Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Feb 10, 2022.
Commonly used brand name(s)
In the U.S.
Available Dosage Forms:
- Tablet, Extended Release
Therapeutic Class: Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy Agent
Pharmacologic Class: Alpha-1 Adrenergic Blocker
Uses for alfuzosin
Alfuzosin is used to treat the signs and symptoms of benign enlargement of the prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). Benign enlargement of the prostate is a problem that can occur in men as they get older. The prostate gland is located below the bladder. As the prostate gland enlarges, certain muscles in the gland may become tight and get in the way of the tube that drains urine from the bladder. This can cause problems with urinating, such as a need to urinate often, a weak stream when urinating, or a feeling of not being able to empty the bladder completely.
Alfuzosin helps relax the muscles in the prostate and the opening of the bladder. This may help increase the flow of urine or decrease the symptoms. However, alfuzosin will not shrink the prostate. The prostate may continue to get larger. This may cause the symptoms to become worse over time. Therefore, even though alfuzosin may lessen the problems caused by enlarged prostate now, surgery may still be needed in the future.
Alfuzosin is usually given only to men. It is not normally given to women or children.
Alfuzosin is available only with your doctor's prescription.
Before using alfuzosin
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For alfuzosin, the following should be considered:
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to alfuzosin or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Alfuzosin is not indicated for use in the pediatric population. Safety and efficacy have not been established.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of alfuzosin in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more sensitive to the effects of alfuzosin than younger adults and are likely to have age-related kidney, liver, or heart problems, which may require caution in patients receiving alfuzosin.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Interactions with medicines
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking alfuzosin, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using alfuzosin with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using alfuzosin with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
- Aripiprazole Lauroxil
- Arsenic Trioxide
- Inotuzumab Ozogamicin
- Sodium Phosphate
- Sodium Phosphate, Dibasic
- Sodium Phosphate, Monobasic
Using alfuzosin with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Interactions with food/tobacco/alcohol
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Other medical problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of alfuzosin. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
- Angina (chest pain) or
- Heart rhythm problems (eg, congenital or acquired QT prolongation), or history of or
- Postural hypotension (low blood pressure)—Use with caution. May make these conditions worse.
- Hypertension (high blood pressure) or
- Liver disease, moderate or severe—Should not be used in patients with this condition.
- Kidney disease, severe or
- Liver disease, mild—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Proper use of alfuzosin
Take alfuzosin exactly as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered.
Alfuzosin comes with a patient information leaflet. Read and follow these instructions carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
Take alfuzosin with food and with the same meal every day.
Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
The dose of alfuzosin will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of alfuzosin. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (extended release tablets):
- For benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH):
- Adults—10 milligrams (mg) once a day.
- Children—Use is not recommended.
- For benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH):
If you miss a dose of alfuzosin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.
Precautions while using alfuzosin
It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure that alfuzosin is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.
Do not use alfuzosin if you are taking ketoconazole (Nizoral®), itraconazole (Sporanox®), or ritonavir (Norvir®).
Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting may occur after you use alfuzosin, especially when you get up from a lying or sitting position. Getting up slowly may help lessen this problem. If you feel dizzy, lie down so you do not faint. Then sit for a few moments before standing to prevent the dizziness from returning.
Alfuzosin may cause some people to become dizzy or less alert than they are normally. Do not drive or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how alfuzosin affects you.
Tell your eye doctor (ophthalmologist) that you have used or are using alfuzosin before cataract surgery or any other eye procedure. Alfuzosin may cause a serious eye problem called Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome (IFIS).
Call your doctor right away if you experience a prolonged erection. This is an extremely rare side effect, but if it goes untreated, can result in permanent erectile dysfunction (impotence).
Check with your doctor right away if you have arm, back or jaw pain, chest pain or discomfort, chest tightness or heaviness, fast or irregular heartbeat, nausea, or sweating.
Benign prostatic hyperplasia can have the same symptoms as prostate cancer. They may also often occur together. Your doctor may test for the presence of the cancer before you start using alfuzosin.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Alfuzosin side effects
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
- Chest pain
- cold sweats
- dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up from a lying or sitting position
- fast, pounding, or irregular heartbeat or pulse
- painful or prolonged erection of the penis
Incidence not known
- Arm, back, or jaw pain
- black, tarry stools
- bleeding gums
- bloody urine
- chest discomfort, tightness, or heaviness
- clay-colored stools
- dark urine
- hives, welts, itching, skin rash
- large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or genitals
- loss of appetite
- pinpoint red spots on the skin
- stomach pain
- unpleasant breath odor
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- vomiting of blood
- yellow eyes or skin
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- body aches or pain
- cough producing mucus
- decreased interest in sexual intercourse
- difficulty breathing
- difficulty having a bowel movement
- dryness or soreness of the throat
- ear congestion
- inability to have or keep an erection
- loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
- loss of voice
- nasal congestion
- pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
- sore throat
- stomach discomfort or upset
- stuffy or runny nose
- tender, swollen glands in the neck
- tightness in the chest
- trouble with swallowing
- unusual tiredness or weakness
- voice changes
Incidence not known
- Feeling of warmth
- redness of the face, neck, arms, and occasionally, upper chest
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
More about alfuzosin
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- Dosage information
- During pregnancy
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- Drug class: antiadrenergic agents, peripherally acting
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