Usage of Flomax® (tamsulosin) in Women

As seen in Consultant Connection August 2012 Issue
Jared Smith, ONU, PharmD Candidate, ICP Clinical Pharmacy Student

Flomax® (tamsulosin) belongs to the group of medications known as the alpha blockers. Early forms of alpha blockers were used to treat hypertension and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Tamsulosin, however, is a selective blocker of the alpha1A receptor so its hypotensive effects are considerably milder than non-specifi c blockers. When these receptors are blocked in men, smooth muscle tissue in the urinary bladder neck and prostate relax which improves urine fl ow; in women, alpha1A receptors are known to be located only in the urinary bladder neck. While tamsulosin only
has a labeled use for BPH in men, its off label indications include relief of symptoms in patients passing kidney stones and relief of symptoms in patients with bladder outlet obstruction (BOO). A BOO is blockage at the base of the urinary bladder that reduces or prevents the fl ow of urine into the urethra. Studies have been conducted to verify the effectiveness of tamsulosin in women with BOO symptoms and have found that tamsulosin is a suitable option for initial treatment.

Pischedda A, Pirozzi Farina F, Madonia M, Cimino S, Morgia G. Use of alpha1-blockers in female functional bladder neck obstruction.
Urologia Internationalis [serial online]. 2005;74(3):256-261. Available from: MEDLINE with Full Text, Ipswich, MA.
Goldman H, Zimmern P. The treatment of female bladder outlet obstruction. BJU International [serial online]. September 2006;98

Suppl 1:17-23. Available from: MEDLINE with Full Text, Ipswich, MA.

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