Medicines are sometimes used to help
relieve bothersome, moderate to severe urination problems caused by
benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). If you stop using
medicine, the symptoms will usually return.
American Urological Association (AUA) symptom index is
an interactive questionnaire that can help you determine how bad your urinary
symptoms are and check how well your treatment is working. But the most
important thing in deciding whether to use medicines is not your AUA score but
how much the symptoms bother you and affect your quality of life. A high score
on the AUA does not necessarily mean you need medicines.
In general, the side
effects of the most commonly used medicines are minor. And the side effects stop
when you stop taking the medicine.
Enlarged Prostate: Should I Take Medicine?
What To Think About
Alpha-blockers and 5-alpha
reductase inhibitors affect different prostate tissues. How much your symptoms
improve may depend on which tissue is contributing most to your symptoms. None
of these medicines will work for everyone.
Alpha-blockers may help
symptoms caused by a blockage at the opening to the bladder. With this type of
obstruction, you may have a hard time starting to urinate, and you may have a weak urine
stream. Alpha-blockers relax the smooth muscle tissue in the prostate and the
opening to the bladder. This muscle tissue must relax to allow urine to flow.
5-alpha reductase inhibitors can reduce the size of your prostate
and can slow the rate of enlargement. Men with smaller prostates see less
benefit than those with larger prostates. Men who have only slightly enlarged
prostates usually find alpha-blockers more helpful.
reductase inhibitors may cause you to have less desire to have sex (decreased