Treatment without surgery
If you are looking to treat your BPH symptoms without risky surgery, then a pharmaceutical solution is worth exploring. Your prostate treatment plan will be one of the most important decisions that you will ever make. This decision will impact your overall health and quality of life for years to come. It is important to know all of your options before you start. Let’s see if BPH medications are the right solution for you.
BPH medications have been used for decades to address benign prostatic hyperplasia symptoms (BPH). Each class of drugs approaches the issue from a different angle and has unique health benefits and side effects. Each class of drugs will also react differently with other medications and health conditions. This is an issue where expert guidance is critical to your future health.
Here are some of the most common classes of BPH medications that you may be considering.
Alpha blockers are a class of BPH medications that work to relax the prostate muscles. They address one of the most common symptoms that BPH causes, the irregular flow of urine. They may also reduce the risk of urinary tract infections and other related symptoms of an enlarged prostate. Alpha Blockers do not shrink the prostate nor do they address the underlying issues that lead to an enlarged prostate.
Common generic and brand names for this drug class include:
- Alfuzosin (Uroxatral)
- Doxazosin (Cardura)
- Terazosin (Hytrin)
- Tamsulosin (Flomax)
Alpha Blockers: Risk and benefits
These BPH medications work fast to address symptoms, but they are not without risk. These drugs work by lowering blood pressure and may contribute to dizziness, headaches, weakness, and other side effects. In addition, they may result in sexual performance issues, including difficulty ejaculating.
The impact on your blood pressure will certainly need to be evaluated so that other health issues are not adversely impacted. Although these drugs do tend to lower cholesterol, there is some evidence of long term negative effects on heart health.
Are Alpha Blockers for me?
Depending on the severity of your prostate symptoms and your overall health, Alpha Blockers may be an appropriate treatment option. Men who are considering cataract surgery would be at risk from this class of BPH medications. In addition, men who take beta blockers or medication for erectile dysfunction must be evaluated before starting this treatment.
5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors
This drug class works to block DHT (dihydrotestosterone) production and results in a shrinking of the prostate. DHT is one of the male hormones that may contribute to the enlarging of the prostate. An enlarged prostate causes the urethra to be blocked which leads to problems urinating and potential infection. Once the prostate size is reduced, urine flow is improved and other symptoms are reduced. Some of the most common generic and brand names for this class of BPH medications include:
- Dutasteride (Avodart)
- Finasteride (Proscar)
5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors: Risk and benefits
This drug class is an effective treatment option that reduces BPH symptoms. Proper use of these medications may decrease the need for future surgical treatment. These BPH medications must continue to be taken to prevent symptoms from returning. However, side effects are significant for certain patients and must be fully considered. These include, but are not limited to:
- Reduced sexual desire
- Erectile dysfunction
- Mood changes
Are 5-Alpha Reductase Inhibitors for me?
This class of BPH medications may be most appropriate for older men or those who have very large prostate glands. As with any drug treatment, it is important to consider overall health and how BPH medications may interact with your other drugs or pre-existing health conditions.
Combination therapy involves the use of multiple drug classes at the same time. A combination of an alpha blocker along with a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor may greatly improve symptoms. For certain patients, this combination of BPH medications may be more effective in treating symptoms and improving the overall quality of life.
Alpha blockers can also be used in combination with a class of drugs known as antimuscarinics. This particular combination is effective in treating BPH symptoms and issues related to an overactive bladder.
Combination Therapy: Risk and benefits
The benefits of combination therapy are clear; however, side effects may be more likely. The potential interactions of both BPH medications with other health issues and medications are more complicated with combination therapy. Common side effects of combination therapy may include any of the issues from each drug class. These include, but are not limited to:
- Reduced sexual desire
- Dizziness and weakness
- Erectile dysfunction
- Difficulty ejaculating
Is Combination Therapy for me?
If you have a larger prostate and potential side effects do not concern you, this may be an appropriate BPH treatment plan for you.
Phytotherapies are herbal treatments that may appeal to those looking for natural BPH treatment options or BPH home remedies. There is a lot of information on the internet that promotes these as a solution. They are often sold online or as over-the-counter dietary supplements. These may include various plant extracts as well as other substances that are promoted as alternatives to BPH medications.
There is no reliable research to show that these treatments work. In addition, there is no guarantee that what is being sold contains any of the ingredients that are advertised. Dietary supplements are classified as food, not medication. This means that they do not go through the same rigorous safety and quality inspections that pharmaceuticals must pass.
Phytotherapies: Risk and benefits
The best research studies demonstrate that these BPH home remedies do not work. Lower safety and testing standards mean that you do not know exactly what you are taking. These treatments carry risks without any potential benefits. In addition, they may result in patients prolonging urgent treatment that could result in long-term health complications.
Are Phytotherapies for me?
These “BPH home remedies” cannot be recommended for any patient suffering from BPH.
Other non-surgical solutions: UroLift®
Now that you have explored BPH Medications and understand the risk and benefits of various treatment options, you may want to consider other solutions. Surgery is not the only alternative to BPH medications. If you want to avoid the complications of surgery and the side effects of medication, consider the UroLift®.
This state-of-the-art BPH treatment is done from the comfort of the doctor’s office without cutting, burning, or scrapping tissue. Dr. Jeffrey Toubin has been designated as a UroLift® Center of Excellence Physician. Dr. Toubin is the first practice in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to be classified as a Center of Excellence in using UroLift®.
The UroLift® is minimally-invasive, achieves quick BPH symptom relief, and will have you enjoying life right away. Additionally, research studies show that this procedure does not impact sexual function. All of these benefits can be achieved without the risk of side effects of BPH medications.
This procedure is FDA-approved and is like nothing else that has ever been offered before to treat symptoms of an enlarged prostate. It consists of a tiny implant that lifts the prostate and removes the pressure from the urethra. Unlike other treatment solutions, there is a very high reward with very low risk.
Contact us to schedule an appointment and discover how the UroLift® can help your BPH get back on track without risking your health.
If you're having urinary problems, even if you think your symptoms are minor, it's important to discuss them with a board-certified urologist like Dr. Toubin.
Call us today for an evaluation.
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