Medications & BPH

You have benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) and had a discussion with your doctor general practitioner or urologist and the need for surgical intervention is either not required or wanted at the present time and medication has been suggested :-

Alpha Blockers

Alpha blockers are pills that relax the muscles of the prostate and bladder. They help improve your urine flow reducing  the symptoms of BPH. This medication does not reduce the size of the prostate. The most commonly used Alpha blocker include  Hytrin and Tamsulosin (Flowmaxtra).

The Benefits, Risks and Side Effects of Alpha Blockers?

The benefit of alpha blockers is that you should notice an improvement in your symptoms within a day or two. You need to be aware of the side effects that may occur if you are on this medication such a - dizziness , fatigue and changes in ejaculation. These side effects should be discussed prior to commencing and extra care should be taken if you are already on blood pressure medication.

Who is suitable for Alpha Blockers?

Men with moderate to severe BPH who are bothered by their symptoms and do not want surgery, alpha blockers is a good first option. They may not work for all men.

What is Combined Therapy?

Combination therapy uses an alpha blocker and a 5-alpha reducatase inhibitor together. The most commonmonly used drug is Duodart (tamsulosin (alpha blocker) and dutasteride (5-alpha reducatase inhibitor) combined together in the one medication. 

The Benefits, Risks and Side Effects of Combined Therapy?

This drug is commonly used for men who are not suitable for surgery due to co-morbidities or surgery is not wanted. This medication may not be suitable in men with a risk of prostate cancer and should be fully discussed with your doctor before commencing. The main side effects are possible erectile dysfunction and reduced libido (sex drive). Duodart is a long term medication to prevent symptoms. Alpha blockers and 5-alpha reducatase inhibiters work better together than either one alone. 

Who is suitable for Combined Therapy?

These drugs may be best for men with very large prostate glands where surgery is a risk factor (eg- the older male) or surgery is not wanted by the patient.