Men who have an enlarged prostate (also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH) may benefit from Cardura XL. This prescription medication works to relieve symptoms by relaxing the muscles of the prostate and bladder. The drug is available in the form of an extended-release tablet, and is taken only once a day. Potential side effects include headaches, dizziness, and respiratory tract infections.
Cardura XL belongs to a class of drugs known as alpha blockers. There are a few different kinds of alpha receptors in the body, and this medication works mostly at alpha-1 receptors. Alpha-1 receptors are found in several places of the body, including the prostate gland.
When used for the treatment of BPH, alpha-1 blockers help to relax the muscles of the prostate and the bladder neck (where urine leaves the bladder). Cardura XL does not shrink the prostate, as some other BPH medications do. However, by relaxing the muscles of the prostate and bladder, it helps to quickly relieve BPH symptoms. Although this medication can treat the symptoms, it is not a cure for BPH.
Clinical Effects of Cardura XL
Cardura XL has been thoroughly evaluated in clinical studies. These studies showed that Cardura XL decreased BPH symptoms, such as nighttime urination, frequent urination, and a weak stream, and increased urine flow rate more than a placebo (a "sugar pill" that does not contain any active ingredients) and about as well as immediate-release doxazosin (regular Cardura).
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Cardura XL [package insert]. New York, NY: Pfizer, Inc.;2009 July.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed February 4, 2011.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed February 4, 2011.
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