Candesartan is classified as an angiotensin II receptor type 1 antagonist. Candesartan is an orally active lipophilic drug and possesses rapid oral absorption. It causes a reduction in blood pressure and is used in the treatment of hypertension. It is also used in the treatment of congestive heart failure and given as prophylaxis to reduce the severity and duration of migraine. Candesartan cilexetil, a prodrug of Candesartan, is available in the market under the trade names Atacand, Amias. Candesartan cilexetil is rapidly converted to candesartan, its active metabolite, during absorption from the gastrointestinal tract. Candesartan confers blood pressure lowering effects by antagonizing the hypertensive effects of angiotensin II via the RAAS (renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system). RAAS is a homeostatic mechanism for regulating hemodynamics, water, and electrolyte balance. During sympathetic stimulation or when renal blood pressure or blood flow is reduced, renin is released from granular cells of the juxtaglomerular apparatus in the kidneys. Renin cleaves circulating angiotensinogen to angiotensin I, which is cleaved by angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) to angiotensin II. Angiotensin II increases blood pressure by increasing total peripheral resistance, increasing sodium and water reabsorption in the kidneys via aldosterone secretion, and altering the cardiovascular structure. Angiotensin II binds to two receptors: type-1 angiotensin II receptor (AT1) and type-2 angiotensin II receptor (AT2). Candesartan selectively blocks the binding of angiotensin II to AT1 in many tissues including vascular smooth muscle and the adrenal glands. This inhibits the AT1-mediated vasoconstrictive and aldosterone-secreting effects of angiotensin II and results in an overall decrease in blood pressure. Candesartan is greater than 10,000 times more selective for AT1 than AT2. NCATS
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