Purpose: We investigated in what is to our knowledge the first prospective study the safety and efficacy of intermittent tamsulosin therapy in patients with lower urinary tract symptoms.
Materials and methods: This study was performed between January 2001 and February 2003 in 140 patients. In phase 1 of this study patients received 1, 0.4 mg tamsulosin capsule daily for 3 months and were reevaluated after 3 months. At this assessment uroflowmetry, International Prostate Symptom Score and ultrasonographic estimation of residual urine were determined. In phase 2 responders to tamsulosin therapy were then randomized into 1 of 3 groups, namely group 1--continued 4 mg tamsulosin once daily every day, group 2--0.4 mg tamsulosin once daily every other day and group 3--discontinued tamsulosin. Efficacy assessments were done again at 4, 12 and 24 weeks.
Results: There were no statistically differences among the patients in groups 1 and 2 at 6 months for International Prostate Symptom Score, maximum or average urine flow, or residual urine. Differences between patients in groups 1 and 3 were statistically significant at 6 months. Differences between patients in groups 2 and 3 were also statistically significant at 6 months for these parameters.
Conclusions: Tamsulosin at a dose of 0.4 mg once daily and 0.4 mg once daily every other day for lower urinary tract symptoms provide comparable improvements in urinary flow and symptoms. Each treatment was well tolerated.