Alpha Blockers Drug Class

Alpha-blockers are medicines that are mainly used in the treatment of high blood pressure (hypertension), Raynaud’s disease and also problems with passing urine mostly in men who experience enlargement of the prostate gland. Enlargement of the prostate gland is referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). An enlarged prostate can result in problems when passing urine. An individual may happen to experience trouble when; having to wait before urine starts to flow, dribbling, taking longer than usual when you visit the toilet and feeling that your bladder is not quite empty. Earlier, some alpha-blockers were used to treat Raynaud’s phenomenon and heart failure. However, today, they are rarely used to treat these conditions since there are other medicines thought to work better in these conditions. Alpha-blockers come as capsules or tablets which may be taken once daily or up to three times a day. They come in different brand names.

Alpha Blockers Drugs

Alpha blockers are also referred to as adrenergic blocking agents, alpha blocking agents, alpha adrenergic antagonists or alpha adrenergic blocking agents. Some of drugs in this class include

Alpha Blockers Uses

Most doctors, prescribe alpha blockers to help prevent, treat or improve warning signs in various circumstances such as:

  • Enlarged prostate (BPH)
  • High blood pressure
  • Circulatory conditions, such as Raynaud’s disease
  • Adrenal gland tumors (pheochromocytoma)
  • Hardening and thickening of skin (sclerodema)

Although alpha blockers are mostly used to treat hypertension, they’re typically not the first preference when it comes to treatment. Instead, they are mostly used together with other drugs, such as diuretics, once your high blood pressure becomes difficult to control.

Alpha Blockers Side Effects

The side effects do vary with the medicine and the individual. Though they are uncommon, they do occur to some people. They are more likely to happen in the first two weeks of treatment, and may go away on their own. Some of the side effects associated with alpha-blockers include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Lightheadedness, fainting or dizziness when you suddenly stand up after sitting or lying down for a long time. This occurs when your blood pressure becomes low once you stand up suddenly.

For a detailed information on the side effects of alpha blockers, make sure you read the leaflet that comes with the medicine packet.

Alpha Blockers Interactions

Since these medication may cause orthostatic hypotension and low blood pressure, these agents may well interact with other medications that help increase risk of low blood pressure. These include:

  • Antihypertensives
  • Vasodilators
  • Antiarrhythmics
  • Antipsychotics