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Syncope and ‘‘First-dose'' Effect
HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) tablets, like other alpha-adrenergic blocking agents, can cause marked lowering of blood pressure, especially postural hypotension, and syncope in association with the first dose or first few days of therapy. A similar effect can be anticipated if therapy is interrupted for several days and then restarted. Syncope has also been reported with other alpha-adrenergic blocking agents in association with rapid dosage increases or the introduction of another antihypertensive drug. Syncope is believed to be due to an excessive postural hypotensive effect, although occasionally the syncopal episode has been preceded by a bout of severe supraventricular tachycardia with heart rates of 120-160 beats per minute. Additionally, the possibility of the contribution of hemodilution to the symptoms of postural hypotension should be considered.
To decrease the likelihood of syncope or excessive hypotension, treatment should always be initiated with a 1 mg dose of HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) tablets, given at bedtime. The 2 mg, 5 mg and 10 mg tablets are not indicated as initial therapy. Dosage should then be increased slowly, according to recommendations in the Dosage and Administration section and additional antihypertensive agents should be added with caution. The patient should be cautioned to avoid situations, such as driving or hazardous tasks, where injury could result should syncope occur during initiation of therapy.
In early investigational studies, where increasing single doses up to 7.5 mg were given at 3 day intervals, tolerance to the first dose phenomenon did not necessarily develop and the ‘‘first-dose” effect could be observed at all doses. Syncopal episodes occurred in 3 of the 14 subjects given HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) tablets at doses of 2.5, 5 and 7.5 mg, which are higher than the recommended initial dose; in addition, severe orthostatic hypotension (blood pressure falling to 50/0 mmHg) was seen in two others and dizziness, tachycardia, and lightheadedness occurred in most subjects. These adverse effects all occurred within 90 minutes of dosing.
In three placebo-controlled BPH studies 1, 2, and 3 (see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY), the incidence of postural hypotension in the terazosin treated patients was 5.1%, 5.2%, and 3.7% respectively.
In multiple dose clinical trials involving nearly 2000 hypertensive patients treated with HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) tablets, syncope was reported in about 1% of patients. Syncope was not necessarily associated only with the first dose.
If syncope occurs, the patient should be placed in a recumbent position and treated supportively as necessary. There is evidence that the orthostatic effect of HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) tablets is greater, even in chronic use, shortly after dosing. The risk of the events is greatest during the initial seven days of treatment, but continues at all time intervals.
Rarely, (probably less than once in every several thousand patients), terazosin and other α1-antagonists have been associated with priapism (painful penile erection, sustained for hours and unrelieved by sexual intercourse or masturbation). Two or three dozen cases have been reported. Because this condition can lead to permanent impotence if not promptly treated, patients must be advised about the seriousness of the condition (see PRECAUTIONS - Information for Patients).
Carcinoma of the prostate and BPH cause many of the same symptoms. These two diseases frequently co-exist. Therefore, patients thought to have BPH should be examined prior to starting HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) therapy to rule out the presence of carcinoma of the prostate.
Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome (IFIS)
Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome (IFIS) has been observed during cataract surgery in some patients on/or previously treated with alpha-1 blockers. This variant of small pupil syndrome is characterized by the combination of a flaccid iris that billows in response to intraoperative irrigation currents, progressive intraoperative miosis despite preoperative dilation with standard mydriatic drugs, and potential prolapse of the iris toward the phacoemulsification incisions. The patient's ophthalmologist should be prepared for possible modifications to their surgical technique, such as the utilization of iris hooks, iris dilator rings, or viscoelastic substances. There does not appear to be a benefit of stopping alpha-1 blocker therapy prior to cataract surgery.
While syncope is the most severe orthostatic effect of HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) tablets (see WARNINGS), other symptoms of lowered blood pressure, such as dizziness, lightheadedness and palpitations, were more common and occurred in some 28% of patients in clinical trials of hypertension. In BPH clinical trials, 21% of the patients experienced one or more of the following: dizziness, hypotension, postural hypotension, syncope, and vertigo. Patients with occupations in which such events represent potential problems should be treated with particular caution.
Information for Patients
(see Patient Package Insert)
Patients should be made aware of the possibility of syncopal and orthostatic symptoms, especially at the initiation of therapy, and to avoid driving or hazardous tasks for 12 hours after the first dose, after a dosage increase and after interruption of therapy when treatment is resumed. They should be cautioned to avoid situations where injury could result should syncope occur during initiation of HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) therapy. They should also be advised of the need to sit or lie down when symptoms of lowered blood pressure occur, although these symptoms are not always orthostatic, and to be careful when rising from a sitting or lying position. If dizziness, lightheadedness, or palpitations are bothersome they should be reported to the physician, so that dose adjustment can be considered.
Patients should also be told that drowsiness or somnolence can occur with HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) tablets, requiring caution in people who must drive or operate heavy machinery.
Patients should be advised about the possibility of priapism as a result of treatment with HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) and other similar medications. Patients should know that this reaction to HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) is extremely rare, but that if it is not brought to immediate medical attention, it can lead to permanent erectile dysfunction (impotence).
Small but statistically significant decreases in hematocrit, hemoglobin, white blood cells, total protein and albumin were observed in controlled clinical trials. These laboratory findings suggested the possibility of hemodilution. Treatment with HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) for up to 24 months had no significant effect on prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) was devoid of mutagenic potential when evaluated in vivo and in vitro (the Ames test, in vivo cytogenetics, the dominant lethal test in mice, in vivo Chinese hamster chromosome aberration test and V79 forward mutation assay).
HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) , administered in the feed to rats at doses of 8, 40, and 250 mg/kg/day (70, 350, and 2100 mg/M2/day), for two years, was associated with a statistically significant increase in benign adrenal medullary tumors of male rats exposed to the 250 mg/kg dose. This dose is 175 times the maximum recommended human dose of 20 mg (12 mg/M2). Female rats were unaffected. HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) was not oncogenic in mice when administered in feed for 2 years at a maximum tolerated dose of 32 mg/kg/day (110 mg/M2; 9 times the maximum recommended human dose). The absence of mutagenicity in a battery of tests, of tumorigenicity of any cell type in the mouse carcinogenicity assay, of increased total tumor incidence in either species, and of proliferative adrenal lesions in female rats, suggests a male rat species-specific event. Numerous other diverse pharmaceutical and chemical compounds have also been associated with benign adrenal medullary tumors in male rats without supporting evidence for carcinogenicity in man.
The effect of HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) on fertility was assessed in a standard fertility/reproductive performance study in which male and female rats were administered oral doses of 8, 30 and 120 mg/kg/day. Four of 20 male rats given 30 mg/kg (240 mg/M2; 20 times the maximum recommended human dose), and five of 19 male rats given 120 mg/kg (960 mg/M2; 80 times the maximum recommended human dose), failed to sire a litter. Testicular weights and morphology were unaffected by treatment. Vaginal smears at 30 and 120 mg/kg/day, however, appeared to contain less sperm than smears from control matings and good correlation was reported between sperm count and subsequent pregnancy.
Oral administration of HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) for one or two years elicited a statistically significant increase in the incidence of testicular atrophy in rats exposed to 40 and 250 mg/kg/day (29 and 175 times the maximum recommended human dose), but not in rats exposed to 8 mg/kg/day ( > 6 times the maximum recommended human dose). Testicular atrophy was also observed in dogs dosed with 300 mg/kg/day ( > 500 times the maximum recommended human dose) for three months but not after one year when dosed with 20 mg/kg/day (38 times the maximum recommended human dose). This lesion has also been seen with Minipress®, another (marketed) selective-alpha-1 blocking agent.
Pregnancy Category C
HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) was not teratogenic in either rats or rabbits when administered at oral doses up to 280 and 60 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose. Fetal resorptions occurred in rats dosed with 480 mg/kg/day, approximately 280 times the maximum recommended human dose. Increased fetal resorptions, decreased fetal weight and an increased number of supernumerary ribs were observed in offspring of rabbits dosed with 60 times the maximum recommended human dose. These findings (in both species) were most likely secondary to maternal toxicity. There are no adequate and well-controlled studies in pregnant women and the safety of terazosin in pregnancy has not been established. HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) is not recommended during pregnancy unless the potential benefit justifies the potential risk to the mother and fetus.
In a peri- and post-natal development study in rats, significantly more pups died in the group dosed with 120 mg/kg/day ( > 75 times the maximum recommended human dose) than in the control group during the three-week postpartum period.
It is not known whether terazosin is excreted in breast milk. Because many drugs are excreted in breast milk, caution should be exercised when HYTRIN (terazosin hcl) tablets are administered to a nursing woman.
Safety and effectiveness in children have not been determined.
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/15/2010
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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