Pharmacology Urinary & Renal Meds #4

Question

Which statement(s) by the patient indicate(s) understanding of the newly prescribed medication, tamsulosin? Select all that apply.

Answers

  1. "This medication is a beta-blocker, so it will lower my blood pressure."
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because tamsulosin is an alpha-blocker, not a beta-blocker. There are minimal effects on the blood pressure. Alfuzosin, another alpha-blocker, has a greater effect on the blood pressure.

  2. "This medication will help be able to completely empty my bladder."
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because tamsulosin is an alpha-blocker used to treat beign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The patient with BPH has urination difficulties, including difficulty completely emptying his bladder and dribbling urination stream.

  3. "I should expect to have frequent urination, especially at night with this medication."
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because frequent urination, especially at night occurs with BPH, not after treatment. These symptoms should resolve with tamsulosin treatment.

  4. "I need to let my health care provider know if I desire to have children."
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because tamsulosin has side effects of abnormal ejacuation with decreased amount of semen. This can affect fertility and must be discussed if a couple desires children.

  5. "If I ever have chest pain, I will not be able to take nitroglycerin."
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because tamsulosin has minimal effects on blood pressure. Phosphodiesterase-5 enzyme inhibitors, used to treat erectile dysfunction, have severe interactions with nitroglycerin and use should be reported to the healthcare provider.

Overview

Tamsulosin is an alpha-blocker used to treat urination difficulty caused by benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Tamsulosin, an alpha-blocker, is a medication commonly used to treat symptoms associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Symptoms of BPH include difficulty starting urine stream, a urinary stream that starts and stops, or dribbles after stopping. This can cause the patient to feel like they need to urinate often because the bladder does not fully empty. Frequent urination is especially common at night, interrupting sleep. Stasis of urine in the bladder can cause bladder stones, urinary infections, and potential kidney dysfunction. Tamsulosin does not shrink the enlarged prostate in men, but instead, it relaxes the muscles within the prostate and bladder to make the flow of urine occur with less difficulty. Side effects associated with the use of tamsulosin include ejaculation problems with decreased semen and rhinorrhea or stuffy nose. Even though dizziness and lightheadedness can occur with tamsulosin, minimal blood pressure effects generally occur with tamsulosin.

Test Taking Tip

Be sure to not get the symptoms that are being treated confused with the expected results of treatment. This is a common distractor to not be tripped up by.

Video Rationale