Bladder disturbances are common in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and usually consist of urgency, frequency, incomplete emptying, and sometimes incontinence. After urinary tract infections are ruled out, a physician may prescribe a medication such as Minipress (prazosin).

Minipress belongs to the class of medicines called anti-hypertensives. It is used off-label in people with MS to help promote the flow of urine through the sphincter.

The therapy is a quinazoline derivative that causes a reduction in total peripheral resistance and directly relaxes vascular muscles, which may be related to a blockage of the adrenoceptors.

Minipress should be taken by mouth in 1 mg doses two or three times a day. The first time Minipress is taken by patients should be at bedtime.

There are side effects to Minipress, including fast or pounding heartbeats or fluttering in the chest; feeling like passing out; breathing problems; swelling in the hands, ankles or feet; and a painful penis erection for four hours or longer in men.

Other less serious side effects may include mild dizziness; weakness; tiredness; drowsiness; headache; or nausea.

There are generics available for Minipress.

Read the latest news about bladder dysfunction in multiple sclerosis.

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