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Prazosin for Raynaud's phenomenon in progressive systemic sclerosis

Scleroderma is a connective tissue disease causing fibrosis and commonly affects the skin and internal organs such as the GI tract, lungs, kidney and heart. Most people with scleroderma also have raynaud's phenomenon (RP). RP is defined as vasospasm of arteries or arterioles causing pallor and at least one other colour change upon reperfusion such as cyanosis or redness. Primary RP occurs in the absence of causes such as connective tissue disease. Secondary RP occurs in people with underlying diseases that affect blood vessels especially scleroderma and lupus. The RP that occurs in scleroderma is often more severe in that there is not only vasospasm but also a fixed blood vessel deficit with intimal proliferation and therefore narrowing of the blood vessels. Raynaud's phenomenon may also be accompanied by digital ulcers which are possibly secondary to ischemia.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2009

Alpha blockers have a modest BP lowering effect

The class of drugs called alpha blockers is sometimes used to lower elevated blood pressure. This class includes drugs such as doxazosin (brand name: Cardura), prazosin (Minipress) and terazosin (Hytrin). We asked how much this class of drugs lowers blood pressure and whether there is a difference between individual drugs within the class. The available scientific literature was searched to find all the trials that had assessed this question. We found only 10 trials studying the blood pressure lowering ability of 4 different alpha blockers in 1175 participants. The blood pressure lowering effect was modest. There was an 8‐point reduction in the upper number that signifies the systolic pressure and a 5‐point reduction in the lower number that signifies the diastolic pressure. No alpha blocker drug appears to be any better or worse than others in terms of blood pressure lowering ability. Due to incomplete reporting of the number of participants who dropped out of the trials due to adverse drug reactions, as well as the short duration of these trials, this review could not provide an estimate of the harms associated with this class of drugs.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Systematic Reviews in PubMed

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