Alpha Blockers blocks the hormone noradrenaline from tightening the muscles in the walls of smaller arteries and veins. It causes the vessels to remain open and relaxed, thus improves blood flow, and lowers blood pressure.
Alpha-Adrenergic Blocker Medications
Alpha blockers are also called alpha-adrenergic blocking agents, alpha-adrenergic antagonists, adrenergic blocking agents and alpha-blocking agents.
Alpha blockers reduce the arterial resistance, relaxes the muscle tone of the vascular walls, thus reduce blood pressure.
Commonly prescribed alpha blockers medications on the market, include:
- Doxazosin mesylate (brand name: Cardura)
- Prazosin hydrochloride (brand name: Minipress)
- Terazosin hydrochloride (brand name: Hytrin)
- Phenoxybenzamine (brand name: Dibenzyline)
There are six alpha-blockers available to prescribe in the UK. They are alfuzosin, doxazosin, indoramin, prazosin, tamsulosin, and terazosin.
Alpha blockers, α-blockers, or alpha-adrenoceptor antagonists medicines are mainly used to treat hypertension and enlarged prostate gland in men with problem passing urine.
Alpha receptors are present in the muscles of the blood vessels. When activated, they tighten up the muscle. Alpha blockers block these alpha receptors. Thus the muscle of the blood vessels remain relaxed, blood flows more easily, and thereby lowering your blood pressure.
How do alpha-blockers work?
Nerve endings release a neurotransmitter called noradrenaline when stimulated. This neurotransmitter stimulates the alpha-adrenergic receptors present on the cells of the heart, smooth muscle and blood vessels to contract. The alpha-blocker medicines block the alpha-adrenergic receptors from being stimulated; thus blood vessels stay relaxed. It allows oxygen-rich blood to circulate freely through your body, lower your blood pressure, and reduce heart strain.
For prostate gland enlargement, alpha-blockers work by relaxing bladder and prostate muscles so you can able to pass urine more freely.
When do alpha-blockers usually prescribed?
For hypertension, alpha-blockers are usually prescribed when most other medicines have failed to produce a result.
If other medicines such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, water/diuretics pills, and beta-blockers are failed to work, then you can try alpha-blockers. They may use alpha-blockers as well as these other medicines.
Who should avoid Alpha blockers?
Avoid peripheral Alpha-adrenergic blockers, if elderly and people who have liver problems should discuss with the doctor about the risks of using these medications.
What are the side effects of alpha blockers?
Dizziness, tiredness, drop in blood pressure when you stand up, lightheaded, vision problems, swelling (of the hands, feet, ankles, or legs), decreased sexual ability, fast heart rate.
What are the warning signs of alpha blockers?
Consult a doctor immediately if having; chest pain, irregular heartbeat, and painful erection in men.