The muscles of our blood vessels contain alpha receptors and muscles tend to tighten when these alpha receptors are stimulated. The blood does not flow smoothly when the muscles of the blood vessels contract leading to hypertension. Alpha blockers or α-blockers also called alpha adrenergic antagonists reduce the nerve impulses and keep the small blood vessels open.
They work by blocking peripheral alpha receptors that are present in blood vessels. Alpha blocker drugs attach themselves to the alpha-adrenergic receptors and thus stop the stimulation. Thus blood vessels remain relaxed and open and allow the blood to flow through them lowering blood pressure. The generic names of alpha blockers are Doxazosin, Phenoxybenzamine, Prazosin, Terazosin. Alpha blockers do not cure high blood pressure but help to keep it under check. These medications are most often prescribed to patients suffering hypertension, peripheral vascular disease and hyperplasia.
Some of the common side effects produced by the α blockers are orthostatic hypotension, dizziness, tiredness, retrograde ejaculation, rhinitis, poor vision, headache, lightheadedness and peripheral swelling.
α-Adrenoceptor Antagonists: Long term use of Alpha blockers may result in tachyphylaxis (sudden loss of response) with other side effects as mentioned above - for some patients. Cataractectomy in patients using α-blockers can be complicated by the Floppy Iris Syndrome. The operating ophthalmologist should be alerted to the use of Alpha blockers.
Anti hypertensive drugs
Anti hypertension drugs can be classified into 8 broad categories depending upon their mode of action. In this collection of health articles, we strive hard to impart information with no commercial bias and hence you may not find any commercial name of the drugs or brand names as far as possible. Instead we may present the generic names of the drugs.
To control the high blood pressure, your doctor may use one of the following group of drugs:
A headache in many cases can be a symptom of other underlying issues. In most cases, a headache subsides with the intake of an OTC painkiller or given adequate rest. To pinpoint the exact cause for a recurring, persistent headache, it calls for a detailed history of the patient as a starting point.
A headache is often one of the common symptoms associated with a wide range of ailments, drug interaction or change in weather to hormonal variations. The following list is not exhaustive - but only to suggest as a sample of some possible causes.
Allergic rhinitis - can cause fatigue and headache. Some drugs like alpha blockers cause side effects like drowsiness, tiredness, headache, nervousness, irritability, stuffy or runny nose, nausea, pain in the extremities. Metronidazole drug can also result in headache, nausea and vomiting if taken with alcohol.
Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) or Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) has symptoms which include abdominal pain, headache, nervousness and irritability along with breast tenderness before menstruation. Antihistamines cause drowsiness and headache as a side effect.
Heat stroke can cause severe head ache, high fever and dry skin.
A cancer in the adrenal medulla known as Pheochromocytoma can cause high blood pressure, headache, palpitations and excessive perspiration.
Cerebral Aneurysms may cause headaches lasting for days or weeks - called as Sentinel Headaches as they are a warning to an impending rupture or Spontaneous Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (SSH).
Migraine Headache refers to the recurrent headache on one side or both sides - often accompanied by nausea or vomiting with episodes of aversion to light.
Cluster Headache is the excruciating pain centered around one eye or temple.
Tension Headache - the common form of headache refers to the dull ache that may appear to exert pressure on the head.
Comparison of Tension Type Headache and Migraine Headache
|Tension Headache||Migraine Headache|
|Interval Time for Onset to peak||Hours to days||Minutes to 1 hour|
|Frequency||Often daily or continuous||Rarely less than 1 per week|
|Character||Aching, pressure band like||Pounding|
|Laterality||Usually bilateral||Always unilateral|
|Aura||Never present||May be present|
|Nausea and vomiting||Rare||Common|
|Duration||Often days||Usually less than 24 hr|
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Diseases, Symptoms, Tests and Treatment arranged in alphabetical order:
Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: February 7, 2023