Prazosin is used with or without other medications to treat high blood pressure. Lowering high blood pressure helps prevent strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems.Prazosin belongs to a class of medications called alpha blockers. It works by relaxing and widening blood vessels so blood can flow more easily.
How to use Prazosin HCL
Take this medication by mouth with or without food as directed by your doctor, usually two or three times daily. If stomach upset occurs, take with food or milk. The dosage is based on your age, medical condition and response to treatment.
Prazosin can occasionally cause sudden fainting after the first dose and anytime that your dose is increased. To reduce your risk of fainting, the first dose prescribed by your doctor will be the smallest dose available. You should take this first dose as you are going to bed. This will decrease the possibility of fainting. Your dose may be gradually increased. Take your first new dose at bedtime when your dose is increased unless directed otherwise by your doctor.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. If you are taking this medication for high blood pressure, keep taking it even if you feel well. Most people with high blood pressure do not feel sick. It may take up to several weeks before the full benefit of this drug takes effect.
Do not stop taking this medication without first consulting your doctor. Some conditions may become worse when the drug is abruptly stopped. Your dose may need to be gradually decreased.
Tell your doctor if your condition does not get better or if it gets worse (your blood pressure readings remain high or increase).
Headache, drowsiness, tiredness, weakness, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. If any of these effects last or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Lightheadedness or dizziness upon standing may also occur, especially after the first dose and shortly after taking a dose of the drug during the first week of treatment. To reduce the risk of dizziness and fainting, get up slowly when rising from a seated or lying position. If dizziness occurs, sit or lie down right away. Your dose may need to be adjusted.
Remember that this medication has been prescribed because your doctor has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Rarely, males may have a painful or prolonged erection lasting 4 or more hours. If this occurs, stop using this drug and get medical help right away, or permanent problems could occur.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or at www.fda.gov/medwatch.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before taking prazosin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other alpha blockers (such as doxazosin, terazosin); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heart problems (such as low blood pressure), kidney disease, uncontrolled attacks of deep sleep (narcolepsy), prostate cancer, certain eye problems (cataracts, glaucoma).
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy or blur your vision. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness or clear vision until you can do it safely. Do not drive or participate in hazardous activities for 24 hours after your first dose, any increase in your dosage, or restarting treatment. If your doctor prescribes any additional blood pressure drugs, avoid driving and hazardous activities for 24 hours after your first dose of the new medication. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).
To reduce the risk of dizziness and fainting, be careful when standing for long periods. Avoid getting overheated during exercise and hot weather. When first starting this drug, avoid situations where you may be injured if you faint.
Before having surgery (including cataract/glaucoma eye surgery), tell your doctor or dentist if you are taking or have ever taken this medication, and about all the other products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially dizziness and fainting. These side effects can increase the risk of falling.
During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
Prazosin passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products that may interact with this drug include: other alpha blocker drugs (such as doxazosin, terazosin), drugs to treat erectile dysfunction-ED or pulmonary hypertension (such as sildenafil, tadalafil).
Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking other products that cause drowsiness such as opioid pain or cough relievers (such as codeine, hydrocodone), alcohol, marijuana (cannabis), drugs for sleep or anxiety (such as alprazolam, lorazepam, zolpidem), muscle relaxants (such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine), or antihistamines (such as cetirizine, diphenhydramine).
Some products have ingredients that could raise your heart rate or blood pressure. Tell your pharmacist what products you are using, and ask how to use them safely (especially cough-and-cold products, diet aids, or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen/naproxen).
This medication may interfere with certain lab tests (such as pheochromocytoma screening test), possibly causing false test results. Make sure lab personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include: severe drowsiness, slow reactions.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction programs, exercise, and dietary changes may increase the effectiveness of this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature away from light and moisture. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company.
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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.