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Once you've started taking Candesartan for high blood pressure, reorder you medication without a face-to-face doctor appointment.

Use our free online assessment to order up to 6 months worth of your Candesartan and your online doctor will check you can still take you medication. If you can, we'll post your Candesartan to your door.

Candesartan 4mg from £18
Candesartan 8mg from £19
Candesartan 16mg from £20
Candesartan 32mg from £20

Prices include prescription and delivery.

What is candesartan for?

Candesartan is one of the medicines that can be used to manage high blood pressure (hypertension). It is also used by some people with heart failure.

How does it work?

If you have high blood pressure, then there is too much strain being put on your blood vessels. This can cause damage in the long-run so medicine like candesartan is used. It counteracts another chemical in your body and allows your blood vessels to relax, decreasing the pressure inside them.

There is a hormone in your body called angiotensin II. Its job is to increase blood pressure. Angiotensin II is able to attach itself to angiotensin-receptors in your body. Once attached this triggers the muscles around your blood vessels to squeeze inwards. This constriction or narrowing of the blood vessels causes the blood inside to be put under a higher pressure.

Candesartan can attach itself to the same angiotensin-receptors, but without triggering the same reaction. After you take candesartan, it is put in competition with angiotensin II for the receptors. Once attached to the receptors candesartan can block angiotensin II from attaching. Without the constant triggering from angiotensin II, the muscles squeezing your blood vessels can start to relax. This allows the vessels to dilate or widen, and the pressure on your blood will decrease.

Who is it for?

Candesartan is for people with high blood pressure (hypertension). A diagnosis of hypertension is usually made if your blood pressure is 140/90 mmHg or higher. Candesartan can be the preferred choice for some people, but it might not be suitable for everyone.

Candesartan is just one of the many medicines used to manage blood pressure. It may be recommended for the following groups of people.

  • People under the age of 55 years.

  • People who are not black (of African or Caribbean origin).

  • People that have tried other blood pressure medicines, but are experiencing side effects.

  • People that have tried other blood pressure medicines, but still have high blood pressure.

  • Candesartan is not usually not recommended for the following groups of people.

  • Pregnant or breastfeeding women.

  • People with cholestasis.

  • People with severe liver problems.

Why do I need to lower my blood pressure?

Having high blood pressure means that your blood vessels and heart are put under a higher level of stress than they are used to coping with. The extra strain is also felt by organs such as the brain, kidneys and eyes.

This strain put on your body puts you at higher risk of problems such as:

  • Heart failure – a heart too weak or stiff to pump blood properly.

  • Coronary artery disease – a blockage in the supply of blood to the heart's muscles that can cause angina or a heart attack.

  • Stroke – when blood supply to part of the brain is stopped or restricted.

  • Chronic kidney disease – when the kidneys stop working as they should.

  • Peripheral arterial disease – a blockage in the supply of blood to the legs.

  • Vascular dementia – damage to the brain caused by reduced blood flow.

It has been calculated that for every 10 mmHg you're able to lower your blood pressure by, there's a 13% reduction in your chance of dying from any cause.

How quickly does it work?

Candesartan can reduce your blood pressure within two hours of the first dose, but it takes about four weeks before it reaches its maximum effectiveness.

Hypertension is a persistent condition, so it is likely that you will need to take medicine to manage your blood pressure long-term. Your doctor will want to see you at least once a year to review your blood pressure. They may decide to increase or decrease your dosage or change your prescription depending on how you're doing.

Dosages of Candesartan include:

  • 4mg - recommended starting dosage

  • 8mg

  • 16mg

  • 32mg

If your blood pressure has been well controlled for a long time and you're only using one medicine to manage it, or if you've made changes to your lifestyle to reduce your blood pressure, your doctor may decide you may be able to trial a period without medicine.

If you are considering a trial without medicine, you should speak to your doctor first. Your dosage will need to be gradually reduced over time, and regular blood pressure checks will be required.

Can you order candesartan online?

Yes, you can order candesartan from an online doctor service such as Superdrug Online Doctor. This service is a convenient alternative to your local GP.

Candesartan is a prescription-only medicine. If you choose to order candesartan in person, you will need to make an appointment to see your GP. A prescription can then be taken to your pharmacy to dispense the medicine.

If you choose to order candesartan online, you will have the opportunity to get an assessment from a doctor without needing a face-to-face consultation. They will be able to assess your condition and background with a view to providing a prescription, providing this is something you have already been established on by your GP or specialist. Medicines are sent to your door by post.

Is it better to treat high blood pressure naturally?

The best approach to treating high blood pressure is a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. This is because:

  • Lifestyle changes don’t work fast enough to reduce the risk to your health - so medicine works best in tackling the problem quickly.

  • Medication can lower your blood pressure but won’t cure the cause of your high blood pressure - so lifestyle changes are the best way to help your blood pressure long-term.

If you make enough lifestyle changes you might be able to stop taking your medication.

Generally, it is possible to reduce your blood pressure naturally with lifestyle changes. If your blood pressure is only a little above normal and your doctor is satisfied that you are otherwise healthy, then lifestyle changes alone may be enough to bring your blood pressure down.

However, changes to your lifestyle may not reduce your blood pressure as quickly or effectively as medicine. If you have been diagnosed with hypertension and prescribed medicine, it is important that you take medicine in addition to any lifestyle changes you've chosen to make.

The reason people are prescribed medicine for their blood pressure is to lower their risk of developing a serious disease which could result in disability or death. Natural methods of decreasing your blood pressure will also reduce this risk, but not as much as both together.

If you're having problems with your medicine and are considering stopping treatment, you should speak with a doctor. They may be able to adjust your dose or switch your treatment to something that suits you better.

Lifestyle changes that you can make that can prevent or lower high blood pressure include:

  • Eating less salt in your diet.

  • Losing weight if you're overweight.

  • Drinking less alcohol if you drink too much (less than 14 units a week).

  • Exercising regularly and staying active.

  • Drinking less caffeine (no more than four cups of coffee a day).

  • Eating less sweets and red meats.

  • Drinking less sugary drinks.

  • Quit smoking if you're a smoker.

  • Getting enough sleep at night.

Studies have shown that a diet rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium and fibre, but low in sodium and saturated fat may help in reducing your blood pressure. Try eating things like:

  • Fruits such as apples or bananas.

  • Vegetables like broccoli, spinach or carrots.

  • Low-fat dairy foods such as Greek yoghurt.

  • Whole-grain foods like brown rice or oatmeal.

  • Lean meats like fish or chicken.

  • Unsalted nuts, beans and seeds.

There is some evidence that fish oil supplements can cause a slight reduction in your blood pressure. They are also thought to reduce your risk of heart and blood problems.

Potassium, calcium and magnesium supplements have also been shown to reduce blood pressure.

Is candesartan my only option?

There are many medicines available to manage blood pressure. Usually, your doctor will start you on either an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor (ACE inhibitor) or a calcium-channel blocker (CCB).

If you are younger than 55 years and are not black (of African or Caribbean origin) you are most likely a person with ‘high renin’ so your doctor will usually recommend an ACE inhibitor such as:

If you are older than 55 years or black then you are likely to be a person with ‘low renin’, so a CCB is usually a better choice than an ACE inhibitor. CCBs include:

  • Amlodipine

  • Felodipine

  • Nifedipine

  • Verapamil

Candesartan is from a family of drugs called angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARBs). These work in a similar way to ACE inhibitors and are often used as an alternative when a person does not get on well with an ACE inhibitor, for example, if an ACE inhibitor is causing them to cough. Medicines in the ARB family include:

  • Candesartan

  • Irbesartan

  • Losartan

  • Valsartan

The choice over which ARB is best for you will depend on what other conditions you have and where your doctor thinks you are at highest risk. Candesartan is thought to be better at preventing heart failure, whereas losartan may be better at preventing stroke. Your doctor will be able to recommend a preferred treatment option based on your medical history.

If your blood pressure cannot be managed with just one medicine, your doctor’s next step will be to try two together. If you’re taking an ACE inhibitor or an ARB, they may add a CCB. Similarly, if you’re taking a CCB, they may add an ACE inhibitor or an ARB.

If this still doesn’t control your blood pressure well enough they may decide to add a third medicine from a family called thiazide-type diuretics, such as:

Depending on the condition of your health, some of the above medicines may not be suitable for you. If this is the case your doctor may prescribe medicines from the list below. People with especially hard to control blood pressure may need to take four or more different medicines.

  • Beta-blockers regulate the heart rate. They are sometimes used to manage hypertension when other medicines cannot be used for health reasons, or where they are not effective enough.
    • Atenolol

    • Bisoprolol

    • Carvedilol

    • Metoprolol

    • Nebivolol

    • Propranolol

    • Timolol

  • Spironolactone reduces the amount of fluid in your body to reduce the pressure on the blood. It is sometimes added to a person's prescription if a combination of the above medicines has still not been able to bring down their blood pressure enough.

  • Alpha-blockers relax the muscles around the blood vessels. They may also be added to reduce blood pressure further if some of the other medicines are not suitable because of other health conditions.

    • Doxazosin

    • Terazosin

Could I get side effects?

As with all medicines, there is a risk of experiencing side effects when taking candesartan. You should always read the patient information leaflet before you start taking any new medicine. The leaflet can be found inside the box, as well as on the internet.

It is possible that candesartan can reduce your number of white blood cells. This means you could be more prone to catching an infection or developing a fever. This would normally be diagnosed using a blood test.

Other common side effects of candesartan that may affect up to 1 in 10 people include:

  • Feeling dizzy, or a spinning sensation.

  • Headache.

  • Respiratory infection.

  • Low blood pressure that can make you feel faint or dizzy.

  • Changes in blood test results, including increased potassium, which may be experienced as tiredness, weakness, irregular heartbeat or pins and needles.

  • Problems with your kidneys.

Very rare side effects have also been reported that may affect up to 1 in 10,000 people:

  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.

  • Decreased red or white blood cells, which may be experienced as tiredness, infection or fever.

  • Skin rash, including lumpy rash (hives).

  • Itching.

  • Back pain, or pain in the joints and muscles.

  • Problems with your liver, which may be experienced as tiredness, yellowing of the skin and eyes, or flu-like symptoms.

  • Nausea.

  • Changes in blood test results, including decreased sodium, which may be experienced as weakness, lack of energy, or muscle cramps.

  • Cough.

If you think you may be experiencing side effects, you should speak to your doctor. They may be able to change your dose or prescription to something more suitable.

Many side effects are minor and may pass with time once your body has adjusted to the new treatment. However, if you are experiencing a serious reaction, including a possible allergic reaction, you should stop taking candesartan and see a doctor as soon as possible.


Brayfield, A. (2017). Martindale: The Complete Drug Reference (39th ed.). London: Pharmaceutical Press.

Clinical knowledge summaries (2017). Hypertension - not diabetic. NICE.

Dézsi, C. A. (2016). The Different Therapeutic Choices with ARBs. Which One to Give? When? Why? Am J Cardiovasc Drugs; 16: 255-266.

Drugbank (2017). Candesartan cilexetil. Canadian Institutes of Health Research. [online] Available at: [Accessed 16th November 2017].

Electronic Medicines Compendium (2014). Candesartan 4mg, 8mg, 16mg and 32mg tablets. Barnstaple: Actavis.

Evidence Analysis Library (2015). Hypertension (HTN) guideline. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Randall, M. D. and Neil, K. E. (2016). Disease Management 3rd ed. London: Pharmaceutical Press.

If you have a question about this service, please email with the question, and one of our doctors will get back to you within 24 hours.

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