What Are the Different Prazosin Side Effects?

Jacquelyn Gilchrist

Prazosin is an alpha blocker medication that is typically prescribed to lower high blood pressure, or to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as an enlarged prostate. There are a few different prazosin side effects that patients should be aware of, and the drug may also interact with other medicines. To help limit the possible prazosin side effects, patients should disclose all other medical conditions they have. It is also important to follow the doctor's dosing information carefully.

Prazosin is a medication often prescribed to treat an enlarged prostate.
Prazosin is a medication often prescribed to treat an enlarged prostate.

Some of the most common prazosin side effects should not be considered serious, but patients should check with their doctors if they become bothersome. These may include nausea, frequent urination, and nasal congestion. Patients may also experience weakness, a lack of energy, and a dry mouth. Lack of energy, mild dizziness, and mild drowsiness have also been reported, along with headaches.

More serious prazosin side effects require immediate medical attention. Rarely, male patients may experience a painful erection that lasts for several hours. Chest pain, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, and difficulty breathing may also occur. Some signs of a possible allergic reaction may include hives, facial swelling, and a rash. Swelling of the hands or feet, depression, and blurred vision have also been reported.

Prazosin is typically prescribed two to three times daily. Patients should follow all dosing information carefully, because an overdose may also result in serious prazosin side effects. Some signs of a possible overdose may include fainting and decreased reflexes, along with severe dizziness and severe drowsiness.

Certain precautions should be followed while using this drug to help minimize the potential prazosin side effects. Patients should avoid consuming alcoholic beverages during treatment, because this can worsen adverse reactions. Lightheadedness and dizziness may become more noticeable when the patient stands up suddenly. If any surgery is planned, including dental surgery, the patient should inform the doctor that they are using prazosin.

Before using this alpha blocker medication, patients should disclose their other medical conditions, medications, and supplements to help prevent adverse reactions. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should discuss the potential risks with their doctors. This drug may be contraindicated for use by those with liver disease, prostate cancer, or narcolepsy, a type of sleep disorder. Those with kidney problems, heart disease, or chest pain, as well as those with certain allergies may also be unable to use it. Beta-blockers and diuretics may increase the risk of certain prazosin side effects.

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