Drugs Q & A

What Are The Long-Term Side Effects Of Doxazosin?

A long-term side effect refers to an effect (beneficial, harmful, or negligible) that appears months or years after starting or stopping the medicine. The medicine might have been taken for a short period of time yet several years later an unanticipated outcome might emerge. A medication might be taken for a long time and the cumulative effect of long-term exposure might have consequences.

Side effects are one of the major things a patient looks out for in a medication. Many Patients are frightened by potential side effects. They may have also experienced previous side effects with the same or similar medicine. Additionally, patients report not taking their medication because they may have witnessed side effects experienced by a friend or family member who was taking the same or similar medication. Seeing those side effects experienced by someone else may have led them to believe the medication caused those problems.

What is Doxazosin?

Doxazosin is a medication used in men to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), which includes difficulty urinating (hesitation, dribbling, weak stream, and incomplete bladder emptying), painful urination, and urinary frequency and urgency. It is also used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Doxazosin is in a class of medications called alpha-blockers. It relieves the symptoms of BPH by relaxing the muscles of the bladder and prostate. It lowers blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through the body.

How should doxazosin be used?

Doxazosin comes as a tablet and an extended-release tablet to take by mouth. The doxazosin tablet is usually taken with or without food once a day in the morning or in the evening. Doxazosin extended-release tablet is usually taken once a day with breakfast. Take doxazosin around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take doxazosin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Swallow the extended-release tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.

Your doctor will start you on a low dose of doxazosin and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every 1 to 2 weeks. If you stop taking doxazosin for a few days or longer, call your doctor. Your doctor will have to start you again on the lowest dose of doxazosin and gradually increase your dose.

Doxazosin controls high blood pressure and the symptoms of BPH but does not cure them. It may take a few weeks before you feel the full benefit of doxazosin. Continue to take doxazosin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking doxazosin without talking to your doctor.

Doxazosin side effects

Doxazosin oral tablet can cause drowsiness. Be careful driving and doing other activities that require you to be alert until you know how it affects you.

More common side effects

The more common side effects that occur with doxazosin when treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) include:

•          low blood pressure

•          dizziness

•          shortness of breath

•          tiredness

•          abdominal pain

•          diarrhea

•          headache

•          swelling of your feet, hands, arms, and legs

The more common side effects that occur when treating high blood pressure include:

•          low blood pressure

•          dizziness

•          headache

•          tiredness

•          nausea

•          runny nose

•          swelling of your feet, hands, arms, and legs

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

•          Heart problems such as chest pain or rapid, pounding, or irregular heartbeat

•          Priapism (painful erection that lasts for hours)

•          Severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

o          wheezing

o          chest tightness

o          itching

o          swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat

o          hives

•          Breathing problems or shortness of breath.

What are the long-term side effects of doxazosin?

Doxazosin is a nonselective alpha-1 adrenergic antagonist (alpha-blocker) and is associated with a low rate of transient serum aminotransferase elevations, but has not been linked to instances of clinically apparent acute liver injury.

Studies have also shown that in high-risk hypertensive patients, doxazosin was associated with a higher incidence of stroke and cardiovascular disease events, especially congestive heart failure than was chlorthalidone.

Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking doxazosin if you are 65 years of age or older. Older adults should not usually take doxazosin to treat high blood pressure, because it is not as safe as other medications that can be used to treat the same condition.

Your doctor may advise you to stop taking doxazosin 2 weeks before surgery. This is because doxazosin may cause complications during the cataract operation.

Is doxazosin safe for kidneys?

Studies have shown that no side effects were observed on the kidney with the drug which indicates that doxazosin is an efficient depressor agent with renal protective actions and that higher doses of doxazosin can be safely given to patients with chronic renal failure.

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