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Dogs and cats
May Be Prescribed by Vets for:
Congestive heart failure, systemic and pulmonary hypertension, urethral spasm
Prazosin is commercially available as a capsule, 1mg,
2mg and 5mg.
Search for Available Dosage Forms
Prazosin is a selective, competitive alpha-1 adrenergic blocker. It is used in human medicine to treat hypertension, congestive heart failure, pheochromocytoma, benign prostatic hypertrophy, Reynaud’s disease, sleep disturbances associated with post-traumatic stress disorder, and scorpion envenomation. It is used in veterinary medicine to treat congestive heart failure, systemic and pulmonary hypertension in dogs, and urethral spasm in cats and dogs.
Prazosin has activity on alpha-1 adrenergic receptors but not on alpha-2 adrenergic receptors. Because of its selective activity, prazosin reduces peripheral vascular resistance and both arterial and venous blood pressure without eliciting sympathomimetic side-effects.
Although selective alpha-1 blockers can cause orthostatic hypotension, they are less likely to do so than the alpha-1/ alpha-2 blockers, such as phentolamine. Prazosin is metabolized by the liver and primarily excreted in the feces.
Prazosin is an older drug that can be particularly helpful in the treatment of hypertension in cases that have not responded adequately to other medications. It is also useful for the treatment of hypertension associated with pheochromocytoma. Prazosin increases cardiac output while decreasing systemic and pulmonary vascular resistance.
Prazosin can be used to relax smooth muscle associated with the internal urethral sphincter in animals with urethral spasm secondary to functional urethral obstruction. In many instances when prazosin is used to treat urethral spasm a skeletal muscle relaxant, such as diazepam, is also indicated.
Dr. Barbara Forney is a veterinary practitioner in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She has a master's degree in animal science from the University of Delaware and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982.
She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.
Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.
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