Objectives: Since little investigation has been undertaken to determine if alpha1-blockers should be given continuously to sustain their efficacy, we conducted a pilot study to determine symptom change following discontinuation of tamsulosin after an initial improvement in symptoms in men with lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS).
Patients and methods: Thirty-three of 78 patients with mild-to-moderate prostate hyperplasia, who had symptom improvement according to the International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) to <10 or the quality of life (QOL) index to < or =3 after initial treatment with tamsulosin, were enrolled in this study. Subjective parameters (IPSS and QOL index) and objective parameters (maximum and mean urinary flow rates) were evaluated at baseline and after initial treatment, and 4, 8, 12 and 24 weeks after discontinuing tamsulosin.
Results: The rates of successful discontinuation of tamsulosin were high throughout the follow-up period, i.e., 80.6% at 4 weeks, 80.6% at 8 weeks, 80.0% at 12 weeks, and 68.9% at 24 weeks. Temporary worsening in both subjective and objective parameters was observed only at 4 weeks; however, these parameters recovered to almost post-treatment levels at 24 weeks.
Conclusion: The present study suggests that continuous treatment is not always needed to maintain urinary symptom relief in a specific subset of patients who felt symptom improvement after initial treatment with tamsulosin.
2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.