Alpha blockers have been prescribed to treat lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) associated with storage or voiding dysfunction in women. These drugs, however, might not be effective in improving subjective LUTS, according to investigators presenting a prize-winning abstract at the International Continence Society 2020 virtual annual meeting.

In their systematic review and meta-analysis of 11 studies assessing female LUTS by questionnaire, alpha blockers had little to no effect in improving urologic symptom scores, quality of life, or overall adverse events compared with placebo, anticholinergics, and other treatments, Su Jin Kim, MD, of The Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea, reported during a video presentation. Four studies examined use of alpha blockers vs placebo in 456 patients and 7 studies examined alpha blockers combined with anticholinergics vs anticholinergics alone in 144 patients. Analyses consistently yielded “uncertain” results. In addition, the studies were judged of low to moderate quality according to GRADE criteria. 

Symptom-based alpha-blocker treatment in women appears to have little to no effects, Dr Kim suggested.

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Kim H, Kim K, Yoon H, Choi J, Kim J, Kim S. Effect of alpha blocker on lower urinary tract symptoms in women: systematic review and meta-analysis. Presented at: ICS 2020 Online, November 19-22, 2020. Presentation 146.