Generic Name: doxazosin
Trade Names: Cardura®, Cardura® XL (extended release tablets)
How is Cardura used? Cardura is used to treat the signs and symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and is also used to treat high blood pressure. Cardura XL—the extended release form of terazosin—is used to treat BPH, but is not used to treat high blood pressure. Cardura is a type of drug known as an alpha-blocker.
What is the mechanism of action for Cardura? In the treatment of BPH, Cardura relaxes a type of muscle in the prostate and at the opening of the bladder. This may improve urine flow and/or decrease BPH symptoms.
How is Cardura given (administered)? Cardura is taken orally (by mouth).
How are patients taking Cardura typically monitored? Patients will usually have scheduled meetings with their healthcare provider while they are being treated with Cardura. Patients may also undergo physical examinations, blood tests, or other measures to assess side effects and response to therapy. Patients may be tested for prostate cancer prior to treatment with Cardura and periodically thereafter.
What are some of the more common side effects of treatment with Cardura?
- Low blood pressure
- Puffiness of the feet or hands
- Shortness of breath
What are some of the potentially serious side effects of treatment with Cardura?
- A sudden drop in blood pressure (postural hypotension). This may cause dizziness, fainting, or light-headedness.
- Intraoperative floppy iris syndrome (IFIS) during eye surgery
- A prolonged, painful erection (very rare)
This is not a complete list of side effects. Some patients may experience other side effects that are not listed here. Patients may wish to discuss with their physician the other less common side effects of this drug, some of which may be serious.
Some side effects may require medical attention. Other side effects do not require medical attention and may go away during treatment. Patients should check with their physician about any side effects that continue or are bothersome.
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What can patients do to help alleviate or prevent discomfort and side effects?
- Pay careful attention to the physician’s instructions, and discuss side effects with your physician.
- Because of the risk of fainting or dizziness, get up slowly from a bed or chair until you learn how Cardura affects you. Avoid driving and hazardous activities until you’re used to Cardura.
Are there any special precautions patients should be aware of before starting treatment?
- Patients should inform their physician about all medical conditions, including allergies, low blood pressure, stomach problems, prostate cancer, liver problems, heart problems, or plans to have cataract surgery.
- Patients should inform their physician of any other medication or supplement they are taking (whether prescription or over-the-counter), including medicines to treat an infection, HIV, depression, or erectile dysfunction.
- Patients should be aware that Cardura is not a treatment for prostate cancer.
- If patients need to have eye surgery for cataracts, they should tell their eye doctor that they are taking Cardura.
- Patients should tell their doctor if they are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning to become pregnant (applies to women who may be taking the drug for high blood pressure).
When should patients notify their physician? Tell your doctor if you experience any side effects that bother you or don’t go away. Also seek immediate care if you notice signs of an allergic reaction, difficultly breathing or an abnormal heartbeat, or a prolonged, abnormal erection.
What is a package insert?
A package insert is required by the FDA and contains a summary of the essential scientific information needed for the safe and effective use of the drug for healthcare providers and consumers. A package insert typically includes information regarding specific indications, administration schedules, dosing, side effects, contraindications, results from some clinical trials, chemical structure, pharmacokinetics and metabolism of the specific drug. By carefully reviewing the package insert, you will get the most complete and current information about how to safely use this drug. If you do not have the package insert for the drug you are using, your pharmacist or physician may be able to provide you with a copy.
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