Tag Archive for: Kidney Stone

Can Tamsulosin Get That STONE to Drop?

29 Jun
June 29, 2018

Background: Ureteric (renal) colic is a common, painful condition encountered in the Emergency Department (ED). Sustained contraction of smooth muscle in the ureter as a kidney stone passes the length of the ureter leads to pain. The majority of stones will pass spontaneously (i.e. without urologic intervention). For over a decade, calcium channel blockers (i.e. nifedipine) and, more commonly, alpha adrenoreceptor antagonists (i.e. tamsulosin) have been employed in the treatment of ureteral colic for their potential ability to increase stone passage, reduce pain medication use and reduce urologic interventions. These interventions were mostly based on poor methodologic studies and meta-analyses of these flawed studies (Hollingsworth 2016)

Over the past 3-4 years, a small number of higher-quality RCTs have been published (Ferre 2009, Pickard 2015, Furyk 2016). These studies have demonstrated a lack of benefit for routine use of alpha blockers. However, secondary outcomes suggest a possible benefit in larger stones (> 6 mm). In spite of recent multiple studies, the use of alpha blockers remains an area of active debate. Read more →

Alpha Blockers in Renal Colic: A Systematic Review

16 Jan
January 16, 2017

Renal ColicBackground: Ureteric (renal) colic is a common, painful condition encountered in the Emergency Department (ED). Sustained contraction of smooth muscle in the ureter as a kidney stone passes the length of the ureter leads to pain. The majority of stones will pass spontaneously (i.e. without urologic intervention). For over a decade, calcium channel blockers (i.e. nifedipine) and, more commonly, alpha adrenoreceptor antagonists (i.e. tamsulosin) have been employed in the treatment of ureteric colic for their potential ability to increase stone passage, reduce pain medication use and reduce urologic interventions. These interventions were mostly based on poor methodologic studies and meta-analyses of these flawed studies.

Over the past 3-4 years, a small number of higher-quality RCTs have been published (Ferre 2009, Pickard 2015, Furyk 2016). These studies have demonstrated a lack of benefit for routine use of alpha blockers. However, secondary outcomes suggest a possible benefit in larger stones (> 6 mm). In spite of recent multiple studies, the use of alpha blockers remains an area of active debate. Read more →

Does Use of Tamsulosin in Renal Colic Facilitate Stone Passage?

07 Aug
August 7, 2014

Does Use of Tamsulosin in Renal Colic Facilitate Stone PassageRenal colic is a common ED presentation. Rarely does a day go by that we don’t see a patient rocking and rolling in acute renal colic. Dan Firestone makes an impassioned argument against the use of CT scanning for diagnosis of renal colic so I won’t address that here. Once we make a diagnosis, our primary goal in the ED is pain relief. Then we turn our attention to disposition planning, follow up and outpatient medications. The majority (90%) of stones will pass spontaneously but it would be nice if we could:

  1. increase the passage rate
  2. shorten the time to passage.

This could potentially reduce ED revisits, reduce the number of invasive procedures and make happy patients. So does the use of tamsulosin in renal colic facilitate stone passage? Read more →