Alpha blockers (eg doxazosin, indoramin, prazosin, terazosin) lower blood pressure by relaxing smooth muscle fibres within the lining of blood vessels so that arteries and veins dilate. As they also relax smooth muscle fibres in the prostate gland, making these blood pressure treatments particularly helpful for older males who have both hypertension and urinary symptoms associated with benign enlargement of the prostate gland.
On average, an alpha blocker reduces systolic blood pressure (your upper reading) by 8mmHg when used alone. They are often reserved for people who do not tolerate other classes of drug.
They can cause a rapid fall in blood pressure so treatment is started at a low dose which is increased as necessary.
Some alpha-blockers boost alcohol absorption, so check the enclosed Patient Information Leaflet to see if you are advised to avoid alcohol during treatment.
If your blood pressure is raised, self-monitoring is key to maintaining good control.
Click here for advice on choosing a blood pressure monitor to use at home.
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