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Candesartan is a treatment used for high blood pressure. It’s an effective treatment that gets to work quickly to  widen and relax your blood vessels, which helps to lower your blood pressure. It can also lower your chance of heart attack or stroke.

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4mg tablets - 3 month course £20
8mg tablets - 3 month course £20
16mg tablets - 3 month course £20
32mg tablets - 3 month course £30

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Candesartan for High Blood Pressure
Candesartan is a high blood pressure medication, containing the active ingredient candesartan. It belongs to a group of medicines called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs). This can help lower your blood pressure, as it relaxes and widens your blood vessels. 

Is candesartan an ace inhibitor?

No, candesartan belongs to the group of medicines called angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), which are different from angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. 

Is candesartan a beta blocker?

No, candesartan is not a beta blocker.
Candesartan works due to the active ingredient candesartan, which is an ARB (angiotensin receptor blocker). ARBs can reduce the action of angiotensin II, which is a hormone. Angiotensin II can constrict your blood vessels, which makes them smaller and leads to high blood pressure. It can also cause your body to hold (retain) water and salt, which also increases blood pressure. When your body’s response to angiotensin II is reduced, this can widen and relax your blood vessels, lowering your blood pressure. 

How long does it take candesartan to take effect?

Candesartan takes effect in around 2 hours after taking the tablet, but it can take up to 4 weeks to experience the full effect of the medication. If you do not have any symptoms, you may not feel different but this does not mean candesartan is not working. 

How long does candesartan stay in your system?

Candesartan is taken once a day, so it usually stays in your system for around 24 hours before you need another dose.
Candesartan is a long term treatment, meaning you can take it as long as you need it. This may be for the rest of your life. You should take your dose with a drink of water. It can be taken with or without food. Take candesartan at the same time every day, as this can help you remember to take it. 

What is the best time to take candesartan?

It does not matter what time you take candesartan as long as you take it at the same time every day. 

What should I do if I miss a tablet?

If you miss a tablet, take the next dose the following day. Never take 2 tablets at once to make up for a missed tablet. Try to take your tablets every day or this could affect your blood pressure.
Candesartan comes in a range of doses. Your dosage will depend on how well your blood pressure responds to the medication. Usually, the starting dose of candesartan is 8mg once a day. Your dosage can be increased if needed, but you should not take more than 32mg in 1 day. 

Candesartan 4mg 

You may be started on 4mg if you:
  • have liver problems
  • have kidney problems
  • are taking diuretics (water tablets)

Candesartan 8mg

This is the usual starting dose for candesartan. An 8mg tablet should be taken once a day, at the same time. Your blood pressure can be checked by your doctor and the dose can be increased if needed, up to 32mg. 

Candesartan 16mg

If 8mg tablets are not enough to get your blood pressure to normal limits, your dose may be increased to 16mg tablets once a day. 

Candesartan 32mg 

This is the highest dose that can be given each day. 32mg tablets are used if 8mg and 16mg are not effective enough. You will not be prescribed a higher dose.
Candesartan is a prescription-only medication, which means you can only get it if a doctor prescribes it to you. 

Can I buy candesartan online?

Yes, you can buy candesartan online from just £20 through Superdrug Online Doctor. All you have to do is complete a short online questionnaire about your health, and our doctors can prescribe candesartan if it is safe and appropriate for you. All orders are delivered in discreet packaging, and our doctors can provide free expert advice if you have any questions about candesartan or high blood pressure.

How much does candesartan cost?

Candesartan can be sold as a 3 or 6 months supply. Superdrug Online Doctor prices start from £20.
Candesartan can have some side effects that usually go away after a few weeks of treatment.

Common side effects of candesartan include:
  • headache
  • chest infection
  • dizziness
  • low blood pressure, which can make you feel dizzy and faint
  • an increased amount of potassium in your blood
Very rare side effects include:
  • itching
  • cough
  • nausea (feeling sick)
  • changes to your blood test results
  • skin rash
  • pain in the back, joints, and muscles
Candesartan can also cause diarrhoea, but it is not known how often this can occur. 

Some serious side effects to look out for include:
  • an allergic reaction, which can cause difficulty breathing and swelling in the face
  • a change in your kidney function, which can cause you to pee less often or have blood in your pee
  • an increase in infections such as coughs and colds, as this may be a sign of low white blood cells
  • a change in your liver function, which can cause jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes)
If you get any serious effects, you should visit your nearest A&E or call 999.

What are the long term side effects of candesartan?

Candesartan can be taken long term, meaning it is usually safe to take for a long time. Taking ARBs can cause a change in your kidney function. This means they will not work as well as they should. When you are taking candesartan, your doctor will review you regularly and check the health of your kidneys. 

Candesartan erectile dysfunction

There is nothing listed on the side effects to show that candesartan can give you erectile dysfunction. High blood pressure can cause erectile dysfunction, as it makes it harder for blood to get to your penis. If you have erectile dysfunction, speak to your doctor. 

Does candesartan cause weight gain?

At the moment, there is not enough evidence to show that candesartan causes weight gain. If your weight increases whilst you are taking candesartan, speak to your doctor. 

Why does candesartan cause a cough?

It is not known why candesartan can cause a cough but there is less chance of getting a cough from candesartan than some other high blood pressure medications, such as ACE inhibitors. 

What happens if I stop taking candesartan?

If you stop taking candesartan, your blood pressure will increase. It is best to keep taking the medication, even when your blood pressure is in the normal range, unless advised to stop by a doctor. Never stop taking candesartan without speaking with your doctor first. 

Candesartan and gout 

Gout is a condition that is caused by too much uric acid in your blood. This can lead to a buildup of uric acid around your joints, causing pain. Candesartan has not been shown to increase levels of uric acid, so should not increase your risk of gout. 
Candesartan is not suitable for everyone. Some medications and health conditions can make candesartan not work effectively or may cause side effects.

You should not take candesartan if you:
  • are allergic to candesartan, or other ARBs 
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • have severe liver disease
  • have impaired kidney function and take aliskiren, which is a high blood pressure medication
If you have a medical condition, it may mean your dosage needs to be changed, or you need to be reviewed by your doctor more regularly.

Speak to your doctor if you have:
  • liver, heart, or kidney problems
  • diabetes
  • recently had a transplant
  • Conn’s syndrome, which is a disease of the adrenal gland
  • had severe vomiting (being sick) or diarrhoea in the last 48 hours
  • low blood pressure
  • ever had a stroke
Some medicines should not be taken with candesartan as it can affect the way it works. 

Speak to your doctor if you take:
  • lithium, for mental health problems
  • diuretics (water tablets)
  • heparin, a blood thinner
  • any medication that changes the potassium levels in your blood
  • Aspirin, for pain and inflammation
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen
  • any other medication for high blood pressure
  • medication for heart failure

Candesartan and Viagra

Viagra can be taken with candesartan but you should speak to your doctor first. Viagra can also lower your blood pressure, so you may get side effects such as headaches and dizziness. Your doctor can advise how to take Viagra safely, or suggest other treatment for erectile dysfunction. 

What painkillers can I take with candesartan?

Candesartan may not always be safely taken with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which are painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen. When taken together, this can affect the kidneys. Speak to your doctor if you take these medications. You can take other painkillers, such as paracetamol. 

Foods to avoid when taking candesartan

Candesartan can cause an increase in the level of potassium in your blood. This means you should not use salt substitutes, like Lo-Salt, which can also increase potassium levels. There are no other foods that need to be avoided. You should avoid alcohol if you can, especially if it makes you lightheaded or dizzy. 

Candesartan and grapefruit

There is no evidence that candesartan and grapefruit interact with each other. If you are worried, speak to your doctor.

Candesartan and coffee

Coffee contains caffeine, meaning it can affect your blood pressure. If you drink a lot of coffee, this could affect how well candesartan works. It can also change your blood pressure readings, making it harder to tell if your tablets are working properly. 

Coronavirus and candesartan

There has been no evidence to show that candesartan can worsen coronavirus symptoms. The NHS suggests that you keep taking your medication, even if you get coronavirus. 
If Candesartan is unsuitable for you, there are a number of other blood pressure tablets that can help to control and manage your blood pressure. Candesartan is a type of medication called an ARB (angiotensin receptor blocker), so other ARBs may be suitable for you.

Candesartan alternatives include:
You can also find other high blood pressure medications, such as ACE inhibitors, beta blockers, and calcium-channel blockers. 

What if candesartan does not work?

If candesartan does not work, your doctor will review your dose. If candesartan still does not work for you, they may try another similar treatment, or find another group of medications to help. You can take candesartan with other high blood pressure medications, which can work together to lower your blood pressure. 

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Reviewed by: Dr Louisa Draper in line with the Superdrug Online Editorial Process.

GMC no. 6149137

Dr Draper studied at the University of Oxford and finished her training to become a doctor at University College London, with a special interest in innovation in medicine, online and digital medicine, improving access to healthcare and reducing inequalities in health and well-being.

Last reviewed on: 01/04/22