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Cardura

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Cardura (doxazosin) is a quinazoline compound, an alpha blocker, and a selective inhibitor of alphaadrenergic receptors. It is predominantly used to treat high blood pressure and urinary retention associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

The medication works by relaxing blood vessels, which allows for easier passage of blood, and relaxing muscles in the prostate, which facilitates urination. Cardura has also shown potential for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

Treating Hypertension with Cardura

As a hypertension treatment Cardura decreases the likelihood of potential cardiovascular complications, such as stroke and heart attack. Lifestyle changes, such as reducing salt intake, quitting smoking, establishing proper blood glucose control and managing cholesterol levels, will further enhance results. If adhered to, lifestyle changes may allow users to eventually stop taking blood pressure medications. Cardura can also be used in conjunction with other blood pressure medications for greater overall results.

In studies Cardura's effects were seen most significantly in reducing incidence of stroke, but it also demonstrated a favorable impact in lowering risk of heart attack. While high blood pressure alone has been well-correlated to such cardiovascular events, particular populations, such as diabetics and those with high cholesterol, are at even greater risk and so may benefit even more from Cardura.

Treatment will need to be individualized to some extent. In most cases treatment resembles:

  • Start with 1 mg taken once per day.
  • Dosage may be doubled every two weeks, if needed, provided the medication is well tolerated.
  • Dosage should not exceed 16 mg per day.

While it will take about two weeks to see maximum results, Cardura is a potent medication that can cause a rapid drop in blood pressure. Patients should be very alert for low blood pressure symptoms at the start of treatment and following any dosage adjustments.

Cardura in BPH

In BPH Cardura only helps facilitate urination; it will not reduce prostate size or otherwise impact the condition. It is common for other treatments that more directly impact BPH to be given along with Cardura.

Treatment is similar to that in hypertension, but note that the maximum recommended daily dose is lower:

  • Start with 1 mg taken once per day.
  • Dosage may be doubled every two weeks, if needed.
  • Dosage should not exceed 8 mg per day.

Treatment may continue for as long as needed. BPH patients should also be alert for symptoms of lowered blood pressure, as the medication will produce this effect regardless of what it's used for.

Potential Complications

The most common side effects associated with Cardura result from decreased blood pressure; while perhaps closer to a benefit than a side effect, patients should exercise caution until effects are understood. A very common symptom is feeling dizzy when rising from a resting position; it is good practice to sit and stand slowly. Patients may also feel tired and weak. These symptoms usually stop occurring over time as the body adjusts to its new, lower blood pressure.

Note that while dizziness is common, if it becomes severe or results in losing consciousness a physician should be consulted. Dosage will likely need to be reduced.

In addition to low blood pressure symptoms, patients may also experience:

  • Sleepiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Nasal irritation
  • Headache
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • More frequent urination

The above side effects aren't cause for concern unless they become severe enough to be disruptive. These also typically stop occurring as the body adjusts to treatment.

More serious side effects are quite rare, but warrant immediate medical attention:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Chronic gastric pain or bloating
  • Severe dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Erections that are painful or last for more than 4 hours

Cardura can be used in conjunction with other blood pressure lowering medications for greater overall effect. When doing so it is especially important to monitor blood pressure for rapid or excessive reduction. Blood pressure lowering medications requiring extra attention include CYP 3A inhibitors and Phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE-5) inhibitors.

Extra precautions may be advisable if undergoing cataract surgery while taking Cardura, to ensure prevention of Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome (IFIS). Be sure doctors are notified that the medication is being taken.

Cardura

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Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional.

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