Subclinical alteration of taste sensitivity induced by candesartan in healthy subjects

Article date: June 2004

By: Shuichi Tsuruoka, Michi Wakaumi, Kenta Nishiki, Nobutaka Araki, Kenichi Harada, Koichi Sugimoto, Akio Fujimura, in Volume 57, Issue 6, pages 807-812


There have been case reports of taste disturbance for the angiotensin II receptor blockers losartan and valsartan, but not for candesartan. This study was undertaken to examine whether candesartan causes taste disturbance.


Candesartan cilexetil (4 mg day−1) or vehicle was given to healthy volunteers (n = 8) for 7 days in a randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled, cross‐over design with a 2‐week washout period. Clinical gustometry using the filter‐paper disc test and electrogustometry were sequentially performed before and at the end of each trial. Serum and salivary zinc concentrations were also measured.


Detection thresholds of four basic tastes (sweet, salty, sour and bitter) determined by the paper disc test were significantly (P < 0.05 in all tests) worsened (i.e. score of test increased) after repeated dosing of the drug, although the subjects did not notice such changes. The mean ± SEM (and 95% CI) scores of the four tastes at just before the seventh dosing of candesartan or vehicle was 3.38 ± 0.32 (3.02, 3.74) and 2.63 ± 0.18 (2.18, 3.08) for sweetness, 3.63 ± 0.38 (4.49, 2.77) and 2.63 ± 0.26 (3.27, 1.98) for salt, 4.01 ± 0.42 (3.04, 4.98) and 2.61 ± 0.32 (3.35, 1.87) for sourness, 4.01 ± 0.38 (3.22, 4.80) and 2.99 ± 0.33 (2.24, 3.74) for bitterness, for candesartan and placebo, respectively. Electrogustometry confirmed the candesartan‐related taste disturbance. Serum and salivary zinc concentrations were not influenced by candesartan.


These data suggest that candesartan subclinically reduces taste sensitivity after repeated dosing in healthy subjects. Because similar events are reported for losartan and valsartan in case reports, this adverse effect might be a class effect of angiotensin‐II receptor blockers (ARBs).

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2003.02063.x

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