Meds and you

27 September 2013


Alfuzosin is an alpha-receptor blocker. It is used to treat functional symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia.


Alfuzosin is the active ingredient of Xatral tablets (Nappi code: 701590-001).

General information

Alfuzosin is an alpha-receptor blocker - a drug that acts on alpha-receptors. In South Africa Alfuzosin is registered to treat functional symptoms of benign prostate hyperplasia, a non-malignant enlargement of the prostate that is common with ageing. The enlarged prostate gradually presses against the urethra, the tube that drains urine from the bladder, and often causes urinary difficulty. Alfuzosin relaxes the prostate and bladder muscles and thereby increases urine flow.

The first couple of doses of this medication may cause a sudden drop in blood pressure,which may cause dizziness or blackouts if you suddenly get up. It is therefore advised to be resting when starting treatment and to lie down for 2 hours afterwards. Until you know how you react to this medication, do not drive or attempt any activities that require alertness.

How does alfuzosin work?

Alfuzosin relaxes the muscles around the bladder exit and prostate gland and allows urine to flow out more easily.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 4

Available as: alfuzosin is available as tablets.

What does it do? Alfuzosin makes urinating easier in those patients with an enlarged prostate.

Overdose risk: medium

Dependence risk: low

Is alfuzosin available as a generic? no

Is alfuzosin available on prescription only? yes

User information

Onset of effect: within 2 hours

Duration of action: up to 24 hours

Dietary advice: none

Stopping this medicine: use Alfuzosin as prescribed by your doctor, and do not discontinue treatment before speaking to your prescriber. Suddenly stopping the drug may cause symptoms to return.

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have liver or kidney disease
  • you have low blood pressure, regularly feel dizzy if you suddenly get up, or if you are taking medication for low blood pressure
  • you have angina pectoris
  • you are taking any other medication

Pregnancy: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before using this drug, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your baby. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: avoid. It is unknown how this medication may affect your condition. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children.

The elderly: caution is advised in the elderly as side effects may be more common.

Driving and hazardous work: this medication should be avoided as it may dizziness or sedation.

Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication, as adverse effects may be more common.

Possible side effects


Side effects Frequency   Consult your doctor  
  Common Rare Only if severe In all cases
headache x   x  
diarrhoea x   x  
abdominal pain x   x  
nausea/vomiting x   x  
drowsiness   x   x
vertigo   x x  
dry mouth x   x  
weakness   x x  
flushes   x x  
palpitations   x   x
fast heart rate   x   x
chest pain   x   x
skin rash   x   x



Drug interactions

Medication for high blood pressure increased blood-pressure-lowering effect
other alpha-receptor blockers increased blood-pressure-lowering effect
anaestheticss accute low blood pressure may occur


Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 10mg once daily


This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only.   Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.



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