Atacand HCT is a drug used to help lower blood pressure in adults. It comes in tablet form and is typically taken once a day. Because it is a combination of two medications -- Atacand and hydrochlorothiazide -- it has been shown to cause a greater drop in blood pressure than if either medication was used alone. Common side effects include back pain or dizziness.
Atacand HCT is a combination of two medicines -- Atacand® and hydrochlorothiazide. Atacand is a newer type of blood pressure medicine known as an angiotensin II receptor blocker, or ARB for short. As the name of its drug class implies, Atacand blocks angiotensin II receptors. This decreases the effectiveness of a chemical known as angiotensin II, which normally causes blood vessels to narrow (constrict). By blocking the effects of angiotensin II, Atacand causes blood vessels to relax.
Hydrochlorothiazide is a diuretic, which is commonly referred to as a "water pill." It works by increasing the amount of salt and water the kidneys remove from the blood. This extra salt and water is passed out through the urine. By increasing the amount of water removed from the blood, hydrochlorothiazide causes a decrease in blood volume.
Because of the effects of both Atacand and hydrochlorothiazide, Atacand HCT can lower blood pressure. Because of its combined effects, Atacand HCT causes a greater drop in blood pressure than when either medicine is used alone.
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Atacand HCT [package insert]. Wilmington, DE: AstraZeneca LP;2012 March.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed December 14, 2012.
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