Prazosin is used alone or in combination with other medications to treat high blood pressure. Prazosin is in a class of medications called alpha-blockers. It works by relaxing the blood vessels so that blood can flow more easily through the body.
High blood pressure is a common condition and when not treated, can cause damage to the brain, heart, blood vessels, kidneys, and other parts of the body. Damage to these organs may cause heart disease, a heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure, loss of vision, and other problems. In addition to taking medication, making lifestyle changes will also help to control your blood pressure. These changes include eating a diet that is low in fat and salt, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising at least 30 minutes most days, not smoking, and using alcohol in moderation.
Prazosin comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It usually is taken two or three times a day at evenly spaced intervals. The first time taking prazosin, you should take it before you go to bed. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take prazosin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Your doctor will probably start you on a low dose of prazosin and gradually increase your dose.
Prazosin controls high blood pressure but does not cure it. Continue to take prazosin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking prazosin without talking to your doctor.
Prazosin is also used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH, noncancerous enlargement of the prostate), congestive heart failure, pheochromocytoma (adrenal gland tumor), sleep problems associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD; an anxiety disorder in people who experience or witness a traumatic, life-threatening event), and Raynaud's disease (condition where the fingers and toes change skin color from white to blue to red when exposed to hot or cold temperatures). Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Follow your doctor's directions for your meals, including advice for a reduced salt (sodium) diet.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. Check with your doctor if you have missed two or more doses.
fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat
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Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your blood pressure should be checked regularly to determine your response to prazosin.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking prazosin.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
Last Revised - 03/15/2015
AHFS® Consumer Medication Information. © Copyright, 2015. The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Inc., 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. All Rights Reserved. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized by ASHP.