Atacand® is typically used to treat hypertension, though it can also treat both heart failure and diabetes-related kidney damage in some patients. It is a type of angiotensin II receptor antagonist, which is known for helping the blood vessels relax so that blood pressure is decreased, relieving pressure on the heart at the same time. It is extremely harmful to take during pregnancy, and should also not be used by patients who regularly drink alcohol or take potassium supplements. Dizziness, pain in the abdomen, and a runny nose are a few of the minor side effects that may come along with this high blood pressure medication, though more serious side effects like chest pain and slow heart rate may also occur.
This medication often takes up to four weeks to work, and since high blood pressure typically has no symptoms, it is important for patients to regularly see their doctor to make sure the drug is working. The blood pressure will be monitored at each appointment, and another medication may need to be used if there is no change within about a month of use. The proper dose of Atacand® is usually determined by a doctor on an individual basis, as an overdose could produce symptoms such as irregular heartbeat, dizziness, or feeling faint.
Patients considering becoming pregnant should let their doctor know, as they should not take Atacand® during pregnancy. In fact, this medication may cause fetal death if taken in the second or third trimesters, which is why pregnant patients are usually prescribed an alternative medication to control their blood pressure. Patients are often advised to use birth control while taking this drug, and avoid breastfeeding. Those with kidney or liver disease, dehydration, congestive heart failure, or imbalance of electrolytes should also let their doctor know about their condition before taking this medication.
Some Atacand® side effects are minor, but should still be reported to a doctor when possible. They include a runny nose, cough, sore throat, pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, and back pain among others. There are also more serious side effects that may call for quick medical treatment, including a faint feeling, chest pain, and a slow or weak pulse. Patients who are allergic to Atacand® may notice hives and swelling in the face, lips, or tongue, as well as difficulty breathing. In some rare cases, kidney failure can result from taking this medication regularly.