|Pharmacotherapeutic group: Angiotensin II antagonists, plain, ATC code C09C A06. Angiotensin II is the primary vasoactive hormone of the renin-angiotensinaldosterone system and plays a role in the pathophysiology of hypertension, heart failure and other cardiovascular disorders. It also has a role in the pathogenesis of end organ hypertrophy and damage. The major physiological effects of angiotensin II, such as vasoconstriction, aldosterone stimulation, regulation of salt and water homeostasis and stimulation of cell growth, are mediated via the type 1 (AT1) receptor.Candesartan cilexetil is a prodrug suitable for oral use. It is rapidly converted to the active substance, candesartan, by ester hydrolysis during absorption from the gastrointestinal tract. Candesartan is an AIIRA, selective for AT1 receptors, with tight binding to and slow dissociation from the receptor. It has no agonist activity.Candesartan does not inhibit ACE, which converts angiotensin I to angiotensin II and degrades bradykinin. There is no effect on ACE and no potentiation of bradykinin or substance P. In controlled clinical trials comparing candesartan with ACE inhibitors, the incidence of cough was lower in patients receiving candesartan cilexetil. Candesartan does not bind to or block other hormone receptors or ion channels known to be important in cardiovascular regulation. The antagonism of the angiotensin II (AT1) receptors results in dose related increases in plasma renin levels, angiotensin I and angiotensin II levels, and a decrease in plasma aldosterone concentration.|
HypertensionIn hypertension, candesartan causes a dose-dependent, long-lasting reduction in arterial blood pressure. The antihypertensive action is due to decreased systemic peripheral resistance, without reflex increase in heart rate. There is no indication of serious or exaggerated first dose hypotension or rebound effect after cessation of treatment.After administration of a single dose of candesartan cilexetil, onset of antihypertensive effect generally occurs within 2 hours. With continuous treatment, most of the reduction in blood pressure with any dose is generally attained within four weeks and is sustained during long-term treatment. According to a meta-analysis, the average additional effect of a dose increase from 16 mg to 32 mg once daily was small. Taking into account the inter-individual variability, a more than average effect can be expected in some patients. Candesartan cilexetil once daily provides effective and smooth blood pressure reduction over 24 hours, with little difference between maximum and trough effects during the dosing interval. The antihypertensive effect and tolerability of candesartan and losartan were compared in two randomised, double-blind studies in a total of 1,268 patients with mild to moderate hypertension. The trough blood pressure reduction (systolic/diastolic) was 13.1/10.5 mmHg with candesartan cilexetil 32 mg once daily and 10.0/8.7 mmHg with losartan potassium 100 mg once daily (difference in blood pressure reduction 3.1/1.8 mmHg, p<0.0001/p<0.0001). When candesartan cilexetil is used together with hydrochlorothiazide, the reduction in blood pressure is additive. An increased antihypertensive effect is also seen when candesartan cilexetil is combined with amlodipine or felodipine.Medicinal products that block the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system have less pronounced antihypertensive effect in black patients (usually a low-renin population) than in non-black patients. This is also the case for candesartan. In an open label clinical experience trial in 5,156 patients with diastolic hypertension, the blood pressure reduction during candesartan treatment was significantly less in black than non-black patients (14.4/10.3 mmHg vs 19.0/12.7 mmHg, p<0.0001/p<0.0001).Candesartan increases renal blood flow and either has no effect on or increases glomerular filtration rate while renal vascular resistance and filtration fraction are reduced. In a 3-month clinical study in hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and microalbuminuria, antihypertensive treatment with candesartan cilexetil reduced urinary albumin excretion (albumin/creatinine ratio, mean 30%, 95% CI 15-42%). There are currently no data on the effect of candesartan on the progression to diabetic nephropathy.The effects of candesartan cilexetil 8-16 mg (mean dose 12 mg) once daily, on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality were evaluated in a randomised clinical trial with 4,937 elderly patients (aged 70-89 years; 21% aged 80 or above) with mild to moderate hypertension followed for a mean of 3.7 years (Study on COgnition and Prognosis in the Elderly). Patients received candesartan cilexetil or placebo with other antihypertensive treatment added as needed. The blood pressure was reduced from 166/90 to 145/80 mmHg in the candesartan group, and from 167/90 to 149/82mmHg in the control group. There was no statistically significant difference in the primary endpoint, major cardiovascular events (cardiovascular mortality, non-fatal stroke and non-fatal myocardial infarction). There were 26.7 events per 1000 patient-years in the candesartan group versus 30.0 events per 1000 patient-years in the control group (relative risk 0.89, 95% CI 0.75 to 1.06, p=0.19).
Heart failureTreatment with candesartan cilexetil reduces mortality, reduces hospitalisation due to heart failure and improves symptoms in patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction as shown in the Candesartan in Heart failure Assessment of Reduction in Mortality and morbidity (CHARM) programme.This placebo controlled, double-blind study programme in chronic heart failure (CHF) patients with NYHA functional class II to IV consisted of three separate studies: CHARM-Alternative (n=2,028) in patients with LVEF ≤ 40% not treated with an ACE inhibitor because of intolerance (mainly due to cough, 72%), CHARM-Added (n=2,548) in patients with LVEF 40% and treated with an ACE inhibitor, and CHARM-Preserved (n=3,023) in patients with LVEF>40%. Patients on optimal CHF therapy at baseline were randomised to placebo or candesartan cilexetil (titrated from 4 mg or 8 mg once daily to 32 mg once daily or the highest tolerated dose, mean dose 24 mg) and followed for a median of 37.7 months. After 6 months of treatment 63% of the patients still taking candesartan cilexetil (89%) were at the target dose of 32 mg.In CHARM-Alternative, the composite endpoint of cardiovascular mortality or first CHF hospitalisation was significantly reduced with candesartan in comparison with placebo hazard ratio (HR) 0.77 (95% CI: 0.67 to 0.89, p<0.001). This corresponds to a relative risk reduction of 23%. Of candesartan patients 33.0% (95% CI: 30.1 to 36.0) and of placebo patients 40.0% (95%CI: 37.0 to 43.1) experienced this endpoint, absolute difference 7.0% (95% CI: 11.2 to 2.8). Fourteen patients needed to be treated for the duration of the study to prevent one patient from dying of a cardiovascular event or being hospitalised for treatment of heart failure. The composite endpoint of all-cause mortality or first CHF hospitalisation was also significantly reduced with candesartan HR 0.80 (95% CI: 0.70 to 0.92, p=0.001). Of candesartan patients 36.6% (95% CI: 33.7 to 39.7) and of placebo patients 42.7% (95% CI: 39.6 to 45.8) experienced this endpoint, absolute difference 6.0% (95% CI: 10.3 to 1.8). Both the mortality and morbidity (CHF hospitalisation) components of these composite endpoints contributed to the favourable effects of candesartan. Treatment with candesartan cilexetil resulted in improved NYHA functional class (p=0.008).In CHARM-Added, the composite endpoint of cardiovascular mortality or first CHF hospitalisation was significantly reduced with candesartan in comparison with placebo HR 0.85 (95% CI: 0.75 to 0.96, p=0.011). This corresponds to a relative risk reduction of 15%. Of candesartan patients 37.9% (95% CI: 35.2 to 40.6) and of placebo patients 42.3% (95% CI: 39.6 to 45.1) experienced this endpoint, absolute difference 4.4% (95% CI: 8.2 to 0.6). Twenty-three patients needed to be treated for the duration of the study to prevent one patient from dying of a cardiovascular event or being hospitalised for treatment of heart failure. The composite endpoint of all-cause mortality or first CHF hospitalisation was also significantly reduced with candesartan HR 0.87 (95% CI: 0.78 to 0.98, p=0.021). Of candesartan patients 42.2% (95% CI: 39.5 to 45.0) and of placebo patients 46.1% (95% CI: 43.4 to 48.9) experienced this endpoint, absolute difference 3.9% (95% CI: 7.8 to 0.1). Both the mortality and morbidity components of these composite endpoints contributed to the favourable effects of candesartan. Treatment with candesartan cilexetil resulted in improved NYHA functional class (p=0.020).In CHARM-Preserved, no statistically significant reduction was achieved in the composite endpoint of cardiovascular mortality or first CHF hospitalisation HR 0.89 (95% CI: 0.77 to 1.03, p=0.118). All-cause mortality was not statistically significant when examined separately in each of the three CHARM studies. However, all-cause mortality was also assessed in pooled populations, CHARM-Alternative and CHARM-Added HR 0.88 (95% CI: 0.79 to 0.98, p=0.018) and all three studies HR 0.91 (95% CI: 0.83 to 1.00, p=0.055).The beneficial effects of candesartan were consistent irrespective of age, gender and concomitant medication. Candesartan was effective also in patients taking both beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors at the same time, and the benefit was obtained whether or not patients were taking ACE inhibitors at the target dose recommended by treatment guidelines.In patients with CHF and depressed left ventricular systolic function (left ventricular ejection fraction, LVEF ≤ 40%), candesartan decreases systemic vascular resistance and pulmonary capillary wedge pressure, increases plasma renin activity and angiotensin II concentration, and decreases aldosterone levels.