Can Alpha Blockers Be Used to Treat Other Conditions? | MediSuite

Can Alpha Blockers Be Used to Treat Other Conditions?

Dec 19, 2023

Alpha-blockers are well-established pharmaceutical interventions used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. However, recent clinical observations and research suggest a potential off-label use for these medications in the management of other urologic and prostatic symptoms. As such, tamsulosin (generic Flomax) and silodosin (generic Rapaflo), alpha 1-blockers, may soon emerge as primary treatment protocols to improve clinical outcomes across multiple conditions.

Alpha Blockers: A Clinical Overview

Tamsulosin and silodosin are selective alpha-1 adrenergic receptor blockers, primarily targeting the alpha-1a subtype within vascular smooth muscle in the lower urinary tract.1 Alpha-1 blockers restrict contact between noradrenaline and smooth muscle cells in the prostate which, in turn, reduces the muscle tone and contraction responsible for various lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).1 In fact, one study found that these medications significantly relieve smooth muscle tension in both the prostate and bladder neck in just two weeks.2

Silodosin and tamsulosin are particularly effective for treating BPH due to their high selectivity for alpha-1 adrenergic receptors, found in high concentrations throughout the urinary tract, bladder, and prostate.1 According to previous studies, alpha-1 blockers reduce International Prostate Symptom Scores (IPSS) by up to 40% and increase maximum urinary flow rate by up to 25%, helping improve the frequency, urgency, and incomplete voiding associated with BPH.3 However, recent studies indicate that these medications, particularly their ability to promote muscle relaxation, show promise in helping patients with other chronic prostate and urologic conditions.

Evaluating Off-Label Use of Tamsulosin and Silodosin

While tamsulosin and silodosin were originally designed and approved for treating prostate enlargement, these medications have also demonstrated efficacy in alleviating symptoms in patients with chronic prostatitis and chronic kidney and bladder stones. Recent studies have shown that the smooth muscle relaxation activity of alpha-1 blockers can help promote motility, lower inflammation, and reduce the frequency of flare-ups for:

Chronic kidney stones. After eight weeks of treatment for kidney stones, tamsulosin generated a 95% expulsion rate, compared to a 57% expulsion rate with standard treatment with lithotripsy.4

Chronic bladder stones. Patients treated with alpha-blockers had a 57% higher chance of passing stones compared to controls (no treatment or corticosteroid-only treatment), as well as faster time to expulsion, fewer episodes of pain, and lower risk of surgical intervention.5

Chronic prostatitis. Six months after treatment, the average reduction in National Institutes of Health Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) scores was 7.5 points with tamsulosin, versus 4.0 with placebo.6

Provide Affordable Urology Medication With MediSuite

Whether you’re treating patients with BPH or chronic kidney and prostate conditions, consider partnering with MediSuite to help your patients access the most economical treatment solutions. MediSuite offers tamsulosin and silodosin at the most competitive prices in the market, in addition to convenient online or over-the-phone refills, fast shipping, and discreet doorstep delivery. By sourcing our generic medications directly from manufacturers, MediSuite helps physicians provide affordable medications to help improve clinical outcomes and ensure long-term treatment adherence. For more information, contact the MediSuite team today.

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1. Jindan, L., Xiao, W., & Liping, X. (2022). Evolving Role of Silodosin for the Treatment of Urological Disorders – A Narrative Review. Drug Design, Development and Therapy, 16, 2861–2884.
2. Romics I. (2007). The role of alpha-adrenoreceptors in the treatment of urological diseases. Neurochemistry International, 51(5), 328–331.
Gratzke, C., Bachmann, A., Descazeaud, A., Drake, M. J., Madersbacher, S., Mamoulakis, C., Oelke, M., Tikkinen, K. A. O., & Gravas, S. (2015). EAU Guidelines on the 3. Assessment of Non-neurogenic Male Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms including Benign Prostatic Obstruction. European Urology, 67(6), 1099–1109.
4. Koski, R. R., & Zufall, W. H. (2018). Efficacy and Safety of Alpha-Blockers for Kidney Stones in Adults. The Journal of pharmacy technology : jPT : official publication of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians, 34(2), 54–61.
5. Hollingsworth, J. M., Canales, B. K., Rogers, M. A., Sukumar, S., Yan, P., Kuntz, G. M., & Dahm, P. (2016). Alpha blockers for treatment of ureteric stones: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 355, i6112.
6. Chen, Y., Wu, X., Liu, J., Tang, W., Zhao, T., & Zhang, J. (2011). Effects of a 6-month course of tamsulosin for chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome: a multicenter, randomized trial. World Journal of Urology, 29(3), 381–385.