To review the evidence for the safety and efficacy of adjunctive tamsulosin in enhancing the efficacy of renal and ureteral stone clearance when used with extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL).
A search of MEDLINE (1950-January 2008), PubMed (1950-January 2008), and the Iowa Drug Information System (1966-January 2008) was performed using the search terms tamsulosin and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. MeSH headings included lithotripsy and adrenergic α-antagonists. Additional references were found by searching bibliographic references of resulting citations.
Study Selection and Data Extraction:
All studies utilizing tamsulosin therapy after a single session of ESWL or after the development of steinstrasse, an accumulation of stone fragments that obstructs the ureter, were included.
To date, 5 prospective studies have evaluated the efficacy of tamsulosin combined with ESWL in enhancing the passage of renal and ureteral stones. in one trial, 12-week renal stone clearance was 60% in the control group compared with 78.5% in the tamsulosin group (p = 0.037). Among trials that evaluated overall ureteral stone clearance, efficacy rates were 33.3-79.3% in the control groups compared with 66.6-96.6% in the tamsulosin groups. Reports of pain and supplemental analgesic dosing were consistently lower with tamsulosin, but data on the incidence of subsequent retreatment with ESWL or ureteroscopy was rarely reported. Adjunctive tamsulosin particularly enhanced the passage of renal stones 10-24 millimeters in diameter. Overall, tamsulosin was well tolerated.
Overall, evidence suggests that adjunctive tamsulosin therapy combined with ESWL is safe and effective in enhancing stone clearance in patients with renal stones 10-24 millimeters in diameter. Evidence regarding ureteral stone clearance is inconclusive, although adjunctive tamsulosin has been reported to reduce painful episodes. Larger prospective trials evaluating different dosages and stone locations, as well as the ability of tamsulosin to reduce repeat ESWL or more invasive methods such as ureteroscopy should be performed.
- Losek, Ryan L
- Mauro, Laurie S
- ANNALS OF PHARMACOTHERAPY Journal
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