Types of Medications Used to Treat BPH

Types of Medications Used to Treat BPH

Do you frequently have to get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom? Are you finding it harder and harder to go when you need to? You may be suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), a common condition in men as they age. Luckily, there are many medications available to treat BPH. In this blog post, we will discuss what BPH is, how to treat it with medication, and the different types of medications available.

What is BPH?

BPH occurs when the prostate gland enlarges. The prostate is a small, walnut-sized gland that is located just below the bladder and in front of the rectum. It surrounds the urethra, which is the tube that urine passes through from the bladder and out of the body. When the prostate enlarges, it can squeeze or pinch the urethra and cause urinary problems.

BPH is not cancerous and will not lead to prostate cancer. However, BPH can cause serious urinary problems if left untreated. These problems can include:

  • Frequent urination (more than eight times a day)
  • Urgency (a strong need to urinate)
  • Nocturia (needing to urinate more than once at night)
  • Difficulty starting urination
  • Weak stream
  • Straining to urinate
  • Dribbling after urination is finished

Medications Used for BPH Treatment

There are several medications available to treat the symptoms of BPH. These medications can be divided into four main categories: Alpha Blockers, 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors, Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors, or a combination of medications.

Alpha Blockers

Alpha blockers are the most commonly prescribed type of medication for BPH. Although they do not decrease the size of your prostate, they work by relaxing the muscles around the prostate gland and making it easier to urinate. Alpha blockers are also ideal for people with high blood pressure, however they are not recommended for individuals who are having cataract surgery. Alpha blockers include drugs such as:

assorted yellow, orange, and white pills
  • Tamsulosin (Flomax)
  • Alfuzosin (Uroxatral)
  • Terazosin (Hytrin)
  • Doxazosin (Cardura)

Side effects of alpha blockers can include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea

5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors

Another common type of medication for BPH are the five-alpha reductase inhibitors. These drugs work by shrinking the prostate gland and can take several months to see results. They are ideal for men with larger prostate glands. The two main types of drugs in this category are:

  • Finasteride (Proscar)
  • Dutasteride (Avodart)

Side effects of five-alpha reductase inhibitors can include:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decreased libido
  • Trouble ejaculating

Phosphodiesterase-5 Inhibitors

The third type of medication used to treat BPH are the phosphodiesterase-five inhibitors. These drugs work by relaxing the muscles around the prostate gland and making it easier to urinate. They are ideal for men who have BPH and erectile dysfunction. The two main types of drugs in this category are:

  • Tadalafil (Cialis) approved by the FDA for BPH treatment
  • Sildenafil (Viagra)

Side effects of phosphodiesterase-five inhibitors can include:

  • Headache
  • Flushing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach

Combination Therapy

There are also medications available that combine two or more of the above therapies. These combinations can be helpful for men who have not seen results with one type of medication or who have severe symptoms. The most common combinations are:

  • Doxasosin and Finasteride
  • Dutasteride and Tamsulosin (Jalyn)

Side effects of combination therapy are more likely and can include:

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Decreased libido
  • Trouble ejaculating
  • Headache

In Conclusion

In this blog post, we have discussed what BPH is and how it can be treated with medication. We have defined and discussed BPH, then explained how medical management can help alleviate symptoms. Next, we listed and described the different types of medications for treating BPH: Alpha Blockers, Five-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors, Phosphodiesterase-Five Inhibitors, Combination. For each medication, we explained what it is, how it works, who it is recommended for, and side effects. If you are experiencing any urinary problems, be sure to talk to your doctor about which treatment option is right for you.

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