In this session, we will be discussing the consumer medication information for doxazosin, trade name CarduraTM.
What it’s for & How to take
Doxazosin relaxes pressure on your blood vessels. This medication is used by itself or with other medications to treat high blood pressure.
If high blood pressure is not treated, your blood vessels will harden, and this will eventually lead to a heart attack or a stroke. High blood pressure may also cause vision problems, kidney failure and eventually heart failure.
Doxazosin is also used in men to treat an enlarged prostate not caused by cancer. This condition is called benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).
As men age, the prostate slowly grows. This may cause uncomfortable urinary symptoms. These symptoms include urinating often, feeling like you need to urinate all the time, getting up many times at night to urinate, and a difficult time starting a urine stream.
Doxazosin may help your urine flow more easily. Your prostate will continue to grow and over time this medication may not work as well.
Doxazosin is usually taken once daily at bedtime or as directed by your doctor. You may take this medication with or without food. Take doxazosin at the same time each day with a small glass of water.
If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of your next dose, skip it and continue with your normal dose time. Do not take a double dose to make up the missed dose.
If you miss 3 or more days, contact your doctor before restarting doxazosin. Your doctor may have you start with a lower dose and then slowly increase your dose.
Your blood pressure should be checked often in order to make sure the medication is working correctly.
If you are taking doxazosin for urinary symptoms, it may take 4-6 weeks before you notice a benefit. If your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks, notify your doctor.
Warnings & Cautions
- The first dose of doxazosin may make you very dizzy or cause you to faint. Take your first dose after you are sitting on your bed at bedtime. Any time your dose is increased, take the new dose while sitting on your bed just before bedtime.
- Rarely, doxazosin will cause a prolonged and painful erection lasting up to 4 hours. If this happens to you, seek medical help right away before damage occurs.
- Do not stop doxazosin or decrease the dose unless your doctor tells you to do so. If you stop this medication quickly, you may feel nervous and shaky. Your blood pressure may increase very quickly if this medication is stopped too quickly.
- If you need to stop this medication, your doctor may slowly decrease your dose over 1-2 weeks to decrease the chance of heart problems.
- Blood pressure medication may make you feel light-headed or dizzy. Take it slow when you go from a sitting to standing position. Balance yourself to make sure you are stable before taking a step.
- The elderly may be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication, especially the drowsiness and dizziness. The chance of loss of balance and falling are increased.
- Let your pharmacist or doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding before taking this medication.
- This medication may make you dizzy, drowsy, or blur your vision. Do not drive or do any activity that requires focus and attention until you are sure you can do them safely. Limit alcoholic beverages while taking doxazosin.
Interactions & Side Effects
- Tell your pharmacist or doctor all your medication allergies so they may determine if doxazosin is safe for you to take.
- Avoid dangerous drug interactions. Tell your pharmacist or doctor all the other medication you are taking, including over the counter supplements, even if you don’t take them very often.
- Ask your doctor if this medication is safe to take with your current health conditions. Tell your doctor if you have low blood pressure, a history of fainting, prostate cancer, any bladder problems or liver or kidney disease.
- While taking this medication, you may feel some fatigue, nausea, headache or blurred vision. If these or any other unwanted side effects persist, contact your doctor or pharmacist to talk about it with them.
- Call your doctor right away if you feel severe dizziness, fainting or a very slow heartbeat.
- Call emergency 911 if you have any symptoms of a heart attack such as chest and left arm pain, shortness of breath, and sweating or if you have symptoms of a stroke such as weakness on one side of your body, slurred speech, sudden vision changes, and confusion.
If you have any questions about what you have heard, contact your pharmacist or doctor. This session does not include all the potential interactions or side effects that this medication may cause. Ask your pharmacist how your medication should be stored and how you should dispose of it when you are done taking it. Do not share your medication with anyone, ever. Remember, this is not meant to replace your counseling session with your pharmacist. In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.