Medical management

There are a number of therapies available to patients to relieve the symptoms of Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH).

The medical management of BPH may include advice regarding the moderation of fluid intake such as water and caffeine and also the treatment of any symptoms of constipation that may further exacerbate symptoms of BPH.

After consulting with Dr Swindle, you may be trialled on medications that aim to either reduce the prostate size and/or reduce the severity of symptoms. These medications can have various side effects and you should discuss these with Dr Swindle prior to making any decision about what treatment is right for you.

Before starting medical management, your symptoms will be evaluated and Dr Swindle will suggest regular assessment to monitor your treatment and your response to therapy.

Medications used to treat BPH come from two primary drug classes, being:

  • 5 Alpha-reductase inhibitors
  • Alpha1-blockers

5 Alpha-reductase inhibitors work by inhibiting enzyme production that cause prostate growth and can in some patients actually reverse the BPH process causing the prostate to shrink in size. These positive effects can however take up to 6 months before patients have full improvement. Side effects of 5 Alpha-reductase inhibitors can include but are not limited to:

  • Reduced libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Reduced ejaculate volume

Alpha1-blockers treat BPH by relaxing the bladder neck and prostate smooth muscle. This results in the bladder neck and water pipe muscle relaxing and becoming larger, therefore promoting improved urine flow past the enlarged prostate. The use of these medications has been shown to increase the rate of urine flow and also improve symptoms of BPH in about 60% of cases. Side effects of alpha-blockers can include but are not limited to:

  • Tiredness
  • Dizziness and headache
  • Low blood pressure
  • Altered sexual function

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