Hsin-Chu, Taiwan—When initiating alpha-blockers, older men have a higher risk of ischemic stroke if they are not on other antihypertensive medications, according to new research in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Background information in the articles notes that while alpha-blockers were developed to control hypertension, they are often now used in older men with prostate hypertrophy. A Taiwanese study of males over 50 involved 7,502 patients being treated with alpha-blockers; each patient had both a first stroke and a new prescription of alpha-blockers within the 3-year study period. National Taiwan University Hospital researchers found that men who were not taking other blood pressure drugs had a twofold increased risk of ischemic stroke during the early initiation period compared to men in whom alpha-blockers were initiated later. Study authors recommend caution when prescribing alpha-blockers to patients who are not on other blood pressure therapy.

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