Alpha1 Adrenergic Blockers

By: Pharma Tips | Views: 2134 | Date: 29-Jul-2011

Alpha1-adrenergic Blockers are drugs that work by blocking the alpha1-receptors of vascular smooth muscle, that is by relaxing the blood vessels, allowing blood to pass through more easily. These drugs are available only with a physician's prescription and are sold in tablet form.

Alpha1-adrenergic Blockers are drugs that work by blocking the alpha1-receptors of vascular smooth muscle, that is by relaxing the blood vessels, allowing blood to pass through more easily. These drugs are available only with a physician's prescription and are sold in tablet form.

Uses of Alpha 1 Blockers
The Alpha Blockers drugs are for two main uses:
To treat high blood pressure (hypertension)
High blood pressure puts a strain on the heart and the arteries. Over time, hypertension can damage the blood vessels enough to cause stroke, heart failure or kidney failure. People with high blood pressure also may be at higher risk for heart attacks. Controlling high blood pressure makes these problems less likely. By relaxing the blood vessels and letting blood flow through more easily, Alpha Blockers help lower blood pressure.

To treat benign prostatic hyperplasia
This is a condition in men in which the prostate gland enlarges. This condition is a particular problem for older men. Over time, the prostate, a donut-shaped gland below the bladder, enlarges. When this happens, it may interfere with the passage of urine from the bladder out of the body. Men who have the problem may notice that they have to urinate more often. Or they may feel that they can not completely empty their bladders. Alpha Blockers do not shrink the prostate. But by relaxing muscles in the prostate and the bladder, these drugs may allow urine to flow more freely.

Commonly used Alpha1-adrenergic Blockers

Doxazosin (Brand: Cardura):  Used for Hypertension and BPH
Terazosin (Brand: Hytrin):       Used for Hypertension and BPH
Silodosin (Brand: Rapaflo):     Used for Benign prostatic hyperplasia
Prazosin (Brand: Minipress):   Used for Hypertension
Tamsulosin (Brand: Flomax):  Used for Benign prostatic hyperplasia
Alfuzosin (Brand: Uroxatral):   Used for Benign prostatic hyperplasia

Recommended Dosage of Alpha Blockers
This depends on the type of alpha blocker and also the patient and this may change over the course of treatment. The dose is increased gradually if required. Some patients may need as much as 16 mg per day of doxazosin, 15-20 mg per day of terazosin, or as much as 40 mg per day of prazosin. It is seen that most patients benefit from lower doses. As the dosage increases, so does the chances of unwanted side effects.

Side Effects of Alpha1 Blockers
At times the drug can reduce the blood pressure to a great extent that can cause dizziness, heart palpitations, lightheadedness, and fainting for the patient. it is advisable not to undertake such activities like driving, using machines, for 24 hours after taking the first dose. Any patient's whose safety on the job could be affected by taking this drug should inform his doctor, so that the doctor can take this factor into account when increasing dosage. Some people may feel drowsy or less alert when using alpha blockers. People diagnosed with kidney disease or liver disease may also be more sensitive to alpha blockers.
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