Why is this medication prescribed?
Alfuzosin is used in men to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH), which include difficulty urinating (hesitation, dribbling, weak stream, and incomplete bladder emptying), painful urination, and urinary frequency and urgency. Alfuzosin is in a class of medications called alpha blockers. It works by relaxing the muscles in the prostate and bladder to allow urine to flow more easily.
How should this medicine be used?
Alfuzosin comes as an extended-release (long-acting) tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day, immediately after a meal. Do not take alfuzosin on an empty stomach. To help you remember to take alfuzosin, take it after the same meal every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take alfuzosin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.
Alfuzosin controls BPH but does not cure it. Continue to take alfuzosin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking alfuzosin without talking to your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking alfuzosin,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to alfuzosin, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in alfuzosin. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are taking itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take alfuzosin.
- tell your doctor if you have liver disease. Your doctor may tell you not to take alfuzosin.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: amiodarone (Cordarone); aprepitant (Emend); atenolol (Tenormin); cimetidine (Tagamet); cisapride (not available in the U.S.); clarithormycin (Biaxin, in Prevpac); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); danazol (Danocrine); delavirdine (Rescriptor); diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac, others); disopyramide (Norpace);dofetilide (Tikosyn); efavirenz (Sustiva); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin);fluconazole (Diflucan); fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem); fluvoxamine (Luvox); HIV protease inhibitors such as atazanavir (Reyataz), indinavir (Crixivan), lopinavir (in Kaletra), nelfinavir (Viracept), and saquinavir (Fortovase, Invirase); hormonal contraceptives (birth control pills, rings, and patches); isoniazid (INH, Nydrazid); lovastatin (Adivicor, Altocor, Mevacor); medications for high blood pressure; medications for erectile dysfunction (ED) such as sildenafil (Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), or vardenafil (Levitra); metronidazole (Flagyl); moxifloxacin (Avelox); nefazodone; other alpha blockers such as doxazosin (Cardura), prazosin (Minipress), terazosin (Hytrin), and tamsulosin (Flomax); pimozide (Orap); procainamide (Procanbid, Pronestyl); quinidine (Quinidex); sertraline (Zoloft); sotalol (Betapace,); sparfloxacin (Zagam); thioridazine (Mellaril); troleandomycin (TAO); verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan); and zafirlukast (Accolate). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you or any member of your family have an irregular heartbeat; or if you have or have ever had prostate cancer; angina (chest pain); low blood pressure; or heart or kidney disease; and if you have ever become dizzy, fainted, or had low blood pressure after taking any medication.
- you should know that alfuzosin is only for use in men. Women should not take alfuzosin, especially if they are or could become pregnant or are breast-feeding. If a pregnant woman takes alfuzosin, she should call her doctor.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking alfuzosin. If you need to have eye surgery at any time during or after your treatment, be sure to tell your doctor that you are taking or have taken alfuzosin.
- you should know that alfuzosin may cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting, especially when you get up too quickly from a lying position. This is more common when you first start taking alfuzosin. To avoid this problem, get out of bed slowly, resting your feet on the floor for a few minutes before standing up. If these symptoms do not improve, call your doctor. Avoid driving, operating machinery, or performing dangerous tasks until you know how this medication affects you.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Talk to your doctor about eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while taking this medication.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
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.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Alfuzosin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms or those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section are severe or do not go away:
- runny or stuffy nose
- stomach pain
- decrease in sexual ability
- sore throat, fever, chills, cough and other signs of infection
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty swallowing or breathing
- chest pain
Alfuzosin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
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 light and excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
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.
Symptoms of overdose may include:
- blurred vision
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
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.