Alpha-Blockers: 4 Types, Symptoms, Uses, and Side effects



Alpha-blockers are also called α-blockers or α-adrenoreceptor antagonists. This is used to treat hypertension caused due to high blood pressure. Alpha-blockers are also used to treat erectile dysfunction. 

It prevents norepinephrine from attacking the muscles of arteries in veins. This allows the blood flow to pass quickly and maintains blood pressure. Also, alpha-blockers are used to maintain healthy muscles throughout the body. 

The most used alpha-blockers are Doxazosin, Terazosin, Alfuzosin, Indoramin, Tamsulosin, and Prazosin.

Uses of Alpha-blockers

They are used to combine with other drugs in case of difficult situations. 

They are also used to treat begin prostatic hyperplasia. 

Medical use

Alpha-blockers are also used to treat anxiety, panic disorders, diabetes, and depression. 


It occurs because of an increase in vasoconstriction and vascular resistance. Prazosin can be used to treat any hypertension. Along with benefits, they also have side effects that you will read further. 



This disease is developed due to catecholamine secreting tumor development. Alpha-blocker Phenoxybenzamine is used to treat Pheochromocytoma. Its side effects are headaches, sweating, and heart palpitations.


Congestive heart failure

Blockers with alpha and beta receptors such as Carvedilol, Labetalol, and Bucindolol are used to cure congestive heart failure. 

Erectile Dysfunction

Phentolamine is a kind of alpha-blocker that is non-selective, is used to treat erectile dysfunction. Its side effects are flushing, headache, and nasal congestion.

Raynaud’s Disease

Raynaud’s disease can be cured with alpha-2 blockers such as Yohimbine without side effects. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Prazosin, an alpha-2 blocker can cure this disorder when given in high doses. Its side effects are nausea, weakness, fatigue, and nightmares. 


Side effects of alpha-blockers

 The initial doses of alpha-blockers show severe symptoms. When you start consuming α-blockers, you might feel dizziness and low blood pressure. 

Most side effects are observed in the initial two weeks of taking α-blockers. In rare cases, they can also cause some sexual problems or might be the reason behind bone fractures. 

The common side effects of α-blockers are as follows:

  • Pounding
  • heartbeat
  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Impaired
  • ejaculation
  • Hypotension
  • Nasal stiffness

α-blockers with other medications

There is a list of drugs that should be avoided while consuming α-blockers. Some of these includes:

Frequently asked questions

Who should not take the α-blockers?

Women’s should avoid taking α-blockers as it causes urinary stress and loss of bladder control. Pregnant women or who are breastfeeding shot not consume α-blockers. 

Is there an over-the-counter alpha-blocker?

No. over the counter α-blockers are still not available. 

Which alpha-blocker have minor side effects?

Tamsulosin is the drug with minor side effects. It comes under the blocker designed with causing the most negligible effects to blood pressure and, thus, have the most insignificant side effects. 

What is the difference between alpha and beta-blockers?

α-blockers open up the blood vessels and work on the blood muscles. Whereas β-blockers ease the blood flow to the heart. 

What are the α-blockers for treating acute urinary retention?

It is a the life-threatening outcome of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Acute urinary retention is the indication of surgical intervention. Alfuzosin α-blockers are best to cure this. 

When should alpha-blockers be stopped?

The exact period can only be described after diagnosing the symptoms. The α-blockers cycles continue from 3-6 months. 

How long do alpha-blockers stay in your system? 

If you stop consuming dosage, α-blockers will flush out of your body in 2-3 days. 

Do alpha-blockers cause weight gain?

Weight gain is not the side effect of alpha-blockers.

Why do alpha-blockers cause tachycardia?

In contrast, the blood pressure lowering effects of non-selective alpha-blockers, such as phentolamine, are associated with a marked reflex tachycardia due to blunting of inhibitory presynaptic α2 feedback that suppresses the release of norepinephrine when synaptic levels of the neurotransmitter rise

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