Medicines have benefits and some have risks. Always read the label and use only as directed. If symptoms persist or you have side effects see your health professional. Brands and generics both contain the same active ingredient(s) and are medically equivalent. Some brands are marketed under different names by the same manufacturing country depending on the country of origin.
Rapaflo (silodosin) is an alpha-blocker predominantly used to help facilitate urination in men who have benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlarged prostate.
Though less common, it is also used to help pass kidney stones and may be used in other scenarios in which passing urine is difficult.
The medication works by relaxing muscles along the urethra, which often become tight as the prostate enlarges. It does nothing to reduce the size of the prostate, and other medications that shrink the prostate may also be given along with Rapaflo.
Rapaflo also lowers blood pressure, though it's not used as a treatment for high blood pressure. Patients who are risk of low blood pressure should use Rapaflo with caution. Hypertension medications may need to be adjusted.
What to Expect from Rapaflo
Rapaflo is effective for most men struggling with urination due to BPH. It helps alleviate symptoms of:
The above are, at best, disruptive and annoying. Untreated, impaired urine flow can lead to more serious problems; bladder infections, kidney damage, and so forth.
By relaxing the muscles that constrict the urethra, the above should be improved considerably. Treatment can continue for as long as it provides benefit.
Rapaflo is not without its drawbacks, however. A major complaint with the product is its side effect of "reduced semen or difficulty ejaculating". Not everyone experiences this, but among those who do it is a common reason to stop taking the medication. The complication reverses within a few days of ceasing treatment.
Another concern is that some men who take Rapaflo daily find benefits begin to taper off after about two weeks of treatment. Those men who experience this often find that taking it every other day or every three days helps considerably. If the medication fails to provide benefit at any time, however, it's best to consult a doctor; a more suitable alternative may be available.
Dosage & Administration
Rapaflo comes in capsules and should be taken with a meal. If capsules are difficult to swallow, they may be opened and the contents sprinkled on soft food like applesauce. The food should be consumed within 5 minutes without chewing. A glass of fluid is recommended with each dose as well.
Doses are typically taken just once per day. Treatment typically consists of 4 mg to 8 mg, depending on patient response as well as other medical conditions present. Patients who have severe renal or hepatic impairment are not good candidates for Rapaflo.
To take the medication:
While many men notice improvements in urination just days after starting treatment, it can take up to three weeks before full benefit is experienced.
Warnings & Side Effects
Most men who use Rapaflo do so with no complications and find the medication significantly helps release urine. However, side effects do happen to some men and, as mentioned above, can be severe enough to cause them to stop taking the medication.
Most side effects are transient, meaning they stop occurring as the body adjusts to treatment. Many of those have to do with lowered blood pressure; symptoms can occur when blood pressure is lowered even if it's not lowered below normal ranges. Other side effects, such as headache or stuffy nose, also tend to pass as the body adjusts.
Common transient side effects include:
The above are not cause for concern unless severe or persistant. Taking PDE5 inhibitors---commonly found in erectile dysfunction treatments like Viagra or Cialis---can worsen the above side effects.
Serious side effects are much more rare, but warrant immediate medical attention:
Men undergoing cataract surgery while taking Rapaflo should be sure notify doctors prior to the procedure. Though rare, the medication can cause Intraoperative Floppy Iris Syndrome (IFIS).