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Medical treatments for BPH

There are two main types of tablets that are generally used for the treatment of BPH. Sometimes these are used on their own, but some patients can benefit from taking both types at the same time.

Alpha-Blockers

(Alfuzosin, Tamsulosin, Terazosin, Doxasosin)

These tablets help to relax the muscles of the prostate. This allows the urine to flow more freely and helps to reduce symptoms. Most men find that alpha-blockers will improve their symptoms. They work quickly but may be less effective as time goes on.

Some people experience side-effects such as light-headedness, especially at the start of treatment.

5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors

(Finasteride, Dutasteride)

These tablets block some of the factors that make the prostate grow: over time, they cause the prostate to shrink. They may take up to 6 months to improve symptoms, but may be more effective in the long term. They may also reduce the risk of further problems, such as symptoms getting worse or acute retention of urine (when you suddenly find you can't pass urine at all).

5-alpha reductase inhibitors are particularly effective in men with larger prostates.

Herbal treatments

There are various herbal remedies available. Saw Palmetto is an extract from the American dwarf palm tree, Serenoa repens. It is rich in fatty acids and phytosterols and has been used for the treatment of prostate disorders for many years. It is marketed under the name Permixon.

Although some patients report improvements in their symtpoms using this treatment, the effects are less pronounced than with the mainstream medicines described above.

If you are interested in alternative treatments including Saw Palmetto, then we suggest that you discuss the options with a specialist.