Doxazosin Warnings and Precautions

Understanding doxazosin precautions and warnings before taking it can ensure a safe treatment process. For example, the drug can cause vertigo and fainting, and certain interactions can occur if doxazosin is taken with other medications. Doxazosin precautions and warnings also extend to people with liver disease, who are allergic to any component of the drug, and to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Doxazosin: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking doxazosin mesylate (Cardura®) if you have:
  • Liver problems, including liver failure or cirrhosis
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also let your healthcare provider know if you are:
  • Pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Breastfeeding.
It's important to also tell your healthcare provider about all of the medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Specific Doxazosin Warnings and Precautions

Warnings and precautions to be aware of prior to taking doxazosin include the following:
  • Doxazosin is considered a pregnancy Category C medication. This means that it may not be safe for use during pregnancy. However, because doxazosin has not been studied in pregnant women, the full risks of using the drug during pregnancy are not known (see Doxazosin and Pregnancy for more information).
  • It is not known if doxazosin is passed through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about this.
  • Doxazosin can cause:
    • Lightheadedness
    • Dizziness
    • A spinning sensation (vertigo)
    • Fainting, especially when standing up.
  • These side effects are caused by low blood pressure and are more likely to occur after taking the very first dose of doxazosin, any time the dose is increased, or when restarting doxazosin after stopping it for even a few days. To decrease the chance of these problems, you should start at the lowest dose (1 mg daily), and the dose should be increased slowly. For the first 24 hours after starting or increasing your doxazosin dosage, avoid situations that might be dangerous, such as driving or operating heavy machinery, especially if you are having symptoms of low blood pressure. Tell your healthcare provider if you are having trouble with any of these symptoms. Your blood pressure should be carefully monitored when starting or increasing doxazosin.
  • In rare cases, doxazosin has been reported to cause priapism, a painful erection of the penis that does not go away. Even though it may seem embarrassing, you need to seek medical attention right away if you have priapism, as it may lead to permanent damage to the penis (see Doxazosin Sexual Side Effects for more information).
  • Doxazosin has been reported to cause intraoperative floppy iris syndrome, a problem with the eyes that can occur during cataract surgery. This problem has occurred in people who were currently taking doxazosin and in people who had stopped taking the drug. Before having eye surgery, be sure to tell your healthcare provider if you are or have been on doxazosin.
  • Before you start taking doxazosin, your healthcare provider should make sure your enlarged prostate symptoms are not caused by another condition, such as prostate cancer or bladder problems.
  • Because the liver helps to clear doxazosin from the body, you should talk with your healthcare provider before taking it if you have liver problems, including liver failure or cirrhosis.
  • Doxazosin can interact with certain medications (see Doxazosin Drug Interactions).
The Dirty, Messy Part of BPH

Doxazosin Mesylate

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