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J Androl. 2009 Jul-Aug;30(4):469-74. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.108.006874. Epub 2009 Feb 5.

Effects of alfuzosin and tamsulosin on sperm parameters in healthy men: results of a short-term, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study.

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Department of Urology, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, 1430 Tulane Avenue; SL-42, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


Ejaculation disorders are associated with tamsulosin treatment for lower urinary tract symptoms suggestive of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). To assess whether tamsulosin has any effect on semen, sperm parameters were evaluated in healthy men receiving tamsulosin, alfuzosin, and placebo. Forty-eight healthy men received 5 days of tamsulosin 0.8 mg once daily (QD), alfuzosin 10 mg QD, and placebo in a randomized, double-blind, 3-way crossover study with a 10-14-day washout period between treatments. The changes (x +/- SE) from baseline in semen sperm concentration, semen sperm count, semen viscosity, semen fructose, sperm motility, and sperm morphology on day 5 of treatment were assessed. The change from baseline in semen sperm concentration was 3.1 +/- 8.3 million/mL with tamsulosin, 15.0 +/- 6.5 million/mL with alfuzosin, and 24.4 +/- 6.5 million/mL with placebo. The total sperm count in semen decreased from baseline with tamsulosin (-54.6 +/- 24.0 million) but not with placebo (81.5 +/- 18.8 million) or alfuzosin (46.2 +/- 19.0 million). The percentage of men with normal semen viscosity was lower with tamsulosin (65%) than with placebo (98%) or alfuzosin (92%). The change from baseline in semen fructose was comparable for all treatments. The percentage of motile sperm decreased 13.8% from baseline to day 5 of treatment with tamsulosin compared with decreases of 2.3% with placebo and 0.4% with alfuzosin. The percentage of abnormal sperm increased marginally with tamsulosin (0.6%) but not with placebo (-2.8%) or alfuzosin (-3.9%). The most common adverse events were dizziness (alfuzosin 11%, tamsulosin 14%, placebo 0%) and orthostatic hypotension (alfuzosin 25%, tamsulosin 11%, placebo 5%). The results suggest that tamsulosin has a negative effect on sperm in healthy men. Studies on the effects of alpha(1)-adrenergic blockers on sperm in men with BPH are warranted.

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