Similar Names: Hytrin (terazosin), Minipress (terazosin
Why are these drugs prescribed?
Cardura is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). It is also used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension). This pamphlet describes Cardura only as a treatment for BPH.
What Cardura does
It relaxes the tightness of a certain type of muscle in the prostate and at the opening of the bladder. This may increase the rate of urine flow and/or decrease the symptoms you are having. Cardura helps relieve the symptoms of BPH. It does NOT change the size of the prostate, which may continue to grow, but a larger prostate does not necessarily cause more or worse symptoms.
If Cardura is helping you, you should notice an effect on your particular symptoms within two to four weeks of starting the medicine. Even though you take Cardura and it may help you, it may not prevent the need for surgery in the future.
What you should know while taking Cardura for BPH
Cardura can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure after the VERY FIRST DOSE. You may feel dizzy, faint, or "light-headed," particularly after you get up from bed or from a chair. This is more likely to occur after you've taken the first few doses, but can occur at any time while you are taking the drug. It can also occur if you stop taking the drug and then restart treatment.
Because of this effect, we recommend that you take Cardura at bedtime. If you take Cardura at bedtime but need to get up from bed to go to the bathroom, get up slowly and cautiously until you are sure how the medicine affects you. It is also important to get up slowly from a chair or bed at any time until you learn how you react to Cardura. You should not drive or do any hazardous tasks until you are certain of the effects of the medication. If you begin to feel dizzy, sit or lie down until you feel better.
You will start with a 1 mg dose of Cardura. The dose will be increased as your body becomes accustomed to the effect of the medication. Usually, the dose is increased to 2 mg by the third week, and if needed, to 4 mg by the fifth week. Do not take higher doses without our permission. Doses higher than 4 mg increase the likelihood of dizziness and fainting.
Other side effects you might have while taking Cardura include drowsiness, blurred or hazy vision, nausea, and "puffiness" of the feet or hands. Discuss any unexpected effects you notice with us, or call if you have questions.
Other important facts
You should see an effect on your symptoms within two to four weeks. You will need to see your doctor so he may check on the progress of your BPH and to monitor your blood pressure, in addition to your other regular check-ups.
We have prescribed Cardura for your BPH and not for prostate cancer. Nevertheless, a man can have BPH and prostate cancer at the same time. Doctors usually recommend that men be checked for prostate cancer once a year after they turn 50 years old (40 if a family member has had prostate cancer). These checks should continue even if you are taking Cardura. Cardura is not a treatment for prostate cancer.
About Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA)
We probably have done a blood test called PSA, which screens for prostate cancer. We have informational pamphlets on the meaning and value of PSA testing. You should know that Cardura does not affect PSA levels.
How to take Cardura
You must follow our instructions on how to take Cardura. You must take it every day at the dose prescribed. If you forget or for any reason do not take your Cardura for more than three days in a row, you should return to the 1 mg nightly dose for two to three days before returning to your regular dose. If you do not have 1 mg tablets, you should break a 2 mg tablet in half. Be aware of possible dizziness. Call us if you have questions about restarting Cardura. Do not share Cardura with anyone else.