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What are Alpha-Blockers?
Alpha-Blockers also called α blockers, or alpha-adrenergic antagonist is pharmacological agents that relax the muscle tissue in blood vessels and the prostate gland and increases fluid flow.
Classification of Alpha Blockers Drugs: Alpha Blockers are divided into two categories
α1-Blockers – Commonly used alpha-blockers
α2-Blockers- These are non-selective alpha-blockers having some β activity
Symptoms and signs of alpha-blockers
The first symptom for the need of alpha-blockers is abnormal blood pressures reading in consecutive tests at regular intervals.
Headaches, nose bleeding, irregular heartbeat, vision changes, buzzing in ears.
In extreme conditions, there is a blocking of veins and an increase in blood pressure, which reduces the oxygen supply to the heart and other organs. This situation may lead to fatal conditions like angina pectoris, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, kidney failure.
Causes of alpha-blockers
Unhealthy diet, excessive salt consumption, high fat and trans-fat diet, low intake of fruits and vegetables, physical inactivity, excesses tobacco and alcohol consumption, obesity, Family history of hypertension, aging, other existing diseases like kidney malfunction or diabetes.
Alpha Blocker Medicines:
Some commonly used alpha-blocker drugs are:-
Medical Uses of Alpha-Blockers:
Alpha-blockers are used in the treatment of various diseases like:
- Benign Prostatic hyperplasia
- Congestive heart failure
- Erectile dysfunction
- Type II diabetes
- Raynaud’s disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Weight maintenance.
- Balanced diet.
- Fewer salts and sodium foods.
- Exercise regularly.
- Limited alcohol intake.
- Regular monitoring.
- According to the American Heart Association, at least three resting measurements, on at least two separate healthcare visits should be within the normal range. Consecutive higher levels of blood pressure is a sign of hypertension.
- According to the National Institute of Health and Excellence, the United Kingdom, blood pressure at regular intervals if more than 140/90 mmHg is hypertension.
Apart from blood pressure measuring other tests can be carried out such as,
- Kidney ( microscopic urinalysis, protein in the urine, BUN, creatinine ).
- Endocrine (serum, sodium potassium calcium levels, TSH).
- Metabolism( HDL, LDL, Total Cholesterol, fasting blood glucose).
- Other (electrocardiogram, chest radiograph ).
Side Effects of Alpha-Blockers
Various side effects of alpha-blockers include the following:-
- Heart Palpitations
- Weight gain
- Low Blood Pressure
- Risk of Heart Failure
- Dry mouth
- Retrograde Ejaculation
The need for alpha-blockers is during hypertension. Therefore, one must have changes in their lifestyle to avoid hypertension condition. In the case of worse symptoms, one must consult a doctor and avoid self-medication. Consult reliable sources for diagnostic tests. As the medicines have side effects, one must take care during dosage.