not matter whether you take ATACAND with food or on an empty stomach.
How long to take it
Continue taking this medicine for as long as your doctor tells you. This medicine controls your condition, but does not cure it. It is important to keep taking your medicine even if you feel well.
If you forget to take it
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, as long as it is at least 12 hours before your next dose is due. Then go back to taking it as you would normally.
If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the dose you missed and take your next dose when you are meant to.
Do NOT double the dose.
If you have trouble remembering when to take your medicine, ask your pharmacist for some hints.
If you take too much (overdose)
Telephone your doctor or the Poisons Information Centre (13 11 26) or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital immediately if you think that you or anyone else may have taken too much ATACAND even if there are no signs of discomfort or poisoning.
If you take too many ATACAND you will probably get a headache and feel sick (nausea), dizzy and very tired.
While you are using ATACAND
Things you must do
If you are about to be started on any new medicine, remind your doctor and pharmacist that you are taking ATACAND.
Tell all doctors, dentists and pharmacists who are treating you that you are taking ATACAND.
Tell your doctor if you become pregnant while you are taking ATACAND.
Things you must not do
Do not use it to treat any other complaints unless your doctor says to.
Do not give this medicine to anyone else, even if they have the same condition as you.
Do not stop taking ATACAND unless you have discussed it with your doctor.
Things to be careful of
Move slowly when getting out of bed or standing up if you feel faint, dizzy or light-headed.
Be careful driving or operating machinery until you know how ATACAND affects you. You may feel dizzy when you start taking ATACAND.
If you are taking ATACAND for high blood pressure, drink plenty of water during exercise and hot weather, especially if you sweat a lot. If you do not drink enough water while taking ATACAND, you may faint or feel light-headed or sick. This is because your body doesn't have enough fluid and your blood pressure is low. If you continue to feel unwell, tell your doctor.
If you are taking ATACAND for heart failure, restricted fluid intake is generally recommended. Speak with your doctor about how much water you should drink.
Please talk to your doctor or pharmacist about these possibilities if you think they may bother you.
Tell your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible if you do not feel well while you are taking ATACAND. ATACAND helps most people, but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people.
All medicines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time they are not. You may need medical treatment if you get some of the side effects.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have.
Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
chest or throat infection
feeling sick (nausea, vomiting)
These are all mild side effects of ATACAND.
The following side effects have been reported very rarely by patients taking ATACAND: palpitations, agitation, anxiety, depression, trouble sleeping (insomnia), drowsiness (somnolence), nervousness, nightmare and sleep disorder. It is not known if these side effects are caused by ATACAND.
Tell your doctor as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
aching muscles, tenderness or weakness in the muscle
The above list includes serious side effects that may require medical attention. Serious side effects are rare.
If any of the following happen, tell your doctor immediately or go to Accident and Emergency at your nearest hospital.
swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat which may cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing
harsh sounds when breathing
signs of frequent infections such as fever, severe chills, sore throat or mouth ulcers
jaundice (yellowing of the skin and /or eyes).
Unusual skin reactions (severe and sudden onset of rash, itchiness, hives (itchy swellings on the skin)
extreme fatigue, tiredness, weakness
worsening of the kidney function (including passing little or no urine, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, breathlessness, loss of appetite and weakness (especially in patients with existing kidney problems or heart failure).
changes in your potassium, sodium and red or white blood cell levels may occur. Such changes are usually detected by a blood test.
Symptoms that may indicate high potassium levels in the blood include nausea, diarrhoea, muscle weakness and changes in heart rhythm.
The above list includes very serious side effects. You may need urgent medical attention or hospitalisation.
These side effects are very rare.
Tell your doctor if you notice anything else that is making you feel unwell. Other side effects not listed above may occur in some people.
After using ATACAND
Keep your tablets in the blister pack until it is time to take them. If you take ATACAND out of the blister pack it will not keep well.
Keep it in a cool, dry place where the temperature stays below 30 °C.
Do not store it or any other medicine in the bathroom or near a sink. Do not leave it on a window sill or in the car. Heat and dampness can destroy some medicines.
Keep it where young children cannot reach it. A locked cupboard at least one-and-a-half metres above the ground is a good place to store medicines.
If your doctor tells you to stop taking them, or the tablets have passed their expiry date, ask your pharmacist what to do with any ATACAND tablets you have left over.
What ATACAND looks like
ATACAND 4 mg tablets are round white tablets, 7 mm in diameter. They are scored and marked A/CF on one side with 004 on the other.
ATACAND 8 mg tablets are round light pink tablets 7 mm in diameter. They are scored and marked A/CG on one side with 008 on the other.
ATACAND 16 mg tablets are round pink tablets 7 mm in diameter. They are scored and marked A/CH on one side with 016 on the other.
ATACAND 32 mg tablets are round pink biconvex tablets. They are scored and marked A/CL on one side with 032 on the other side.
All strengths are available in blister packs of 7 or 30 tablets.
Each ATACAND tablet contains candesartan cilexetil 4, 8 ,16 or 32 mg as the active ingredient;
Iron oxide red (E 172)
(8 mg, 16 mg and 32 mg tablets only)
Magnesium stearate (E 572)
ATACAND does not contain gluten.
AstraZeneca Pty Ltd
ABN 54 009 682 311
NORTH RYDE NSW 2113
This leaflet was prepared on
7 August 2007.
Australian Registration Number
ATACAND 4mg 64106
ATACAND 8mg 64107
ATACAND 16mg 64108
ATACAND 32 mg 117341
ATACAND is a trade mark of the AstraZeneca group of companies.
Manufactured under licence from
Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited.