Prostate Problem Guide
Prostate Medicine Used For The Treatment Of An Enlarged Prostate
Although the majority of men in the 60s and 70s will suffer from an enlarged prostate a significant proportion will have very few symptoms or will experience a range of relatively mild symptoms and will be happy to live with these without treatment as one of the inevitable consequences of growing old. For others however the symptoms produced by an enlarged prostate will be troublesome enough for them to seek prostate medicine from their doctor.
The first line of attack is normally to prescribe one of two groups of drugs commonly used in cases of an enlarged prostate (otherwise often referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy or BPH).
The first group of drugs is known as "alpha-blockers". Originally used in the treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure), these drugs act by relaxing the muscles of both the prostate gland and the neck of the bladder and remove pressure on the urethra to ease the flow of urine.
Alpha-blockers are normally taken orally once or twice a day and act immediately. Some of the side-effects can include dizziness, light-headedness, headaches, tiredness, difficulties in breathing and stomach and intestinal problems.
One important thing to remember about alpha-blockers is that they do not actually reduce the size of the prostate and that their effect will only be felt for as long as you continue taking the tablets.
The second group of drugs is known as "5-alpha reductase inhibitors". These drugs act to reduce the level of male hormone within the prostate gland which, in turn, cause the prostate gland itself to shrink slightly. This can however be a slow process and most patients will need to take 5-alpha reductase inhibitors for 6 to 12 months before the effects are felt.
5-alpha reductase inhibitors are normally taken orally once a day and side effects can include erectile dysfunction, a decrease in sexual desire and a reduction in the amount of semen produced during ejaculation.
As both alpha-blockers and 5-alpha reductase inhibitors act quite differently to reduce prostate symptoms it is not uncommon to enhance the effects of treatment by prescribing both drugs together.