Doxazosin is a medication which treats high blood pressure and an enlarged prostate gland. It's a type of medicine known as an alpha-blocker.
Doxazosin works by relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can circulate easier, lowering the blood pressure to a healthy level. It also relaxes the muscle around the bladder and prostate gland to make it easier to urinate.
Doxazosin is a long term treatment which you may have to take for the rest of your life.
Doxazosin is designed for long term use so it is perfectly safe to use in this manner.
There are several conditions and medications which are known to cause high blood pressure. These include:
Obstructive sleep apnoea
Narrowed arteries supplying the kidneys
The combined contraceptive pill
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Certain over-the-counter cold and cough remedies
Herbal remedies containing liquorice
Selective serotonin noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (antidepressants)
High blood pressure puts a strain on your organs and blood vessels. This can increase your risk of experiencing:
Peripheral arterial disease
The active ingredient in the medicine is Doxazosin.
The other ingredients contained in Doxazosin are: Lactose monohydrate, magnesium sterate, microcrystalline cellulose, sodium lauryl sulphate, sodium starch glycolate (type A) and colloidal anhydrous silica.
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.
You will usually begin on a 1mg dose per day which may gradually increase to 2mg or 4mg per day. 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. Your doctor will tell you how long you should take it for.
If you forget to take Doxazosin skip the missed dose and take your next one as scheduled. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Seek medical assistance if you accidentally take too much Doxazosin.
Doxazosin tablets should be swallowed whole with a drink of water. Do not split them unless they have a score mark in the middle of the tablets and it specifies in the instruction leaflet that this is safe to do.
Common side effects may include:
Low blood pressure
Swelling in the feet, ankles or fingers
Respiratory tract infection
Nasal inflammation causing sneezing, runny nose or stuffiness
Uncommon side effects may include:
Difficulty passing urine
Swelling in the face
Agitation or nervousness
Anxiety or depression
Reduced feeling in the hands and feet
Ringing in the ears
Rare side effects may include:
Muscle cramps or weakness
Low blood pressure leading to Fainting or Dizziness
Discomfort or breast enlargement in men
If you experience any of the following side effects after taking Doxazosin tell your doctor right away:
Shortness of breath
Lowered number of white blood cells which can cause easy bruising or bleeding
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 which are too rich or spicy if you feel sick.
Do not take Doxazosin if:
You are allergic to any other types of quinazolines or any of the ingredients contained in Doxazosin
You are breastfeeding
You have an enlarged prostate and low blood pressure
You have a history of orthostatic hypotension
You have an enlarged prostate alongside: a congestion or blockage in the urinary tract, a long term urinary tract infection or bladder stones
You have overflow incontinence
You have anuria
Tell your doctor if any of the following apply to you before taking Doxazosin:
If you are pregnant
If you are trying to get pregnant
If you are taking other medications
If you are scheduled to have an eye operation for Cataracts
The following medications may interfere with Doxazosin:
If you are pregnant, or planning to get pregnant, talk to your doctor before taking Doxazosin.
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 enhance the lowering of the blood pressure causing lightheadedness and dizziness.
You can take Paracetamol alongside Doxazosin but it's recommended to avoid Anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen as these might 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 pill however.
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 include erectile dysfunction, painful erections or no semen during ejaulation. Talk to your doctor if this is an issue for you.
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 a healthy blood pressure.
There are four types of medications which treat high blood pressure: ACE inhibitors, Angiotensin-2 receptor blockers (ARBs), Calcium channel blockers and Beta-blockers. You'll usually be offered an Ace inhibitor or ARB in the first instance. If this is ineffective, or if you are of African or Caribbean origin or over the age of 55, then you will be prescribed a calcium channel blocker.
Everyone with high blood pressure is recommended to make lifestyle changes including:
Reducing your consumption of salt to less than 6g a day
Eat a healthy diet that is low in saturated fat and includes plenty of fruit and vegetables
Get regular exercise
Maintain a healthy weight
Cut down on caffeine
Get plenty of sleep
There are lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce an enlarged prostate. These include:
Cut down on fizzy drinks, artificial sweeteners, caffeine and alcohol
Drink less in the evenings and avoid drinking fluids up to 2 hours before bed
Empty your bladder regularly
Consume more fruit and fibre
NHS> Doxazosin https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/doxazosin/
NHS> High Blood Pressure https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/high-blood-pressure-hypertension/treatment/
Patient Information Leaflet https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/product/2665/pil