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Medical management of benign prostatic hypertrophy
Division of Urology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
Dec  2007 (Vol.  14, Issue  61, Pages( 53 - 57)
PMID: 18163946


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  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common condition of the aging male. The bladder outlet obstruction caused by this condition occurs despite variations in prostate size. Symptoms of BPH include the irritative and obstructive voiding symptoms termed lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS). While transurethral surgery has long been the gold standard for treatment of LUTS, medical treatment has emerged as the first line of treatment for those men who fail expectant or watchful waiting treatment. Medical options include: alpha blockers, 5a-reductase inhibitors and newly identified PDE 5 inhibitors, drugs for erectile dysfunction that have a relieving effect on the symptoms of LUTS. Newer prostate selective alpha blockers have replaced older nonselective agents as first choice in treatment of most men, especially those with smaller prostates and in whom preservation of sexual function is important. While tamsulosin has the effect of an ejaculation, alfuzosin preserves ejaculatory function. 5a-reductase inhibitors may decrease ejaculate volume, libido and sexual function. While this effect is frequently a self limited, it can be a compliance issue for many men. PDE 5 inhibitors, while effective in relieving LUTS symptoms, have not shown effectiveness in reducing post void residual volumes or increasing urinary flow rates.