Alfuzosin is a type of medicine called an alpha-blocker. This is used to relieve the urinary symptoms of an enlarged prostate gland or called benign prostate hyperplasia.
As men get older, benign prostate hyperplasia is a common condition. An enlarged prostate gland can cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms. It can also cause urinary tract, bladder, or kidney problems. The severity of symptoms in people who have prostate gland enlargement varies. But, symptoms tend to slowly worsen over time. Common signs and symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia include:
- Increased frequency of urination at night
- Frequent or urgent need to urinate
- Weak urine stream or a stream that stops and starts
- Difficulty starting urination
- Inability to completely empty the bladder
- Dribbling at the end of urination
Less common signs and symptoms include:
- Blood in the urine
- Inability to urinate
- Urinary tract infection
The size of your prostate doesn’t necessarily determine the severity of your symptoms. Some men with only slightly enlarged prostates can have significant symptoms, while other men with very enlarged prostates can have only minor urinary symptoms. In some men, symptoms eventually stabilize and might even improve over time.
The prostate gland is located beneath your bladder. The tube that transports urine from the bladder out of your penis passes through the center of the prostate. When the prostate enlarges, it begins to block urine flow. Most men have continued prostate growth throughout life. In many men, this continued growth enlarges the prostate enough to cause urinary symptoms or to significantly block urine flow. Most men with an enlarged prostate don’t develop these complications. However, acute urinary retention and kidney damage can be serious health threats. Having an enlarged prostate is not believed to increase your risk of developing prostate cancer.
How does Alfuzosin work?
Alfuzosin works by blocking alpha receptors that are found in the muscle in the prostate gland. The prostate gland, lies at the top of the tube connecting the bladder to the outside. The prostate gland often enlarges with advancing age pressing on the urethra and obstructing the flow of urine from the bladder. Alfuzosin blocks alpha receptors in the muscle of the prostate gland which causes the muscle in the prostate to relax. This allows urine to flow freely past the prostate and relieves the urinary symptoms.
How to use Alfuzosin?
Alfuzosin should be swallowed whole with a full glass of water. Each dose can be taken either with or without a meal. This prescription is usually taken two or three times a day. The dose prescribed depends on your age, symptoms and any other conditions you may have. Follow carefully the instructions given by your doctor. Do not crush or break the medicine. Doing so may release all of the drugs at once and increases the risk of side effects.
This drug may cause a sudden drop in your blood pressure which could lead to fainting or dizziness. Usually, it happens within a few hours after you take the drug. This risk is higher when you first taking this drug or if you restart treatment after you stop taking it. During these times, avoid situations where you may be injured if you faint. To avoid injury from fainting or dizziness, your doctor may tell you to take the first dose of this medication with food at bedtime. It is to let your body get used to its effects. Take the medication regularly for the best benefit. Take it at the same time and in the same way as well every day. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse.
What are the side effects of Alfuzosin?
Common side effects:
- Tired feeling
- Cold symptoms such as sore throat, sneezing, or stuffy nose
Tell your doctor right away if you have these side effects such as:
- Chest pain
- Fast/irregular heartbeat
- Severe dizziness
Informs your doctor if you ever had an allergic reaction to this drug or if you have any allergies. This drug may contain ingredients that causes an allergic reaction. Call for medical assistance right away if you these signs of an allergic reaction:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of your mouth, tongue, or throat
Warnings and Precautions
- Inform your doctor if you have any other medications (nonprescription, prescription, or herbal products).
- Let your doctor know if you have any medical history especially of liver disease, heart problems, kidney disease, eye problems, or low blood pressure.
- This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use any machinery, or do any activity that needs your full alertness until you know how this drug affects you.
- Limit your alcoholic beverages if you are taking this medication.
- Low levels of magnesium or potassium in the blood may also increase our risk of QT prolongation. This may increase if you use water pills or if you have conditions such as vomiting or severe sweating.
- Do not give this medication to others even if they have the same condition or symptoms as yours.
- Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug especially dizziness when getting up from a sitting or lying position.
- Your blood pressure should be monitored regularly during treatment with this drug.
- Use this with caution in elderly people, people with decreased liver or kidney function, heart failure, angina pectoris, history of stroke, or taking blood pressure medication.
- People with an abnormal heart rhythm seen on a heart monitoring trace as a prolonged QT interval or taking medicines that can cause prolonged QT interval, this medicine should also be used carefully.
- This is not recommended in children, people already taking other alpha-blocker medicines, and people with severely decreased liver function.
- This should not be used in people with a history of drops in blood pressure, who have ever fainted after passing urine, or with hereditary problems of galactose intolerance as well.