ATACAND (Page 2 of 7)

4 CONTRAINDICATIONS

ATACAND is contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to candesartan.

Do not co-administer aliskiren with ATACAND in patients with diabetes [see Drug Interactions (7.4)].

5 WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS

5.1 Fetal Toxicity

ATACAND can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Use of drugs that act on the renin-angiotensin system during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy reduces fetal renal function and increases fetal and neonatal morbidity and death. Resulting oligohydramnios can be associated with fetal lung hypoplasia and skeletal deformations. Potential neonatal adverse effects include skull hypoplasia, anuria, hypotension, renal failure and death. When pregnancy is detected, discontinue ATACAND as soon as possible [see Use in Specific Populations (8.1)].

5.2 Morbidity in Infants

Children < 1 year of age must not receive ATACAND for hypertension. Drugs that act directly on the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) can have effects on the development of immature kidneys.

5.3 Hypotension

ATACAND can cause symptomatic hypotension. Symptomatic hypotension is most likely to occur in patients who have been volume and/or salt depleted as a result of prolonged diuretic therapy, dietary salt restriction, dialysis, diarrhea, or vomiting. Patients with symptomatic hypotension may require temporarily reducing the dose of ATACAND, diuretic or both, and volume repletion. Volume and/or salt depletion should be corrected before initiating therapy with ATACAND.

In the CHARM program (heart failure patients), hypotension was reported in 18.8% of patients on ATACAND versus 9.8% of patients on placebo. The incidence of hypotension leading to drug discontinuation in ATACAND-treated patients was 4.1% compared with 2.0% in placebo-treated patients. In the CHARM-Added program, where candesartan or placebo was given in addition to ACE inhibitors, hypotension was reported in 22.6% of patients treated with ATACAND versus 13.8% treated with placebo [see Drug Interactions (7.3)].

Monitoring of blood pressure is recommended during dose escalation and periodically thereafter.

Major Surgery/Anesthesia

Hypotension may occur during major surgery and anesthesia in patients treated with angiotensin II receptor antagonists, including ATACAND, due to blockade of the renin-angiotensin system. Very rarely, hypotension may be severe such that it may warrant the use of intravenous fluids and/or vasopressors.

5.4 Impaired Renal Function

Monitor renal function periodically in patients treated with ATACAND. Changes in renal function including acute renal failure can be caused by drugs that inhibit the renin-angiotensin system. Patients whose renal function may depend, in part, on the activity of the renin-angiotensin system (e.g., patient with renal artery stenosis, chronic kidney disease, severe heart failure, or volume depletion) may be at particular risk of developing oliguria, progressive azotemia or acute renal failure when treated with ATACAND. Consider withholding or discontinuing therapy in patients who develop a clinically significant decrease in renal function on ATACAND.

In the CHARM program (heart failure patients), the incidence of abnormal renal function (e.g., creatinine increase) was 12.5% in patients treated with ATACAND versus 6.3% in patients treated with placebo. The incidence of abnormal renal function (e.g., creatinine increase) leading to drug discontinuation in ATACAND-treated patients was 6.3% compared with 2.9% in placebo-treated patients. In the CHARM-Added program, where candesartan or placebo was given in addition to ACE inhibitors, the incidence of abnormal renal function (e.g., creatinine increase) was 15% in patients treated with ATACAND versus 9% in patients treated with placebo [see Drug Interactions (7.3)].

5.5 Hyperkalemia

Drugs that inhibit the renin-angiotensin system can cause hyperkalemia.
Concomitant use of ATACAND with drugs that increase potassium levels may increase the risk of hyperkalemia [see Drug Interactions (7.1)].

Monitor serum potassium periodically.

In the CHARM program (heart failure patients), the incidence of hyperkalemia was 6.3% in patients treated with ATACAND versus 2.1% in patients treated with placebo. The incidence of hyperkalemia leading to drug discontinuation in ATACAND-treated patients was 2.4% compared with 0.6% in placebo-treated patients. In the CHARM-Added program where candesartan or placebo was given in addition to ACE inhibitors, the incidence of hyperkalemia was 9.5% in patients treated with ATACAND versus 3.5% in patients treated with placebo [see Drug Interactions (7.1)].

6 ADVERSE REACTIONS

6.1 Clinical Studies Experience

Because clinical studies are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical studies of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical studies of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.

Adult Hypertension

ATACAND has been evaluated for safety in more than 3600 patients/subjects, including more than 3200 patients treated for hypertension. About 600 of these patients were studied for at least 6 months and about 200 for at least 1 year. In general, treatment with ATACAND was well tolerated. The overall incidence of adverse events reported with ATACAND was similar to placebo.

The rate of withdrawals due to adverse events in all trials in patients (7510 total) was 3.3% (i.e., 108 of 3260) of patients treated with ATACAND as monotherapy and 3.5% (i.e., 39 of 1106) of patients treated with placebo. In placebo-controlled trials, discontinuation of therapy due to clinical adverse events occurred in 2.4% (i.e., 57 of 2350) of patients treated with ATACAND and 3.4% (i.e., 35 of 1027) of patients treated with placebo.

The most common reasons for discontinuation of therapy with ATACAND were headache (0.6%) and dizziness (0.3%).

The adverse events that occurred in placebo-controlled clinical trials in at least 1% of patients treated with ATACAND and at a higher incidence in candesartan cilexetil (n = 2350) than placebo (n = 1027) patients included back pain (3% vs. 2%), dizziness (4% vs. 3%), upper respiratory tract infection (6% vs. 4%), pharyngitis (2% vs. 1%), and rhinitis (2% vs. 1%).

Pediatric Hypertension

Among children in clinical studies, 1 in 93 children age 1 to < 6 and 3 in 240 age 6 to < 17 experienced worsening renal disease. The association between candesartan and exacerbation of the underlying condition could not be excluded.

Heart Failure

The adverse event profile of ATACAND in adult heart failure patients was consistent with the pharmacology of the drug and the health status of the patients. In the CHARM program, comparing ATACAND in total daily doses up to 32 mg once daily (n=3803) with placebo (n=3796), 21.0% of patients discontinued ATACAND for adverse events vs. 16.1% of placebo patients.

6.2 Postmarketing Experience

The following adverse reactions were identified during post-approval use of ATACAND. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

The following have been very rarely reported in post-marketing experience:

Digestive: Abnormal hepatic function and hepatitis.

Hematologic: Neutropenia, leukopenia, and agranulocytosis.

Immunologic: Angioedema

Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders: Hyperkalemia, hyponatremia.

Respiratory System Disorders: Cough.

Skin and Appendages Disorders: Pruritus, rash and urticaria.

Rare reports of rhabdomyolysis have been reported in patients receiving angiotensin II receptor blockers.

7 DRUG INTERACTIONS

7.1 Agents Increasing Serum Potassium

Co-administration of ATACAND with potassium sparing diuretics, potassium supplements, potassium-containing salt substitutes or other drugs that raise serum potassium levels may result in hyperkalemia. Monitor serum potassium in such patients.

7.2 Lithium

Increases in serum lithium concentrations and toxicity have been reported during concomitant administration of lithium with angiotensin II receptor antagonists, including ATACAND. Monitor serum lithium levels.

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