Rapaflo is part of a class of drugs known as alpha blockers. In particular, it works by blocking alpha-1 receptors. Alpha-1 receptors are found in several places of the body, including the prostate gland.
When used for the treatment of BPH, alpha-1 blockers help to relax the muscles of the prostate and the bladder neck (where urine leaves the bladder). Rapaflo does not shrink the prostate, as some other BPH medications do. However, by relaxing the muscles of the prostate and bladder, Rapaflo helps to quickly relieve BPH symptoms. While Rapaflo can help with symptoms, it is not a cure for BPH.
Rapaflo is not approved for use in children or teens (this makes sense, since BPH is a condition that occurs in older men).
On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend Rapaflo for something other than the conditions discussed in this article. Sometimes, medications like Rapaflo are used off-label for the following uses:
- Improving sexual function in men with BPH
- Treating premature ejaculation
- Treating urinary retention (difficulty emptying the bladder) in women
- Treating urinary problems associated with multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Helping with the passage of ureter stones (also known as bladder stones), which are kidney stones that have passed into the ureter (one of the tubes from the kidneys to the bladder).