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Atacand HCT is a combination drug your doctor may prescribe if you have high blood pressure, medically known as hypertension. Atacand HCT or generic Candesartan HCTZ is an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) with a diuretic known as hydrochlorothiazide (HCT or HCTZ). Together the active ingredients in Atacand HCT can help to lower your blood pressure and remove excess water and sodium from your body. Hypertension does not display any symptoms, unless it is severe, so many people are not even aware they are at risk for a heart attack, stroke, or kidney disease. The generic alternative is not manufactured by the company that makes the brand product.
Angiotensin I is a hormone in your body that has no known biological functions in itself, but it is metabolized as it passes in your bloodstream through your lungs and kidneys to produce angiotensin II with the help of the angiotensin converting enzyme. As angiotensin II attaches to receptors found throughout your body, it has several effects that include constricting your blood vessels. This will increase your blood pressure and cause your heart to work harder to pump blood.
Atacand HCT will prevent angiotensin II from binding to receptors so your blood vessels remain relaxed while the diuretic, hydrochlorothiazide, will inhibit your kidney’s ability to retain water. These actions reduce your heart’s workload and your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Hypertension is usually a surprise diagnosis from your doctor during a regular exam. The causes may include stress, high salt intake, problems with alcohol, or obesity. Some individuals can control their blood pressure by being more vigilant about what they are eating, exercising more, reducing stress, and kicking their nicotine habit. You may even be able to avoid taking medication! This lifestyle change does not work for everyone, so Atacand HCT may be prescribed to help regulate your blood pressure (BP) and save you from sustaining any permanent damage from the force of blood against the arterial walls.
You should not take Atacand HCT if you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or are breast feeding as it is harmful for your unborn and nursing baby. You should take a pregnancy test to be certain you are not expecting and use an effective birth control pill or device to avoid pregnancy while taking Atacand HCT.
Explain other health conditions or allergies you have to your doctor and list any OTC and Rx drugs you are taking, including herbal remedies and vitamin supplements so your doctor can determine if Atacand HCT is the right medication for you.
Until you know how Atacand HCT will affect you, do not drive, operate machinery, or perform any tasks that are considered unsafe. Because Atacand HCT increases your urine output, take it 3-4 hours before bed so you aren’t disturbed in the night. You should drink extra fluids throughout the day while taking Atacand HCT because you will be increasing your output and could become dehydrated. You may also become more sensitive to UV rays while taking Atacand HCT so avoid exposure to sunlight and tanning beds and wear a strong SPF cream and protective clothing.