Alfuzosin is a medication used in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia, also commonly referred to as an enlarged prostate. The prostate is a male reproductive organ that is located behind the bladder. As men age, the prostate may become enlarged and press against the bladder, making urination difficult or causing men to feel like they have to urinate more often than usual, without having the ability. Medication may help temporarily treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, but it cannot cure the condition or prevent it from worsening over time.
The problems with urination that occur as a result of an enlarged prostate are primarily due to the amount of pressure that the gland puts onto the bladder. The increased pressure can make it more difficult for urine to pass through the bladder to exit the body. Alfuzosin works at helping to treating these symptoms by temporarily reducing the amount of pressure on the bladder by relaxing the bladder opening and the prostate gland. This allows urine to more easily pass through the body, but the solution is generally only temporary. The medication cannot physically shrink an enlarged prostate, so if the condition continues to worsen, surgery may be required.
Alfuzosin is available in a tablet form. It is usually recommended to be administered orally once per day. Since the medication is an extended release tablet, doctors advise against breaking, crushing, or chewing it because it can prevent the active ingredients from releasing into the body at the correct amount and rate. The tablet is recommended to be taken with food to be the most effective and to prevent side effects.
Certain side effects may occur with the use of alfuzosin. The most common side effects include dizziness, fatigue, abdominal pain, congestion, headache, and decreased ability to function sexually. These side effects tend to subside as the body gets used to the medication with regular use; therefore, medical attention is generally only recommended if the symptoms worsen over time. Although it is usually rare, potentially serious side effects that require emergency medical attention can occur. Serious side effects of the medication include having trouble breathing, facial or limb swelling, chest pain, rash, or loss of consciousness.
Alfuzosin may also result in potentially dangerous complications for some individuals and will usually not be prescribed in the instances of certain underlying conditions. The medication can cause an interaction with some drugs and make them not work properly. The most common drugs that may be affected are erectile dysfunction or high blood pressure medications. Men with liver disease may also experience complications when taking alfuzosin and will generally not be advised to take the medication.