Is doxazosin an alpha 1 blocker?  

Living in the modern world has made us realise how lucky we are to be living in this time. You will realise how bad the health system was and how health knowledge in the old days that seemed terrifying and may actually cause more danger than good. There are a long list of medicines used to treat the many health conditions that exist in this world. This is why it is important to understand medicine that you can use by yourself and medicine that should only be used when prescribed by doctors. In this article, we will learn more about doxazosin.

Is doxazosin an alpha 1 blocker? Yes, it is. Do you know what an alpha blocker drug is in general? It is a drug that is commonly used to treat high blood pressure or hypertension and treatments for enlargement of the prostate, known as benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). For patients with hypertension, alpha blocker is usually prescribed with other antihypertensive drugs such as diuretics to help control blood pressure better especially in severe cases. It is usually given by specialists since it is not the first choice of therapy for hypertension as many other drugs are better at protecting the heart and reducing risk for stroke or heart attack. Alpha blockers for treatments of BPH are not only meant to treat those already with an enlarged prostate, but sometimes also used as a preventative strategy or prophylaxis for those with high risk for developing such medical issues.

Alpha blockers is also known as alpha-adrenergic antagonists since it works on blocking the effect of hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline. These hormones are responsible for causing the smooth muscles of the blood vessels to tighten and causing blood pressure to increase. In the natural state of a healthy person. These hormones work as part of the “fight-or-flight” response when a person faces such distress or situation that is perceived as danger and the need for survival. However, this is different in those with hypertension as it is considered a maladaptive response. Thus, alpha blockers help to relax these muscles and allow for better blood flow by blocking the muscles from binding with the muscles. Aside from relaxation of the smooth muscles in the blood vessels, an alpha blocker helps to relax the smooth muscle in the prostate and bladder which leads to the urine flow more freely.

Back to our focus on doxazosin, what does it mean to be an alpha 1 blocker? Alpha 1 receptors are mainly found on smooth muscle tissue such as blood vessels whereas alpha 2 receptors mainly located on presynaptic nerve terminals that inhibit further release of neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine. Hence, alpha 1 blocker works by blocking the receptors, causing the smooth muscle to relax.

Doxazosin is mainly used for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and hypertension. Doxazosin used in BPH helps to relieve symptoms by relaxing the muscles of the bladder and prostate. Doxazosin used in hypertension lowers the blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels, enabling the blood to flow easily. Although it is true that doxazosin is mainly used for these two conditions, some doctors may consider doxazosin in treating patients with ureteral stones and post traumatic syndrome disorder (PTSD) associated nightmares. Thus, it is best to ask the doctor if you are unsure on why you receive medications. This will help you to understand the importance of taking it and the proper way of using it.

Doxazosin is available as tablets. There are few numbers of formulations which are 1 mg, 2 mg, 4 mg and 8 mg. The dose of doxazosin depends on the aim of treatment. For example, in treating hypertension, doxazosin of 1 mg is used once daily. The dose may be up to 16 mg daily depending on how the patient responds to doxazosin. For BPH, patients are advised to take doxazosin 1 mg once daily at first and may increase to 2 to 4 mg daily. It is important to take doxazosin as instructed by doctors according to the right dose and times of the day. Never take doxazosin more or less than intended by doctors.

 Similar to many other medications, doxazosin does come with possible side effects. Common side effects include fatigue, headache, dizziness, weakness, swollen feet or fingers, urinary tract infection, stomach pain, back pain, increased heart rate (tachycardia), shortness of breath (dyspnea) and fainting. Orthostatic hypotension (sudden drop in blood pressure from changing position such as from sitting to standing up) can occur when doxazosin is combined with other antihypertensive agents. Patients who already take other medication or have other health conditions should let their doctor know before doxazosin. This is important to reduce the potential side effects and to improve drug’s effectiveness. Patients should be able to feel improvement or better in 1 to 2 weeks after taking doxazosin. Patients may want to ask a doctor if they can take doxazosin at night time if they feel light-headedness after taking the medication. 


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