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What are side effects of alpha-adrenergic antagonist medications?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
Alpha-adrenergic antagonist medications lower blood pressure and may make you prone to a sudden drop in blood pressure when you change position from lying down to sitting or standing (called postural hypotension). To minimize this symptom, your doctor may suggest taking the medication at bedtime. Some doctors are hesitant to prescribe alpha blockers for men who are already on another blood pressure medication. Other side effects may include dizziness, lack of energy, or swelling of the ankles.

If you are planning cataract surgery, tell your ophthalmologist if you are taking an alpha-adrenergic antagonist. The drugs can affect how the pupils of your eyes act during the procedure, and may necessitate a change in surgical technique.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.