Rapaflo vs Flomax for BPH: Comparison of Differences & Uses

Here is a comparison of two medications that are prescribed for BPH:


It is the brand name of a drug called silodosin that belongs to a group of drugs known as alpha 1A receptor antagonists.

Alpha-1 receptors are located in the bladder and prostate. They are responsible for the contraction of the smooth muscles of the prostate and bladder.

This medication blocks these receptors, causing the smooth muscles in the bladder and prostate to relax. This will improve the ability to urinate and reduce the benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms.

It was originally approved by the FDA on October 9, 2008. The medication is manufactured by Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc, a global pharmaceutical company that is now part of Allergan, a multi-national pharmaceutical with headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.


This medication is typically used to treat symptoms of enlarged prostate.

An enlarged prostate, also referred to as benign prostatic hypertrophy, benign prostatic hyperplasia, is very common among older men. According to a report in The Lancet, around 6% of the males worldwide are affected.

Doctors are not sure precisely what makes this happen, however, some believe that it may have to do with hormonal changes. Symptoms may include:

  • frequent urge to urinate;
  • nighttime urination (nocturia);
  • dribbling (leaking) after urination;
  • sudden urge to urinate;
  • straining while urinating;
  • weak urine flow;
  • feeling like you can’t completely empty the bladder;
  • difficulties in starting to urinate.

Note – without treatment, symptoms do not always become worse and may even improve over time. However, if symptoms become distressing or troublesome, they can be improved by surgery or medicines and lifestyle changes.


It comes only as a capsule you can take by mouth. The usual recommended dose for benign prostatic hyperplasia is 4 to 8 mg taken as a single dose once per day.

Note – it is not for use in women or children.

Side Effects And Precautions Of Silodosin

Common side effects may include:

  • headaches;
  • dizziness;
  • abnormal ejaculation;
  • diarrhea;
  • a sore throat;
  • stomach pain;
  • stuffy nose;
  • fever.

Rare side effects may include:

  • dark urine;
  • clay-colored stools;
  • nausea;
  • itching;
  • skin blisters;
  • loss of appetite;
  • unpleasant breath odor;
  • purple spots on the skin;
  • yellow eyes or skin;
  • unusual  weakness or tiredness;
  • vomiting of blood.

Drug Interactions

This medication can negatively interact with other drugs. Tell your doctor about all the medicines you use, especially if you are taking:

  • medications used to treat erectile dysfunction like sildenafil (Viagra) and tadalafil (Cialis);
  • medications which block the p-glycoprotein transporter-like azithromycin (Zithromax, Zmax), amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone), diltiazem (Cardizem), clarithromycin (Biaxin), quinidine (Quinact, Cardioquine, Duraquin), Symbicort, felodipine (Plendil), ritonavir (Kaletra), Colace, verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan);
  • alpha 1- blockers like doxazosin (Cardura), alfuzosin (Uroxatral), and prazosin (Minipress);
  • digoxin;
  • medications that block a protein in the body (CYP3A4) like macrolide antibiotics (clarithromycin, telithromycin), HIV protease inhibitors (nelfinavir, indinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir), azole antifungals (ketoconazole, posaconazole, itraconazole, voriconazole), conivaptan (Vaprisol), and nefazodone.


It is the brand name of a drug called tamsulosin that belongs to a group of drugs known as alpha 1A receptor antagonists.

It works by relaxing muscles in the prostate and bladder. By relaxing these muscles, this medication helps to relieve symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia, like – difficulty in beginning the flow of urine, and the need to urinate frequently.

The FDA approved its generic version in March 2010. It is manufactured by Yamanouchi Pharmaceuticals (now part of Astellas Pharma).


It is typically used in men to treat the symptoms of an enlarged prostate.

Note – it does not shrink the prostate gland. Hence, symptoms are improved with treatment, however, if the prostate gland continues to enlarge, prostate surgery may still be required.


The medication is taken once per day, about half an hour after a meal. It is recommended to take it at the same time each day.

Side Effects And Precautions

Common  side effects may include:

  • diarrhea;
  • weakness;
  • nausea;
  • drowsiness;
  • chest pain;
  • dizziness;
  • decreased amount of semen;
  • headaches;
  • back pain;
  • abnormal ejaculation;
  • tooth problems;
  • blurred vision;
  • flu symptoms;
  • body aches;
  • a cough;
  • chills;
  • a sore throat;
  • fever;
  • sleep problems (insomnia);
  • sinus pain.

Rare side effects may include:

  • severe skin reaction;
  • penis erection which is painful or lasts 4 hours or longer;
  • a feeling like you might pass out;
  • decreased interest in sex;
  • swelling of the face or tongue;
  • a red skin rash which spreads, particularly in the face or upper body;
  • skin pain;
  • burning in the eyes.

Individuals who have very serious kidney problems should not take this medication. Additionally, you should also not take the medication if you:

  • suffer from painful erections for unusually long periods of time;
  • tend to become lightheaded upon standing;
  • are about to have surgery and will be given anesthesia;
  • have liver disease;
  • have coronary artery disease.


To avoid possible side effects, don’t consume any alcoholic drinks while taking these medications.

Rapaflo vs Flomax – Which Is Better For Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia?

Rapaflo (active ingredient – silodosin) is an alpha-adrenergic blocker that helps relax the muscles in the bladder and prostate, making it considerably easier to urinate.

Flomax (active ingredient – tamsulosin) is an alpha-blocker that relaxes the muscles in the bladder and prostate, making it substantially easier to urinate.

According to a June 2006 study, silodosin was found to result in a notable greater decrease in PVR (postvoid residual urine volume) and IPSS (International Prostate Symptom Score) when compared with tamsulosin.

In a 2014 study that was done at the Department of Pharmacology, West Bengal, India,      both medications were found to be equally effective.

Kidney Stones

A 2013 study that compares the efficacy of these medications in the Medical expulsive therapy (MET) for ureteral calculi concluded that silodosin was found to be clinically superior to tamsulosin, both in terms of the stone expulsion time and the stone expulsion rate.

Home Remedies For BPH

#1 Kegel Exercises

They can strengthen your pelvic floor muscles to help control urination.

#2 Corn Silk

It helps to relax the urinary muscles and lining as well as it acts as a natural diuretic.

#3 Pumpkin Seed Oil

This oil is able to reduce the signs and symptoms of an enlarged prostate within 90 days, according to a study that was issued in ”Nutrition Research and Practice.”

#4 Saw Palmetto

According to studies, saw palmetto helps improve an overactive bladder in men with prostate enlargement.

#5 Stinging Nettle

The root contains potent phytochemicals which help shrink prostate tissue.

#6 Rye Grass Pollen Extract

It is derived from 3 types of pollen is used for prostate diseases in East Asia and Western Europe.

#7 Foods Rich In Zinc

A zinc deficiency might impair the proteins in the prostate, which can lead to abnormities in the function and growth of the prostate. Foods rich in zinc include:

  • amaranth;
  • sesame seeds;
  • walnuts;
  • shiitake mushrooms;
  • chickpeas;
  • peanuts;
  • wild rice;
  • chia seeds;
  • navy beans;
  • cashew nuts;
  • almonds;
  • sunflower seeds;
  • oats;
  • pecans;
  • brazil nuts;
  • lentils;
  • pecans;
  • oat bran;
  • pine nuts;
  • flax seeds.

Image credit – Shutterstock

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