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Search Health Information    Alpha-Blocker Medicines

Alpha-Blocker Medicines

Alpha-blocker medicines relax smooth muscle in the body. Smooth muscle controls the blood vessels, intestines, bladder and urinary tract, and other involuntary actions in the body.

Alpha-blockers can be used for many problems, including:

  • Prostate problems. These medicines can relax the smooth muscle in the prostate and urethra, which lets urine flow out of the body more easily.
  • Kidney stones. These medicines can relax the smooth muscle in the ureters (the tubes that move urine between the kidneys and the bladder) and make them wider, which can help a kidney stone pass more easily.
  • High blood pressure. These medicines can relax the smooth muscle in the blood vessels and make them wider, which can help lower blood pressure.

Examples of alpha-blocker medicines include alfuzosin (Uroxatral), doxazosin (Cardura), silodosin (Rapaflo), tamsulosin (Flomax), and terazosin (Hytrin).

Side effects of alpha-blockers include:

  • Dizziness, especially when standing up.
  • Headache.
  • Drowsiness.

Alpha-blockers are also called alpha-adrenergic antagonists.

Last Revised: March 5, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC - Urology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

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