Doxazosin which is also available under the brand name Cardura is an alpha 1-andrenergic receptor blocker. The drug works by relaxing the muscle of vascular cells, thereby decreasing the blood pressure and may even produce sedative effects.
Doxazosin comes in dosage strengths of 1 mg, 2 mg, 4 mg and 8 mg. The prescribing doctor may begin the patient on the minimum dose first and gradually increase the strength based on the response to treatment. The biological half-life of the medication is about twenty-two hours.
The drug’s properties make it an effective treatment for high blood pressure (hypertension) and enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The compressed pills may also be used for treatment in patients diagnosed with erectile dysfunction and chronic epididymitis.
Before taking Doxazosin, the patient should be aware of certain health conditions that may affect the efficacy of the blood pressure medicine. People who have conditions like constipation, liver problems, low blood pressure, and any blockages in the digestive tract are not advised to take this drug.
One should also read up the instructions for use on the product label to ensure that the drug is taken correctly. After the initial dosage, there may be symptoms of dizziness or fainting due to the strength of the drug and the first response to treatment. Since high blood pressure does not show any symptoms easily, the drug may be prescribed for long-term use with the dose increased or decreased accordingly.
One should regularly check the blood pressure or prostate condition while on this drug therapy. The drug should never be discontinued or restarted without the healthcare provider’s knowledge and consent. While taking Doxazosin, one should avoid standing up suddenly or standing too long as the individual will be prone to feeling vertigo or dizziness. Nursing women should seek the advice of a medical practitioner before taking this drug as the active ingredient can pass through breast milk.
Usage of Doxazosin can cause side effects like tiredness, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, and low blood pressure. These symptoms go away in a few weeks but when they are more severe and persistent, seek emergency medical attention. One should also be aware and get immediate help for the adverse effects of light-headedness, chest pain, trouble breathing, stomach bloating or pain, erection lasting for four hours or longer and painful erection.
What drugs interact with Doxazosin?
Drugs that the patient should disclose to the healthcare provider to avoid any harmful interactions with this medication are HIV medications, erectile dysfunction pills, antibiotics, antidepressants, and other blood pressure medicines. This medication can also affect the pupil during a cataract surgery and hence the doctor must be informed when taking the drug. Other OTC drugs, vitamins and herbal supplements can also interact harmfully and should be disclosed to the physician.