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Is it advisable to take Urimax on a long-term basis?

Q: My 52 years old father has a urinary problem. The symptoms are slow urine discharge; he usually takes a lot of time to pass urine. He got tested for uric acid and it came positive. He is taking Urimax for the last one year. He has healthy food habits except smoking. He gets severe pain in the lower foot most of the times. Is it advisable to continue the same medicine for the rest of his life?

A:Tamsulosin (Urimax), that your dad is taking, belongs to a group of drugs called alpha-blockers. These relax the bladder neck and make urine flow better. However, like diabetes and blood pressure medicines, it is effective only for a limited time and has to be repeatedly taken. Thus, you may understand that the medication may have to continue life long. There are another group of drugs called 5 alpha reductase inhibitors, like finasteride and dutasteride which also may have to be given for a long time, and are given in an attempt to shrink prostate in patients with bulky gland. If the gland is bulky with severe symptoms, or getting worse despite medications, surgical treatment may be offered as an effective alternative.

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