The prevalence of heart failure is ever increasing around the world, particularly due to aging populations. Despite improvements in treatment over the last 20 years, the prognosis for heart failure remains poor. Among the treatments recommended for chronic heart failure, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and beta-blockers are crucial, provided of course that they are not contraindicated. However, angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) can also be a beneficial treatment option. Candesartan is a particular ARB, characterized by a strong binding affinity to the angiotensin II type 1 receptor and slow dissociation. The benefits of candesartan have been demonstrated by the CHARM programme, which showed that candesartan significantly reduces the incidence of cardiovascular death, hospital admissions for decompensated heart failure, and all-cause mortality in chronic heart failure patients with altered left ventricular systolic function, when added to standard therapies or as an alternative to ACE inhibitors when these are poorly tolerated. Furthermore, candesartan can protect against myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation and diabetes. Tolerance to candesartan is good, but blood pressure and serum potassium and creatinine levels must be monitored
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