Alpha blockers are alpha-adrenergic receptor antagonists that relax certain muscles and keep small blood vessels open. These receptors are widely distributed in the blood vessels of the heart, prostate, and bladder neck. They block the tightening of muscles and cause relaxation of vessels. In arteries, it improves the blood flow to the heart and lowers blood pressure (antihypertensive effect). In the bladder area, it facilitates easy flow of urine so recommended in Benign prostate hyperplasia, acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis-like conditions that are generally experienced by elderly people.
It is a condition in which there are persistently high levels of blood pressure. This all increases the workload of the heart. Alpha-blockers are prescribed to get low levels of blood pressure. They tend to relax the constricted blood vessel aids in smoothing blood flow and reduce blood pressure. They alone or in combination with other antihypertensive drugs help to lower the elevated levels of blood pressure.
Enlargement of prostate glands
Prostate gland enlargement is a common condition experienced by men as they get older. Conditions like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostatic hypertrophy can cause bothersome urinary symptoms. Untreated prostate gland enlargement can block the flow of urine out of the bladder and can cause bladder, urinary tract, or kidney problems. It affects the quality of life by interfering with daily activities and normal sleep patterns
Symptoms & Risk factors
The exact reason is still unknown but some studies have revealed that hormonal changes lead to the development of this condition. With the advancement in age, there is an increase in the dihydrotestosterone hormone which leads to prostate enlargement. Aged men are more prone to this disease. Genetic tendency and other disease condition such as diabetes or hypertension also influences prostate enlargement. Obese patients are more likely to have benign prostate hyperplasia. High intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids and beef content increases the risk by 25% of developing Prostate-related problems.
Alpha blockers spectrum
They have a role in lowering blood pressure and are a very important part of Hypertension pharmacotherapy. Other than this, they have a major role in curing Prostate-related problems.
A wide variety of treatments are available for enlarged prostate conditions. They include medications and minimally invasive surgery. The best treatment choice for you depends upon several factors such as age, prostate size, and how bad or undesirable your symptoms are. If the problem is in the initial stage, then one can adopt the wait-and-see approach. The most common and well-accepted therapy in treating urological problems and benign prostate hormones is the use of alpha-blockers. There are two types: nonselective alpha blockers and selective alpha-blockers. Nonselective alpha-blockers for the treatment of BPH include:
Selective alpha-blockers for treatment of BPH are:
They are centrally acting agents that bind to the alpha receptors and reverse their action. They relax the bladder neck muscles and fibers in the prostate itself and facilitate smooth urine outflow. Tamsulosin, Finasteride, and Dutasteride are fast-acting agents and within two or three days a person will experience smooth urine outflow. Tamsulosin offers high bioavailability and a long life of 9 to 15 hours. It is metabolized extensively in the liver. It has a greater affinity for the alpha receptors present in the prostate smooth muscle than other smooth muscle sites. USFDA has approved the dual combination of Tamsulosin with Dutasteride in the treatment of Benign Prostate hormone. Dutasteride acts by blocking the action of hormones i.e. 5 alpha reductase enzymes that form dihydrotestosterone which causes enlargement of the prostate gland. It helps in decreasing the size of the prostate and the uncomfortable associated symptoms. This combination has been shown to interact with other drugs such as Atazanavir, Clarithromycin, Indinavir, and Ketoconazole, so simultaneous consumption should be avoided.
Clinical profile of alpha blockers
Extensive studies have deduced its excellent efficacy in improving symptoms and reducing the risk of acute urinary retention in patients having prostatic inflammation. In a study, done over 4857 men with benign prostate hormone it has shown dramatic improvement in lowering urinary tract symptoms and increasing the quality of life.
Side effects differ from person to person. General minor side effects of alpha-blockers include
- Weakness or fatigue
- Light-headedness, dizziness, or fainting when you stand up suddenly after sitting or lying down
- Nasal congestion
- Retrograde ejaculation of the semen into bladder
- Liver toxicity
- Decreased blood count
Always tell your Doctor, that you are taking alpha blockers if you are planning for cataract surgery. It may cause intra-operative floppy iris syndrome and may show fewer side effects like postural hypotension.
Erectile dysfunction medicines like Sildenafil, Vardenafil, and Tadalafil may interact with alpha blockers and can cause severe dizziness or light-headedness. If a Benign Prostate Hormone patient is suffering from hypertension too, he may need another antihypertensive medicine to lower your blood pressure. It is very important to follow up with your Doctor on a regular basis in order to enquire about the health status and proper working of the drug.
Use of alpha blockers is contraindicated in pregnant women and children. Women who may become pregnant should not handle or touch the capsules. Dutasteride can be easily absorbed transdermally and can cause birth defects in male fetuses. So whenever any pregnant woman touches the medicine or broken capsule, she should immediately wash the affected area with soap and water.
What is the best treatment for BPH?
Alpha-blockers, such as terazosin or tamsulosin, cause the relaxation of smooth muscles. Combined with alpha-reductase inhibitors such as dutasteride and finasteride, it helps your symptoms more than when the medicine is used alone.
Are alpha-blocker drugs safe to use?
Alpha-blockers are generally safe to use when used as directed. Caution should be exercised when starting older adults on alpha-blockers as this population has multiple risk factors, including orthostatic hypotension.
Is Urimax effective in treating BPH?
Yes, Urimax containing tamsulosin helps to relax in the prostate and the opening of the bladder. This, in turn, increases the urine flow or decreases the symptoms. However, the medicine will not shrink the prostate.
What are the three top alpha-blocker medications?
The three top alpha-blocker medications for high blood pressure include Prazosin, doxazosin, and terazosin.
What is the best treatment for BPH?
In most cases, transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP) is considered the standard treatment for blockage of the urethra due to BPH.
What are the most common side effects of alpha-blockers?
The most common side effects of alpha-blockers are headache, dizziness, and slight dizziness.
Do alpha blockers medicines increase heart rate?
Yes, alpha-blockers increase heart rate as these contribute to extra norepinephrine in your body, which activates certain sense organs, leading to a fast heartbeat.
How long does it take for alpha-blocker drugs to start working?
In the case of BPH, most men see an improvement within six months of beginning the treatment. People with high blood pressure need to take alpha-blocker medications for life.
What medicine can be used to improve urine flow?
Tamsulosin, an alpha blocker, causes the relaxation of muscles in the prostate and bladder, thus improving urine flow.
How to shrink an enlarged prostate fast?
Medications like alpha inhibitors help shrink the prostate and relieve symptoms.
Do we need a prescription for BPH medications?
Yes, a prescription is always needed for BPH medicines. This helps avoid overuse/misuse of these medicines, ultimately leading to unwanted side effects.