What are the Side Effects of Atacand&Reg;?

Melanie Smeltzer

Atacand® is a medication mainly used to treat the symptoms of hypertension, but is also sometimes prescribed to help treat kidney problems in type 2 diabetics. As with any medication, this drug can present certain side effects, some more serious than others. Some of the milder side effects of Atacand® can include cough and congestion, lightheadedness, and body aches. Swelling of the extremities and shortness of breath, however, are some of the more severe reactions, and patients are encouraged to call their doctors immediately should these side effects occur.

A sore throat can be a side effect of Atacand®.
A sore throat can be a side effect of Atacand®.

Although reactions are not uncommon, many feel that the side effects of Atacand® are relatively minor; some patients tolerate this drug well, experiencing few to no negative reactions. Some of the most common side effects can include back, head, and muscle aches, diarrhea, dizziness, or lightheadedness. In some cases, patients may also experience cold or flu-like symptoms that include a runny nose or congestion, sore throat, cough, or mild fever.

Atacand® may be used to treat high blood pressure.
Atacand® may be used to treat high blood pressure.

Many reactions are mild and will pass as the patient becomes accustomed to the new medication. Despite this, some may still develop serious reactions that require immediate medical attention. These serious side effects of Atacand® may consist of tingling sensations or a swelling of the feet or hands, fainting, or chest pain. In some cases, patients may experience wheezing, difficulty swallowing or breathing, or a marked decrease of urine production.

These severe reactions are not entirely usual, but not uncommon. There are, however, some rare side effects that can sometimes occur. Some of these side effects of Atacand® may include an increase of blood sugar, indigestion or heartburn, anxiety, or feelings of depression. These potential side effects are very unusual, occurring in roughly 1% of patients who have taken this medication, but may become serious if not properly handled by a medical professional.

Drug interactions may also cause side effects. For instance, a change of dosage may be made if the patient begins taking Atacand® while on a diuretic, as using the two together may noticeably decrease blood pressure. Generally, doctors will discourage a patient from taking lithium alongside this drug, as this combination may drastically increase the level of lithium in the blood. Potassium may also spike in the bloodstream while taking Atacand®, which may cause fatigue, muscle weakness, or nausea. In many cases, the dosage of either this medication or the potassium may be either decreased or stopped altogether.

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