Treatment for Enlarged Prostate
Treatment for BPH / enlarged prostate focuses on alleviating bothersome symptoms and will depend on the severity of your symptoms and how much they interfere with your lifestyle. Men with minimal urinary issues may only need to make lifestyle changes; those with more pronounced symptoms or complications from an enlarged prostate may require medication or a minimally invasive surgical procedure to restore urinary function and quality of life. Your doctor can help you determine which treatment is most appropriate for you.
- Avoid caffeine, acidic drinks such as colas, tomato and orange juices, and alcohol. Cold medications containing antihistamines or pseudoephedrine can cause urinary problems. Constipation can also make it more difficult to urinate.
- Limit evening beverages and urinate when you first feel the urge.
Medications for BPH
Your doctor may prescribe one, or a combination, of medications that can help alleviate many of your urinary symptoms caused by your enlarged prostate. Medications often have some side effects, so talk to your urologist about which medication is right for you.
Medications for enlarged prostate may include:
- Alpha blockers to relax the smooth muscle tissue in the bladder and prostate, increasing urinary flow
- Enzyme (5-alpha reductase) inhibitors, such as Avodart and Proscar shrink the prostate by preventing the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone, a key ingredient in prostate enlargement. It’s important to note that Avodart and Proscar are only indicated for men with extremely enlarged prostates. These medications work by reducing the size of the prostate to help alleviate symptoms such as difficulty beginning urine flow, weak stream and urinary urgency. *
- Anticholinergics to relax the bladder muscle and reduce frequency and urgency
*Your urologist may prescribe a combination of an alpha-blocker and a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, which has been shown to be more effective in reducing BPH symptoms than either medication taken on its own.