Alpha blockers are a class of pharmacological agents that restrict the hormone norepinephrine from tightening the muscles in walls of smaller veins and arteries. The objective of this study is to assess the safety and efficacy and alpha blockers in the treatment of patients with ureteric stones.
This systematic review and meta-analysis included a total of 55 randomized control trials of alpha blockers vs. placebo for the treatment of ureteric stones. The primary outcome of the study was the proportion of patients who passed their stone. The secondary outcomes included time to massage, pain episodes, and the number of surgeries.
The meta-analysis of 55 trials suggested moderate-quality evidence that alpha blockers facilitate the passage of ureteric stones (RR 1.49). A priori subgroup analysis indicated that there was no benefit to treatment with alpha blockers among patients with small ureteric stones (1.19). However, patients with large stones had a 57% higher probability of stone passage when treated with alpha blockers. The use of alpha blockers was also associated with shorter times to stone passage, fewer pain episodes, and a lower number of surgeries.
The research concluded that alpha blockers showed promising efficacy and safety in the treatment of patients with ureteric stones.