Men seeking relief from the symptoms of an enlarged prostate, also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), now have another treatment option: the FDA approved silodosin (Rapaflo), a once-daily capsule, in October 2008.
As men age, their prostate gland enlarges and presses against the urethra, impeding the flow of urine and making it difficult to eliminate from the body. BPH sufferers may also feel the need to urinate more frequently. By age 50, roughly half of all men suffer from BPH, according to the FDA. By age 80, that number jumps to 75%.
Silodosin falls into a class of medications called alpha-1 blockers. These drugs help muscles in the prostate, bladder, and urethra to relax, allowing urine to flow more easily. Simply put, they deal with the “going” problem. Another class of drugs, called 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, deals with the “growing” problem by shrinking the prostate.
Not everyone experiences relief with one drug or one type of drug. Men who haven’t responded to other medications may benefit from silodosin.
The most common side effect of silodosin is a lack of semen during orgasm. This does not pose a health or safety problem, and it goes away if the drug is discontinued. Other possible side effects include dizziness, lightheadedness, diarrhea, a drop in blood pressure when standing, headache, and nasal congestion.
For more information about silodosin, talk to your doctor.
Originally published Jan. 1, 2009; Last reviewed April 18, 2011