Pharm.D. (six years)


Ward, Kristina E

Advisor Department

Pharmacy Practice (PHP)




Urolithiasis; Tamsulosin; Shock wave lithotripsy

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.


Urolithiasis, or the formation of stones in the urinary tract, is a potentially painful process that impacts many people across the world. However, the results of clinical trials disagree on the proper treatment and management of kidney stones. One way to help those who have kidney stones is to perform extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (SWL), a medical procedure in which shock waves are directed towards kidney stones to prevent them from migrating and causing pain. Following SWL, patients are sometimes given additional medications, such as alpha blockers (e.g., tamsulosin), to aid in the passage of the stones. However, the benefits of tamsulosin after SWL remain uncertain. A systematic review was completed to expand knowledge on the use of tamsulosin after SWL. The major focus of this review was to identify patterns, based on stone size and location, that may suggest situations in which tamsulosin is most beneficial. Searches of both PubMed and Embase were conducted to identify eligible trials. Trials were included if they had a primary endpoint of stone-free rate and if they achieved a Jadad score of at least 3. In the end, 12 trials met the inclusion criteria and were included in the systematic review.