Guide to Prazosin Side Effects. Prazosin Uses, Nightmares, Dosage, Interactions, Warnings, & Treatment.

Prazosin may cause adverse effects. Tell your doctor if any of those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section on the drug label are severe or do not go away. Continue to read more about prazosin side effects and how to treat withdrawals from the drug.


Prazosin (Oral)

Prazosin is a drug used to manage and treat hypertension or high blood pressure, benign prostatic hyperplasia, anxiety, PTSD-associated nightmares, and the Raynaud phenomenon (a concern that causes declined blood flow to the fingers.)

Uses

Prazosin Uses

Using Prazosin for High Blood Pressure

Prazosin is an effective treatment for high blood pressure, protecting against strokes, heart attacks, and kidney problems. As an alpha blocker, it relaxes and widens blood vessels for improved blood flow.

How to Take Prazosin HCL?

How to Take Prazosin HCL?

To take Prazosin HCL, follow your doctor’s instructions. It should be taken twice or thrice daily, with or without food. If you experience stomach upset, taking it with food or milk can help. Your age, medical condition, and response to therapy will determine the dosage.

Prazosin may cause sudden fainting after the first dose or when your dose is increased. To minimize this risk, your doctor will initially prescribe the smallest available dose. Taking this first dose before bedtime is recommended to reduce the chance of fainting. As your dose is adjusted, continue taking the first new dose at bedtime unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.

Consistency is vital for maximum benefits. Take this medication at the same time(s) each day to ensure optimal results. Even if you feel well, continue taking Prazosin for high blood pressure. It might take a few weeks to notice the drug’s full effect.

Do not discontinue this medication without consulting your doctor first. Abruptly stopping Prazosin can exacerbate certain conditions. If necessary, your dose will be gradually decreased under medical supervision.

Inform your doctor if your situation declines (like blood pressure readings increase).

Side Effects

Prazosin Side Effects

As your body adjusts to this medication, you may experience common side effects such as headaches, drowsiness, tiredness, weakness, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation. If these effects persist or worsen, you must promptly inform your doctor or pharmacist.

Potential side effects of Prazosin

Additional Prazosin Side Effects

Additionally, you may experience lightheadedness or dizziness when standing up, especially after the first dose or within the first week of treatment. To minimize the risk of dizziness and fainting, it is recommended to rise from a seated or lying position slowly. If you feel dizzy, sitting or lying down immediately is advised. Your doctor may need to adjust your dosage accordingly.

Please remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because they have determined that the benefits outweigh the potential side effects. Many people taking this medication do not experience any severe side effects.

However, it is crucial to inform your doctor immediately if you experience severe side effects such as a rapid heartbeat, fainting, frequent urination, mental or mood changes (such as depression), or swelling in the feet or ankles.

In rare cases, males may experience painful or prolonged erections lasting 4 or more hours. If this occurs, discontinue this medication and seek immediate medical assistance to avoid potential permanent problems.

Rare but Serious Allergic Reactions: Pay Attention to These Symptoms

Though very uncommon, seek prompt medical assistance if you experience signs of a severe allergic reaction to this drug. Look out for a rash, itching, or swelling, particularly of the face, tongue, or throat, as well as severe dizziness or difficulty breathing.

Not an Exhaustive List: Inform Your Doctor of Any Other Effects

Remember, the mentioned symptoms are not the only side effects to watch for. Contact your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any other effects not mentioned above.

In the US: Seek Medical Advice and Report Side Effects

For medical advice regarding side effects, call your doctor in the US or report them to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or through www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada: Seek Medical Advice and Report Side Effects

Call your doctor in Canada or report them to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345 for medical advice regarding side effects.

Potential Side Effects of Prazosin in Females

Prazosin Side Effects in Females

Here is a table outlining the potential side effects of prazosin in females across various categories:

Prazosin Side Effects in FemalesWeight Loss / GainBlood PressureErectile DysfunctionUrinationNightmaresAlcohol Interaction
Possible ImpactMay cause mild weight loss. Weight gain is not a common side effect.It may cause mild weight loss. Weight gain is not a common side effect.It may improve urinary symptoms related to benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).It can cause a decrease in blood pressure.Prazosin is often prescribed to reduce nightmares associated with PTSD.Prazosin may enhance the hypotensive effects of alcohol. Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
Side effects can vary among individuals, and not everyone will experience these effects.

Important Reminder: Inform Your Doctor of Any Other Effects

Please note that the listed symptoms are not an exhaustive list of side effects to be aware of. If you experience any other effects not mentioned above, it is crucial to contact your doctor or pharmacist.

In the United States: Seek Medical Advice and Report Side Effects

For medical advice concerning side effects, communicate with your doctor in the United States or report them to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You can also visit www.fda.gov/medwatch.

In Canada: Seek Medical Advice and Report Side Effects

To receive medical advice regarding side effects, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor in Canada or report them to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

Warning

Prazosin Warnings

Precautions for Taking Prazosin: Allergies, Medical History, and Side Effects

If you are considering taking prazosin, here are some essential precautions to remember. First, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to prazosin or other alpha-blockers like doxazosin and terazosin or have other allergies. This medication may contain inactive ingredients that could cause allergic reactions or other issues, so it’s best to consult your pharmacist for more information.

Prazosin Precautions

Prazosin Warnings

Before using prazosin, discuss your medical history with your doctor or pharmacist, especially if you have heart problems, kidney disease, narcolepsy (uncontrolled attacks of deep sleep), prostate cancer, or specific eye problems like cataracts or glaucoma.

Prazosin can cause dizziness, drowsiness, or blurred vision. Consuming alcohol or marijuana can exacerbate these effects. To ensure your safety, avoid driving, operating machinery, or engaging in activities that require alertness or clear vision until you can do so safely. Additionally, for 24 hours after your first dose, any increase in dosage, or restarting treatment, refrain from driving or participating in hazardous activities. The same applies if your doctor prescribes any additional blood pressure drugs. Limit your alcohol intake and consult your doctor if you are using marijuana.

To prevent dizziness and fainting, take precautions when standing for extended periods and avoid getting overheated during exercise or hot weather. When starting prazosin, be cautious when fainting could lead to injury.

Before surgery, including cataract/glaucoma eye surgery, inform your doctor or dentist about your use of prazosin and any other medications or products, including prescription, nonprescription, and herbal products.

It’s worth noting that older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of prazosin, particularly dizziness, and fainting, which can increase the risk of falling.

During pregnancy, prazosin should only be used if necessary. It’s essential to discuss the risks and benefits of the medication with your doctor before making a decision.

If breastfeeding, consult your doctor before using prazosin, as it passes into breast milk.

These precautions will help ensure your safety and well-being while taking prazosin.

Interactions

Prazosin Interactions

Understanding drug interactions is crucial to ensuring the effectiveness and safety of your medications. Not all potential interactions are listed here, so it’s vital to communicate your complete product usage to your healthcare provider and pharmacist. Make sure to collaborate with them before changing your medication regimen.

Important: Drug Interactions and Precautions

Prazosin Drug Interactions

Several products may interact with this drug, including alpha-blockers, beta-blockers, and medications for erectile dysfunction or pulmonary hypertension. Keep your doctor informed if you’re taking any of these.

Additionally, be cautious if you’re using products that cause drowsiness, such as opioid pain relievers, alcohol, or specific sleep or anxiety medications. Inform your healthcare provider or pharmacist about these products for proper guidance.

Also, check the labels of all your medicines, including allergy or cough-and-cold products, as they may contain ingredients that cause drowsiness. Seek advice from your pharmacist on how to safely use these products.

Lastly, some products may have ingredients that can increase heart rate or blood pressure. Consult your pharmacist about any products you’re currently using, especially cough-and-cold remedies, diet aids, or NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen, to ensure safe usage.

Important Lab Test Notice: This medication could impact specific lab tests, potentially leading to inaccurate results. It is crucial to inform all medical professionals, including lab personnel, about your use of this drug.

Stay informed and prioritize your health by understanding drug interactions and talking to your healthcare team.

Overdose

Prazosin Overdose

In case of an overdose, immediately call 911 if the person is passing out or breathing. Otherwise, contact a poison control center right away. US residents can dial 1-800-222-1222 to reach their local poison control center. Canadian residents should contact their provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include severe drowsiness and slow reactions.

Important Note: Do not share this medication with others.

Prazosin Overdose

Prazosin Overdose Considerations

To enhance the effectiveness of this medicine, consider making lifestyle changes such as participating in stress reduction programs, engaging in regular exercise, and adopting a healthy diet. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle modifications that may benefit you.

While taking this medication, regularly monitor your blood pressure and heart rate. Learn how to measure your blood pressure and share the results with your doctor.

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. If it’s close to your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next one at the usual time. Do not double the dose to make up for a missed one.

Properly store this medication at room temperature, away from light and moisture. Avoid storing it in the bathroom. Keep all medications out of reach of children and pets.

Do not dispose of medications by flushing them down the toilet or pouring them into drains unless specifically instructed. Dispose of this product appropriately when it has expired or is no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for guidance.

Pictures

Prazosin Pictures

Prazosin may cause adverse effects. Tell your doctor if any of those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section on the drug label are severe or do not go away. Continue to read more about prazosin side effects and how to treat withdrawals from the drug.
Prazosin may cause adverse effects. Tell your doctor if any of those listed in the SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS section on the drug label are severe or do not go away. Continue to read more about prazosin’s side effects and how to treat drug withdrawal.

prazosin capsule

Color: blue

Shape: oblong

Imprint: TEVA 4069

This medicine is a blue, oblong, capsule imprinted with “TEVA 4069”.

Prazosin Side Effects

Prazosin is generally well-tolerated. However, like all medications, it can have side effects.

Above are some common side effects of prazosin that can occur in both males and females.
Above are some common side effects of prazosin that can occur in both males and females.

More common side effects of prazosin are:

  • Dizziness or lightheadedness.
  • Headaches.
  • Drowsiness or fatigue.
  • Nausea and Dry mouth.
  • Diarrhea and Constipation.
  • Blurred vision and problems with vision
  • Chest pains.
  • Tiredness.

Rare side effects of prazosin are:

  • Bloating, swelling, and inflammation.
  • Dark urine, yellow eyes, and skin.
  • Decreased sex drive and ability.
  • Stomach pain radiating to back.

More serious side effects of prazosin include:

  • Anxiety and Depression.
  • Rapid and irregular heartbeat
  • Fainting and shortness of breath.

How to Deal with Prazosin Side Effects?

If you experience Prazosin’s side effects, talk to your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dosage or switch you to a different medication. In rare cases, prazosin can cause more severe side effects, such as chest pain or an irregular heartbeat. If you experience any adverse Prazosin cardiac symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

Prazosin Uses

Prazosin uses include Orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure when standing after sitting or lying down), dizziness, fainting, rapid loss of consciousness, and palpitations (tachycardia). Lightheadedness and lack of energy are all possible alpha-blockers and Prazosin side effects.

What is prazosin used for? Prazosin (brand name is Minipress) is a prescription medication used to manage and treat hypertension, hyperplasia (increased cell production in normal tissue or organs), benign prostatic (prostate enlargement), PTSD-associated nightmares, and the Raynaud phenomenon. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) [1], Prazosin is in an alpha-blocker class of medications. It relaxes the blood vessels so that blood can flow more quickly through the body. Prazosin comes only as a capsule taken orally.

Prazosin Side Effects Warning

Remember that prazosin should always be taken exactly as your doctor prescribes, and you should never adjust your dose or stop taking it without consulting your doctor.

Commonly reported prazosin side effects include dizziness, dorwsiness, and syncope. Syncope is another word for fainting or passing out.
Commonly reported prazosin side effects include dizziness, drowsiness, and syncope. Syncope is another word for fainting or passing out.

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Prazosin Side Effects & Drug Facts Chart

The Prazosin side effects and drug facts table summarizes the common side effects, serious side effects, precautions, drug interactions, breastfeeding recommendations, overdose symptoms, and emergency contact information for Prazosin.

Prazosin Drug FactDescription
Generic Name vs Prazosin
Brand Name(s)Minipress, Prazopress
Drug ClassAlpha-1 adrenergic antagonist
IndicationsHypertension, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Dosage Form(s)Tablet
Dosing RegimenInitially: 1mg-2mg 2-3 times daily; Maintenance: 6mg-15mg daily, divided into 2-3 doses
Route of AdministrationOral
Common Side EffectsDizziness, drowsiness, headache, weakness, palpitations (rapid or irregular heartbeat), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, fluid retention, nasal congestion, blurred vision, dry mouth.
Less Common Side EffectsDizziness, drowsiness, headache, weakness, palpitations (rapid or irregular heartbeat), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, fluid retention, nasal congestion, blurred vision, and dry mouth.
Serious Side EffectsSevere low blood pressure, difficulty breathing or swallowing, chest pain, swelling (face, hands, feet), yellowing of the eyes or skin, dark-colored urine, priapism (painful or prolonged erection), severe skin reactions, allergic reactions.
Precautions and WarningsInform your healthcare provider of any existing medical conditions or medications you are taking. Prazosin may cause low blood pressure, so caution is advised when standing up or changing positions quickly.
Drug InteractionsPrazosin may interact with medications like other blood pressure drugs, erectile dysfunction drugs, and medications that lower heart rate. Discuss all
Overdose SymptomsSevere dizziness, fainting, difficulty breathing, rapid heartbeat
BreastfeedingNot recommended
In case of a Prazosin overdose, contact emergency services immediately.

Prazosin Side Effects & Risks

  • Drowsiness or dizziness, a common prazosin side effect, may influence the person’s ability to operate or drive machinery, primarily within the first 24 hrs. when your prazosin dose is increased. You will also have adverse effects from lying down to standing, during hot weather, after physical exercise, or after drinking alcohol. You mustn’t drive or operate machinery until you know how this medication affects you.
  • Prazosin side effects may also include headache, weakness, lack of energy, nausea, and palpitations.
  • Prazosin may rarely cause syncope (temporary loss of consciousness or fainting), particularly when going from sitting to lying to standing. These occurrences may happen within 30 to 90 minutes of taking the drug. The risk of an episode is higher when prazosin is used simultaneously with another antihypertensive drug or during a dosage increase.
  • Sexual dysfunction is one of the uncommon prazosin side effects of erectile dysfunction. Rarely, it may cause prolonged erections lasting more than four hours. Seek immediate medical help if these Prazosin side effects happen.
  • This drug may not be suitable for some people, including those with low blood pressure, pregnant or breastfeeding, or about to undergo eye surgery.
  • Effectiveness and safety in children have not been confirmed. More research is needed on prazosin’s side effects on weight loss and prazosin’s side effects on weight gain.
If you experience severe side effects of prazosin or if you experience unusual symptoms, consult with your doctor on the drug dose, substitute drugs, and other treatment options you can consider.
If you experience severe side effects of prazosin or if you experience unusual symptoms, consult with your doctor on the drug dose, substitute drugs, and other treatment options you can consider.
  • Prazosin may interact with other medications, which may cause adverse prazosin side effects, including lower blood pressure or cause dizziness.
  • Clinicians should be aware that there is a rare risk of priapism with prazosin, so, theoretically, there may be a greater than usual risk when combining trazodone and prazosin. Patients should be warned to pay attention to this possible Prazosin side effect.
  • Due to Prazosin’s side effects, Minipress (prazosin) lowers blood pressure but isn’t the first choice for treating high blood pressure (hypertension).
  • Not preferred for older people due to more chance of prazosin side effects urination and complications and prazosin side effects blood pressure
  • The safety of prazosin in pregnant mothers has not been established. Only use if the potential benefit warrants the risk. Use caution if this drug is used in a breastfeeding woman.

Prazosin Uses Off-label

Prazosin, off-label uses include anxiety, an enlarged prostate, congestive heart failure, Raynaud’s disease, and PTSD-related sleep problems. Prazosin may not be as life-threatening as other drugs of abuse like benzodiazepines, opioids, heroin, cocaine, and meth, but this drug can still produce adverse side effects.

Anxiety

Prazosin for Anxiety 

Prazosin is sometimes prescribed off-label for the treatment of anxiety disorder. Can prazosin cause anxiety? Prazosin has an average rating of 7.0 out of 10 from 20 ratings for treating anxiety and stress. 60% of reviewers reported a positive effect, while 25% reported an adverse effect. Does prazosin calm you down? Prazosin relaxes blood vessels in people with high blood pressure or heart failure.

PTSD

Prazosin for PTSD

Prazosin has a calming effect that can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep in people with PTSD. The FDA does not explicitly approve prazosin for treating anxiety disorder or PTSD.

According to research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) [2], Prazosin may have effectively treated sleep problems related to post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. However, it’s still prescribed “off-label” for these conditions. Off-label refers to drug use for conditions not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

If you are considering taking prazosin for anxiety or PTSD, talk to your doctor first to determine whether it is safe and appropriate for your situation. Your doctor may recommend other medications or therapies that are more appropriate for your needs.

Prazosin for PTSD Research

According to research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) [2], Prazosin may have effectively treated sleep problems related to post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. However, it’s still prescribed “off-label” for these conditions. Off-label refers to drug use for conditions not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

If you are considering taking prazosin for anxiety or PTSD, talk to your doctor first to determine whether it is safe and appropriate for your situation. Your doctor may recommend other medications or therapies that are more appropriate for your needs.

Side Effects of Prazosin for PTSD

PTSD Prazosin Side Effects

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder with symptoms that include insomnia due to hyperarousal and recurring nightmares. PTSD is a severe anxiety disorder that impacts a large percentage of the US population, particularly veterans.

There have been reports that prazosin, a commonly prescribed off-label drug, could be making suicidal thoughts worse for veterans suffering from PTSD. [3] A team of researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs, seeking to collect more evidence, set out to study the sustained effectiveness of the treatment. They organized a large, lengthy, multisite trial—the most rigorous for prazosin research.

Prazosin was no better than a placebo. According to The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) [4], for nightmares associated with PTSD, there is insufficient evidence to recommend or against using prazosin as mono- or augmentation treatment.

Nightmares

Prazosin Nightmares

Prazosin has been studied off-label for the treatment of trauma-associated nightmares. It is sometimes prescribed off-label for treating nightmares and sleep disturbances associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It works by blocking specific receptors in the brain, which can help reduce the frequency and intensity of nightmares.

Prazosin PTSD Nightmares

Further clinical trials are recommended to expand our knowledge about prazosin in different patient populations and what are the possible side effects it can cause.

PTSD Nightmares

Nightmares, frequently associated with posttraumatic stress disorder, are clinically relevant in today’s violent events and are challenging to treat, with few pharmacologic options. Extremely distressing and disturbing nightmares can have a profound negative effect on more than just an individual’s sleep; they also affect mental health, physical health, and quality of life.

These “repeated awakenings from the major sleep period or naps with detailed recall of extended and extremely frightening dreams, usually involving threats to survival, security, or self-esteem” are most frequently associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but can also be related to other conditions. They can contribute to alcohol and substance abuse, suicidal ideation, or completed suicide.

With an increasing number of veterans of military deployments reintegrating into civilian life, physicians can expect to see more patients with symptoms of PTSD, including nightmares and reduced sleep quality.

Prazosin Nightmares Side Effects

Prazosin Nightmares PTSD Side Effects

Like many medications, Prazosin can have side effects. One of the reported side effects of Prazosin is vivid dreams or nightmares. This can sometimes occur when starting the medication or when the dosage increases. Not everyone taking Prazosin will experience this side effect, and for some individuals, the reduction in nightmares may outweigh the occurrence of vivid dreams.

If you are experiencing disturbing nightmares while taking Prazosin, discussing this with your healthcare provider is essential. They may recommend adjusting the dosage or trying alternative treatments to address your symptoms.

Fainting Prazosin Side Effects 

Fainting or loss of consciousness can occur 30 to 90 minutes after taking the first dose. Prazosin is a quinazoline derivative that functions as a competitive alpha1-antagonist.

Prazosin’s most prevalent adverse effects are mild to moderate in severity. Several are caused by the drug’s neurological system effects, such as dizziness, sleepiness, and exhaustion, which are its most prevalent side effects.

Prazosin Abuse

Prazosin abuse has been a growing concern, a prescription drug on the market for over 20 years. Its use can cause uncomfortable prazosin side effects, from lightheadedness and vomiting to fainting and depression.

Is Prazosin Addictive?

If enough of this prescription medication is taken, it can produce a psychotropic effect. That result is enough to cause users to exceed their dosage to chase the same impact. Tolerance and dependence can immediately plunge into addiction when someone exhibits compulsive behaviors in seeking the drug. Prazosin abuse can lead to addiction.

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Prazosin Drug Facts

What is Prazosin?

Prazosin is FDA-approved for hypertension alone or in combination with other antihypertensive agents. However, this medication is not a first-line agent based on current evidence-based guidelines.

Generic Name: Prazosin [ PRA-zoe-sin ]
Brand Name: Minipress
Dosage Form: Oral capsule (1 mg; 2 mg; 5 mg)
Drug Class: Antiadrenergic agents, peripherally acting

One phenomenon associated with Prazosin is known as the "first dose drug response," in which the Prazosin side effects – specifically orthostatic hypotension, dizziness, and drowsiness – are especially pronounced in the first dose.
One phenomenon associated with Prazosin is known as the “first dose drug response,” in which the Prazosin side effects – specifically orthostatic hypotension, dizziness, and drowsiness – are especially pronounced in the first dose.

Prazosin Side Effects

How long do prazosin side effects last? Prazosin side effects usually go away after a few days. Taking the first medication dose at bedtime is best to lower side effects.

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood pressure
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Difficulties breathing
  • Chest pains

Prazosin Overdose Risks

An overdose of prazosin may cause low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, and other symptoms. Call emergency services immediately if you suspect someone has overdosed on prazosin.

Seek medical attention immediately, as an overdose of prazosin can be life-threatening.

The treatment for prazosin overdose typically involves supportive measures, like controlling blood pressure, and may also include pumping the stomach or using medications to counteract the effects of the drug.

Dosage table for Prazosin

Use the below Prazosin dosage chart to help guide and guard against potential adverse effects. Prazosin is commonly used to treat high blood pressure and specific conditions related to enlarged prostate. The Prazosin dosage may vary depending on the individual’s age, condition, and response to the medication. Prazosin has other off label uses for PTSD nightmares.

Prazosin Dosage InformationPrazosin Dosage
Hypertension (Initial Dose)1 mg-2 mg orally 2-3 times daily
Hypertension (Maintenance Dose)6 mg-15 mg orally daily, divided into 2-3 doses
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Nightmares (Initial Dose)1 mg orally at bedtime
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Nightmares (Maintenance Dose)2 mg-15 mg orally at bedtime
Consult a healthcare professional for personalized Prazosin dose instructions based on your condition.

Please note that the Prazosin dosages mentioned are for general information purposes only.

Prazosin Side Effects Warnings

Prazosin is a medication that is generally safe when taken as prescribed, but like all medications, it can have potential risks and warnings. Some of the most important warnings to be aware of when taking prazosin include:

  1. Low blood pressure: Prazosin can cause a sudden drop in blood pressure, especially when standing up. This can cause dizziness, light-headedness, or even fainting. If you experience these symptoms, sitting or lying down is important until they pass.
  2. Allergic reaction: In rare cases, prazosin can cause severe allergies. If you experience hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately.
  3. Liver dysfunction: Prazosin may cause liver dysfunction in rare cases, so monitoring liver function while taking this medication is essential.
  4. Kidney function impairment: Prazosin may also cause impairment in kidney function in some cases.
  5. Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Prazosin should only be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding if the potential benefits outweigh the possible risks.

It is crucial to discuss any potential risks and warnings with your doctor before beginning treatment with prazosin. Additionally, it is vital to take prazosin precisely as directed by your doctor and to report any unusual side effects or symptoms to your doctor immediately.

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PTSD & Prazosin Abuse Statistics

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder (SUD) frequently co-occur in Veterans seeking VA care. Individuals suffering from PTSD and drug addiction can benefit from trauma-focused PTSD treatments, including Prolonged Exposure (PE) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT).


4.46

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, women with PTSD were 2.48 times more feasible to meet the criteria for alcohol addiction or dependency and 4.46 times more likely to meet the criteria for drug addiction or dependence than women without PTSD.

Source: US Department of V.A.

76%

Among Veterans diagnosed with alcohol use disorder and another substance use disorder, the rate of PTSD diagnosis was 76%.

Source: US Department of V.A.

10 Years

During the past ten years, the number of Veterans with comorbid substance use disorder and PTSD in VA care has increased over three-fold.

Source: US Department of V.A.


In-depth Serious Prazosin Side Effects Review

Call your physician immediately if you experience the following prazosin side effects. Adverse effects of prazosin and their symptoms can include:

  • Loss of consciousness (this can occur if you stand up too quickly after Sitting or lying down)
  • Abnormal speedy heartbeat
  • Depression
  • An erection lasting more than four hours
  • Swelling of your hands and feet
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Allergic reactions
  • Hives
  • Skin rash
  • Swelling of the lips, face, or tongue

Dangers of Recreational Prazosin Uses

Prazosin use isn’t life-threatening in the way that more potent substances like stimulants and opioids are. However, the recreational use of this drug can be dangerous. It can produce concerning prazosin side effects.

Does prazosin make you sleepy? For one, upon first use, prazosin can cause someone to experience lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting if they get up too quickly from a lying-down position after taking the medication. Also, this drug can weaken the person to the point where operating machinery or driving a car becomes too dangerous.

Prazosin does not pose the addiction potential of sedative drugs such as Ambien, Restoril, and Zaleplon (Sonata). However, if enough of this drug is used, it can produce a psychotropic effect. That result is enough to cause users to exceed their dosage to chase the said effect that a previous dose had.

Insomnia and hallucinations are listed as some of the rare prazosin side effects by the manufacturer. This drug could be associated with rare psychiatric adverse effects and sleep disturbances.
Insomnia and hallucinations are listed as some of the rare prazosin side effects by the manufacturer. This drug could be associated with rare psychiatric adverse effects and sleep disturbances.

Prazosin Dosage Chart

If you manage high blood pressure and enlarged prostate with Prazosin, get the right dosage based on age, condition, and response to treatment. Stick to your prescribed dosage for the best results. Take a look at our general dosage chart for Prazosin.

Initial Prazosin Dose for High Blood Pressure:

  • Adults: Start with 1 mg twice or thrice daily and gradually increase the dose as the healthcare provider directs.
  • Older Adults: Start with a lower dose of 0.5 mg twice or thrice daily.

Maintenance Prazosin Dose for High Blood Pressure:

  • Adults: The usual maintenance dose varies between 6 to 20 mg daily, divided into two or three doses.
  • Older Adults: The maintenance dose is usually lower than for younger adults, typically ranging from 2 mg to 12 mg per day.

Prazosin Dose for Enlarged Prostate (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia):

  • Adults: Start with 1 mg at bedtime and gradually increase the dose as the healthcare provider directs. The usual dose for BPH is 2 mg to 7 mg per day, divided into two or three doses.

These are general guidelines, and individual Prazosin dosages will vary. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized dosage recommendations and guidance. They will consider your overall health, medical history, and other medications you may be taken while determining the appropriate dosage.

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The high blood pressure drug prazosin is sometimes used to treat PTSD-related nightmares and insomnia that can increase suicide risk.

Prazosin Overdose Dangers. How Much Prazosin is Fatal?

Can you overdose on Prazosin? Yes. This prescription drug can overdose when too much is ingested, intentionally or accidentally. Considering that prazosin is not as potent or deadly as meth, prazosin overdose death is often the result of drug reactions. Prazosin reacts badly with drugs like avanafil, sildenafil, tadalafil, vardenafil, and verapamil. 

Common prazosin overdose symptoms include:

  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Decreased reflexes
  • Fainting

Prazosin Interactions

Like any similar product on the market, it also carries a risk of adverse effects and drug interactions. Also, patients with hypotension and other medical issues must consult an expert before taking it. Most physicians also advise against alcohol while taking medications because it can hamper its effectiveness. Patients are tempted to take more pills when this happens, increasing their risk of overdosing. Although the addictive nature of prazosin is unknown, there are many other prescription drugs out there that are highly addictive. 

The high blood pressure drug prazosin is sometimes used to treat PTSD-related nightmares and insomnia that can increase suicide risk. But the study suggests the drug may worsen the side effects of prazosin for nightmares and may cause insomnia and not reduce suicidal thoughts in PTSD patients. We have to view this as not the final word, but it raises questions. The study included twenty PTSD patients, including two military veterans and several civilian women who had been sexually assaulted. All had active suicidal thoughts, some had previously attempted suicide, and most were taking antidepressants or had them prescribed for the study.

PTSD and Addiction Infographic

PTSD and drug addiction treatment are effective when sought from accredited dual-diagnosis treatment centers. People who have experienced trauma can learn to feel comfortable in their surroundings and manage stress. See PTSD treatment for information on the most effective PTSD medications and therapies.

Prazosin is a well-tolerated medication with a small but positive evidence base for treating PTSD-associated nightmares. However, this drug needs further trials and studies due to prazosin side effects, including prazosin withdrawal symptoms.
Prazosin is a well-tolerated medication with a small but positive evidence base for treating PTSD-associated nightmares. However, this drug needs further trials and studies due to prazosin’s side effects, including prazosin withdrawal symptoms.

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This PTSD and Addiction infographic is provided with compliments of the We Level Up addiction treatment center team.

Prazosin Dosage for PTSD

Prazosin can be prescribed to manage symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), particularly for sleep disturbances and nightmares. The dosage for Prazosin in PTSD may vary depending on the individual’s response and tolerance to the medication. Here is a general dosage guide for Prazosin in PTSD:

Initial PTSD Prazosin Dose:

  • Start with a low dose of 1 mg at bedtime.

Prazosin Titration Dose:

  • Depending on the response and tolerance, the dose may gradually increase every 3 to 7 days.
  • The goal is to find the lowest effective dose that improves sleep without causing significant adverse effects.
  • Increase the dose by 1 mg increments until a maximum dose of 10 mg daily is reached, if necessary.

Maintenance Prazosin Dose:

  • Once the effective dose is established, it is usually continued without further adjustments unless advised by the healthcare provider.

Individual responses to Prazosin in PTSD can vary; some may require higher or lower doses. Always follow the specific dosage instructions provided by your healthcare professional. Regular follow-ups are essential to monitor the effectiveness and safety of the medication.

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Prazosin and Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment

There are many explanations for why someone can’t stop drinking, and one of them is alcohol withdrawal. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include anxiety, negative mood, and cravings, and these symptoms lead someone to turn to alcohol once more. More severe symptoms of alcohol withdrawal range from hallucinations about 12 to 24 hours after that last drink to seizures within the first two days after the person stops drinking. That isn’t the same as delirium tremens or DTs, as you’ll likely hear them called. DTs usually start 48 to 72 hours after you put down the glass. These are severe symptoms that include vivid hallucinations and delusions. 

Study results revealed that the α-1 adrenergic receptor antagonist prazosin might reduce the likelihood of heavy drinking and the number of drinks each week over time but not the number of drinking days per week. Therefore, these findings indicated that prazosin as alcohol treatment shows potential as a harm-reduction pharmacologic approach to alcohol use disorder rather than a full-abstinence approach.

In human alcohol use disorder studies, prazosin has been shown to reduce reactivity to stress and to result in reduced cravings, reduced drinks per week, and reduced drinking days per week. According to study published by the National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI) [5], there may be a benefit to introducing prazosin during early drinking experiences. Prazosin slowed the acquisition of alcohol drinking and reduced the amount of alcohol consumed when administered before or concomitantly with the first opportunity to drink in rats genetically predisposed to high alcohol intake. 

Yale University [6] researchers report in the American Journal of Psychiatry has shown that brain stress centers are severely disrupted early in recovery, especially for those with withdrawal symptoms of alcohol drinking and drinking cravings. However, the disruption lessens the longer the person maintains their sobriety. Prazosin medication could help bridge that gap by moderating cravings and withdrawal symptoms earlier in recovery and increasing the chances that alcoholics refrain from drinking.

Risk Factors for Alcohol Use Disorder

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) [7], an estimated 15 million individuals in the United States have alcohol use disorder (AUD). A severe alcohol drinking problem. 14.4 million adults in the United States ages 18 and older have an AUD, including 9.2 million men and 5.3 million women. AUD is a chronic relapsing addiction previously called alcoholism. AUD is an inability to stop or control alcohol drinking despite adverse social, occupational, or health consequences.

Individuals must meet specific Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM criteria) to be diagnosed with AUD. Using the DSM–5, anyone meeting two of the eleven criteria during the same 12-month period receives an AUD diagnosis. The severity of AUD—mild, moderate, or severe—is based on the number of criteria met.

Top 3 Prazosin Side Effects FAQs

  1. What are the side effects of prazosin?

    Alpha blockers such as prazosin may cause orthostatic hypotension (low blood pressure while standing after sitting or lying down), dizziness, fainting, quick loss of consciousness, palpitations (tachycardia), lightheadedness, and a lack of energy. Fainting or loss of consciousness may occur 30 to 90 minutes after administering the first dosage.

  2. Can you die from prazosin overdose?

    Yes. You mustn’t retake this drug if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction. Retaking it despite your adverse effects could be fatal (cause death). An alcohol interaction warning is included to cause prazosin overdose.

  3. Is it possible to have prazosin side effects nightmares?

    Prazosin is one possible treatment for PTSD nightmares. Physicians often prescribe it to treat high blood pressure, but it may also be used off-label (not FDA-approved) to treat PTSD nightmares. Nevertheless, prazosin can cause dizziness, headaches, sleepiness, weakness, heart palpitations, and nausea.

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Contact We Level Up NJ today for treatment resources and options if you or a loved one is struggling with prazosin side effects and withdrawal symptoms.
Contact We Level Up NJ today for treatment resources and options if you or a loved one is struggling with prazosin side effects and withdrawal symptoms.

Find the Right Alcohol & Substance Abuse Treatment Plan at We Level Up New Jersey

The We Level Up New Jersey treatment center offers exceptional evidence-based recovery treatment programs. The combinations of therapies applied for each client are tailored to their individualized needs in treating drug dependency and alcohol abuse. We provide cutting-edge full-service rehabilitation care, including residential inpatient rehab, medically assisted detox, MAT for alcohol addiction, and co-occurring mental health therapy. Treatment services vary by facility. 

Prazosin drug may not be as fatal or as dangerous as other addictive drugs, but this drug is still capable of producing adverse prazosin side effects. The prescription pill detox process can be uncomfortable and difficult without medical assistance. However, getting through the detox process is crucial for continued treatment. We Level Up NJ provides proper care with round-the-clock medical staff to assist your recovery through our medically-assisted detox program. So, reclaim your life. Call us to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions.

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Sources

[1] PrazosinU.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health

[2] Basquez R, Pippin MM. Prazosin. [Updated 2022 Jun 21]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555959/

[3] VA/DOD CLINICAL PRACTICE GUIDELINE FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER AND ACUTE STRESS DISORDER – Department of Veterans Affairs

[4] Froehlich JC, Hausauer BJ, Federoff DL, Fischer SM, Rasmussen DD. Prazosin reduces alcohol drinking throughout prolonged treatment and blocks the initiation of drinking in rats selectively bred for high alcohol intake. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2013 Sep;37(9):1552-60. DOI: 10.1111/acer.12116. Epub 2013 Jun 3. PMID: 23731093; PMCID: PMC3775948.

[5] https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682245.html

[6-7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK548699/

https://labeling.pfizer.com/ShowLabeling.aspx?id=15633

https://www.veteranshealthlibrary.va.gov/MedicationsVA/208,10572-60

https://www.alzheimers.gov/clinical-trials/prazosin-veterans-mild-traumatic-brain-injury

[10] Jahan AR, Burgess DM. Substance Use Disorder. [Updated 2022 May 5]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK570642/