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Tamsulosin is a selective antagonist at alpha-1A and alpha-1B-adrenoceptors in the prostate, prostatic capsule, prostatic urethra, and bladder neck. At least three discrete alpha1-adrenoceptor subtypes have been identified: alpha-1A, alpha-1B and alpha-1D; their distribution differs between human organs and tissue. Approximately 70% of the alpha1-receptors in human prostate are of the alpha-1A subtype. Blockage of these receptors causes relaxation of smooth muscles in the bladder neck and prostate, and thus decreases urinary outflow resistance in men.
Tamsulosin, a sulfamoylphenethylamine-derivative alpha-adrenoceptor blocker with enhanced specificity for the alpha-adrenoceptors of the prostate, is commonly used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The drug is commercially available in a racemic mixture of 2 isomers, and is pharmacologically related to doxazocin, prazosin, and terazosin. However, unlike these drugs, tamsulosin has a higher affinity for the alpha-1A- adrenergic receptors, which are located in vascular smooth muscle. Studies show that tamsulosin has about 12 times greater affinity for alpha-1 adrenergic receptors in the prostate than those in the aorta, which may result in a reduced incidence of adverse cardiovascular effects.
Tamsulosin HCI is extensively metabolized by cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver, however, the pharmacokinetic profile of the metabolites in humans has not been established.
LD50 = 650 mg/kg (in rats)
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