Tamsulosin for treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms in women: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Tamsulosin has been used for the off-label treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) in women. Over the past few years, several randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have reported the clinical effectiveness and safety of tamsulosin for LUTS in women. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to perform a meta-analysis to evaluate the safety and efficacy of tamsulosin in treating LUTS in women, which may resolve some of the current controversies over use of the drug and provide more reliable evidence for the use of tamsulosin. A literature review was performed to identify all published RCTs of tamsulosin for the treatment of LUTS in women. The search included the following databases: PUBMED, EMBASE, the Cochrane Controlled Trail Register of Controlled Trials, Chinese Biomedical Literature Database, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Chinese Science and Technique Journals Database (VIP) and Wanfang Database. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted. Six RCTs studies involving 764 female participants were included in the analysis. Four out of the six RCTs compared tamsulosin with placebo, one RCT compared tamsulosin with prazosin and the other study compared tamsulosin with tamsulosin combined with tolterodine. Two RCTs evaluated total International Prostate Symptom Score (IPSS) and improved total IPSS compared with the placebo (standardized mean difference = - 4.08, 95% confidence interval = - 5.93 to - 2.23, P<0.00001). IPSS (storage symptom score), IPSS (voiding symptom score) and quality-of-life score also showed the similar effects. In addition, tamsulosin improved the Overactive Bladder Questionnaire score when compared with placebo in only one RCT. For urodynamic parameters, tamsulosin improved the average flow rate and the post-void residual volume when compared with prazosin and tolterodine combined with tamsulosin, respectively. Beyond that, the other parameters showed no significant difference between the treatment and control groups. On the basis of the present evidence, tamsulosin is an effective treatment for the relief of LUTS in women when compared with placebo. However, the safety of the tamsulosin remains unknown. Further, well-conducted trials that examine long-term outcomes are required.

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