Adjuvant tamsulosin or nifedipine after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for renal stones: a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial

Urology. 2011 Nov;78(5):1016-21. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2011.04.062. Epub 2011 Jul 29.


Objective: To evaluate the effects of the adjuvant use of tamsulosin or nifedipine after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy for nonlower pole kidney stones 5-20 mm in size.

Methods: We conducted a randomized double-blind trial involving 136 patients with radiopaque kidney stones. The patients received daily treatment with 0.4 mg tamsulosin, 20 mg nifedipine retard, or placebo for ≤30 days after 1 session of extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy. Success was defined as plain film radiography showing the patient was completely stone free or with asymptomatic stone fragments ≤4 mm in size at any time during the weekly follow-up.

Results: The success rate was 60.5% (23 of 38) in the tamsulosin group, 48.6% (17 of 35) in the nifedipine group, and 36.8% (14 of 38) in the placebo group (P = .118). In the subgroup analysis, stones 10-20 mm had significantly greater success rates in the tamsulosin (13 of 21, 61.9%) and nifedipine (15 of 25, 60%) groups compared with the placebo group (6 of 23, 26.1%; P = .024), but not for stones 5-9 mm (P = .128). The number needed to treat was 2.9 for tamsulosin and 3 for nifedipine. Adverse events were more frequent in the nifedipine than in the placebo group (28.5% vs 2.6%, respectively, P = .009), but without a significant difference between the nifedipine and tamsulosin (28.5% vs 15.8%, P = .15) or the tamsulosin and placebo (P = .54) groups. No difference was found among the groups with regard to pain intensity, interval to clearance, or steinstrasse.

Conclusion: The stone-free rates after extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy with adjuvant tamsulosin or nifedipine were significantly increased only for nonlower pole renal stones 10-20 mm in size compared with placebo. Nifedipine was associated with more adverse effects than placebo.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adrenergic alpha-1 Receptor Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Calcium Channel Blockers / therapeutic use*
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Calculi / drug therapy
  • Kidney Calculi / therapy*
  • Lithotripsy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nifedipine / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sulfonamides / therapeutic use*
  • Tamsulosin


  • Adrenergic alpha-1 Receptor Antagonists
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Sulfonamides
  • Tamsulosin
  • Nifedipine