What Is Doxazosin Mesylate?

Jacquelyn Gilchrist

Doxazosin mesylate is a medication commonly prescribed to lower high blood pressure. A doctor may also prescribe it to alleviate symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), which is an enlarged prostate. This alpha blocker works by relaxing the muscles around the prostate and bladder for patients with BPH. It also relaxes blood vessels to allow for greater blood circulation in patients with hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Doxazosin mesylate can be taken to relax the muscles around the prostate when it's enlarged.
Doxazosin mesylate can be taken to relax the muscles around the prostate when it's enlarged.

Adults will typically take this medication once daily at bedtime. It is available as a tablet to be taken by mouth. The dosage may be gradually increased to allow the body to adjust to it. Patients may take it with or without food.

Some side effects may occur while using doxazosin mesylate, which should be reported to the prescribing physician if they become severe. Patients may notice unexplained weight gain, insomnia, or drowsiness. Dizziness, lightheadedness, and joint or muscle pain have also been reported. Other patients may experience nausea and a decrease in sexual desire or ability. Some of these potential side effects may diminish as the patient's body adjusts to the drug.

More rarely, serious side effects can occur with the use of doxazosin mesylate, which require a doctor's immediate care. Patients should go to the emergency room if they experience slurred speech, confusion, or chest pain. Weakness on one side of the body and pain in the left arm or jaw have also been reported. Rarely, patients may experience jaundice, fever, and a persistent sore throat.

Other serious side effects that require medical attention may include dark urine, unusual bruising or bleeding, and general weakness. Shortness of breath, anxiety, and vision changes have also been reported. Some patients have experienced a pounding or irregular heartbeat and swelling of the feet or hands. Men may rarely experience a painful erection that lasts four hours or longer.

Before using doxazosin mesylate, patients must disclose their other medical conditions. As of 2011, it is unknown whether this drug may pass into breast milk. Women who are pregnant should avoid its use whenever possible. Doxazosin mesylate may be contraindicated for use by those who have heart, liver, or kidney disease, as well as prostate cancer or a recent heart attack. In addition, before undergoing any medical surgery or procedure, patients must inform the doctor that they use this drug.

Doxazosin mesylate may interact with other drugs. Patients must disclose their other medications and supplements, including drugs intended to treat sexual function problems. These can include vardenafil, tadalafil, and sildenafil.

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