Rapaflo is a medication that is used for relieving the signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH). The medication helps to quickly relieve BPH symptoms by relaxing the muscles of the prostate and the bladder neck. Healthcare providers may also occasionally prescribe this drug for off-label uses. Possible off-label uses of Rapaflo may include the treatment of urinary retention in women and premature ejaculation.
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Rapaflo™ (silodosin) is a prescription medication used to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate. It belongs to a group of medications known as alpha-1 blockers.
An enlarged prostate (known medically as benign prostatic hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy, or BPH) is very common among older men. The prostate gland, located below the bladder, is part of the male reproductive system. More importantly, the urethra (the canal that takes urine out of the body) runs through the prostate.
The prostate begins growing during puberty and continues to grow throughout most of adulthood. Usually, this is not a problem until men reach their fifties or sixties. When the prostate becomes too large, it can press against the urethra, causing problems with urination. Specific BPH symptoms may include:
- Needing to get up several times at night to urinate (nocturia)
- Frequent urination (urinary frequency)
- Difficulty starting a urine stream (urinary hesitancy)
- Difficulty fully emptying the bladder
- Painful urination (dysuria)
- A weak urine stream
- Dribbling after urinating.
Treatment for BPH includes "watchful waiting" (doing nothing, especially if symptoms are not bothersome), medication, and surgery. Although it is not a cure for BPH and does not shrink the prostate (like a few other medications can do), Rapaflo effectively treats BPH symptoms.
(Click Rapaflo Alternatives for more information about other options for treating BPH.)