Doxazosin is a type of medication known as an alpha-blocker. It is used to treat high blood pressure, but can also be prescribed for an enlarged prostate.
Doxazosin works by relaxing blood vessels, which allows the blood to circulate more easily and reduces blood pressure to a healthier level. Doxazosin also relaxes the muscles around the bladder and prostate gland making it easier for men with an enlarged prostate to urinate.
Doxazosin is a long term treatment to keep your blood pressure at healthy levels. You may have to take blood pressure medication for the rest of your life.
Doxazosin is designed for long term use so it is safe to use in this manner.
There are several lifestyle factors which can increase your risk of developing high blood pressure such as being overweight, having a poor diet that is high in salt, not doing enough exercise, drinking too much alcohol, smoking, poor sleep. High blood pressure is also more common in older people, those with a family history of high blood pressure, and those of certain ethnicities. There are several conditions and medications which are known to contribute to the development of high blood pressure. These include:
High blood pressure puts a strain on your organs and blood vessels. This can increase your risk of experiencing:
The active ingredient in the medicine is doxazosin.
The other ingredients contained in doxazosin are Lactose monohydrate, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium starch glycolate (type A) and colloidal anhydrous silica.
Note the same medication from different manufacturers may contain different inactive ingredients.
Doxazosin is not associated with severe allergic reactions in people using the medication, unless specifically allergic to one of the active or inactive ingredients. If you notice a skin rash, facial swelling, trouble breathing, and dizziness shortly after taking the medication, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.
Doxazosin should be taken once a day, either in the morning or at night. The tablets should be swallowed whole with a drink of water and can be taken before or after food. Always take doxazosin exactly as your doctor has instructed.
For immediate-release doxazosin, you will usually begin on a 1 mg dose per day which may be increased after 1–2 weeks.
Always take the dose specified by your doctor. This can vary depending on the severity of your symptoms.
Doxazosin is designed for long term use, it is likely that you will have to take it permanently. Your doctor will let you know how long you should take doxazosin.
Seek immediate medical assistance if you accidentally take too much doxazosin. Taking too much doxazosin could reduce your blood pressure to dangerously low levels and it also increases your risk of experiencing other side effects.
Seek medical assistance if you accidentally take too much doxazosin.
Doxazosin tablets should be swallowed whole with a drink of water. Do not dissolve them or split them unless specifically instructed to do so. Breaking the tablets up can affect how they are absorbed by the body, which can produce unwanted side effects. If you are struggling to swallow your tablet, speak to your doctor for advice, as they may be able to suggest an alternative soluble medication instead.
Common side effects (happening in up to 1 in 10 people) may include:
Uncommon side effects (happening in up to 1 in 100 people) may include:
Rare side effects (happening in up to 1 in 1,000 people) may include:
Very rare side effects (happening in up to 1 in 10,000 people) may include:
If you experience any of the following serious side effects after taking doxazosin tell your doctor right away:
Call an ambulance if you experience any of the following:
If doxazosin makes you feel dizzy, weak or sleepy, sit or lie down until you feel better and avoid driving or using tools. Drinking alcohol is likely to make side effects worse. Take your medication at night if it is making you feel sleepy. Drink plenty of fluids, get enough rest and take a painkiller like Paracetamol if you are getting headaches. Elevate your legs while sitting down if your feet and ankles are swollen and avoid eating meals that are too rich or spicy if you feel sick.
Do not take doxazosin if you:
Tell your doctor if any of the following apply to you before taking doxazosin:
The following medications may interfere with doxazosin:
If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking doxazosin as other medications may be more suitable.
You should talk to your doctor if you are breastfeeding so that they can establish the safety of taking doxazosin.
It's best to avoid drinking alcohol when you start taking doxazosin. Alcohol can increase the effects of doxazosin, reducing your blood pressure significantly and causing lightheadedness and dizziness.
You can take paracetamol alongside doxazosin but it's recommended that you avoid anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen as these can increase your blood pressure.
Doxazosin will not have an effect on your contraception. It is not usually recommended for women with high blood pressure to take the combined oral contraceptive pill, and in this case your doctor may recommend an alternative method of contraception such as the progestogen-only pill, subdermal implant, injection or an intrauterine contraceptive device.
Doxazosin will not have an affect on your fertility but if you are trying to get pregnant speak to a doctor to ensure the medication is suitable for you.
Some rare side effects of doxazosin in men include erectile dysfunction, painful erections or no semen during ejaculation. Talk to your doctor if this is an issue for you. Doxasosin is not known to cause any adverse effects on sexual function in women.
Doxazosin may cause dizziness when you first start to take it. Do not drive, ride a bike or operate machinery until you know how doxazosin affects you.
Eating a healthy diet is recommended while taking doxazosin in order to maintain healthy blood pressure levels.
There are several other types of medications that treat high blood pressure such as ACE inhibitors, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs), calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers and diuretics. If you’re under 55, you'll usually be offered an ACE inhibitor or ARB in the first instance if you’re under 55. But, if you are of African or Caribbean origin or if you are over the age of 55, you will likely be prescribed a calcium channel blocker as the first line treatment. This is because, evidence shows that calcium channel blockers are more effective in different ethnicities and in those over 55.
Everyone with high blood pressure is recommended to make lifestyle changes including:
There are lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce an enlarged prostate. These include:
Immediate-release medications work more quickly and tend to have a shorter duration of action. Modified-release medications release the medication more slowly and tend to have a longer duration of action. Both immediate-release and modified-release are given once per day so it’s thought that modified-release does not offer any significant advantage. It’s possible that a modified-release formulation may have a more favourable side effect profile than an immediate-release formulation. Speak to your doctor if you feel that a different version may be more suitable for you.
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