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 (Xatral), doxazosin (Cardura), silodosin (Rapaflo), tamsulosin (Flomax), and terazosin (Hytrin).
Side effects of alpha-blockers include:
Dizziness, especially when standing up.
Alpha-blockers are also called alpha-adrenergic antagonists.
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & J. Curtis Nickel, MD, FRCSC - Urology