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How can alpha-adrenergic agonists help treat urinary incontinence?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
Alpha-adrenergic antagonists are prescribed to men who develop overflow incontinence when an enlarged prostate interferes with normal urine flow. Also known as alpha blockers, these drugs have the opposite effect of alpha-adrenergic agonists–they relax the smooth muscle of the urethra (the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body). They include doxazosin (Cardura), tamsulosin (Flomax), terazosin (Hytrin), silodosin (Rapaflo) and alfuzosin (Uroxatral).

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