Candesartan is an angiotensin-receptor blocker (ARB) that may be used alone or with other agents to treat hypertension. It is administered orally as the prodrug, candesartan cilexetil, which is rapidly converted to its active metabolite, candesartan, during absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. Candesartan lowers blood pressure by antagonizing the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS); it competes with angiotensin II for binding to the type-1 angiotensin II receptor (AT1) subtype and prevents the blood pressure increasing effects of angiotensin II. Unlike angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, ARBs do not have the adverse effect of dry cough. Candesartan may be used to treat hypertension, isolated systolic hypertension, left ventricular hypertrophy and diabetic nephropathy. It may also be used as an alternative agent for the treatment of heart failure, systolic dysfunction, myocardial infarction and coronary artery disease.

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