Therapies for prostatic hypertrophy

Here are the drugs available to counteract the enlargement of the gland.

It is not a serious condition, but if left untreated it inevitably progresses and, with time, can give complications. Here are the therapies available.

Prostatic hypertrophy, also called prostate adenoma, is a benign evolution of the gland that has nothing to do with prostate cancer.

It is a very common disorder, given that it occurs in 80 percent of men over fifty, and with the passage of time the probability of incurring it increases.

Although not dangerous in itself, benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) tends to worsen over time, so once diagnosed, it must be monitored.

Watchful waiting

It is not said that BPH is always linked to the appearance of symptoms: in some cases, although the size of the prostate has increased a lot, only mild disorders are highlighted.

And if the risk of progression is low, the main national and international guidelines advise an attentive, watchful waiting, starting a possible therapy only if the disorders become more evident.

If necessary, according to the doctor’s opinion, medication or surgical therapy may be prescribed.


They are the drugs of first choice; This category includes alfuzosin, doxazosin, terazosin and tamsulosin. They work by relaxing muscles in the neck of the bladder thus promoting urinary flow and improving obstruction symptoms.

Their action is rapid, but is maintained only for the period of taking the drug: once the therapy ceases, the effect is canceled.

5alpha-reductase inhibitors

They are drugs with antiandrogenic action (dutasteride and finasteride) that have been shown to reduce the size of the prostate, thus decreasing the pressure exerted on the urethra and obstruction.

Antiandrogen drugs are preferred especially in case of particularly enlarged prostate.

They have a slower therapeutic action and the disadvantage of often inducing lowering of libido and erectile problems, a reduction in sperm count in ejaculation and gynecomastia.

These drugs are also used in combination with alpha-blockers so as to add up their complementary activities.

Help also from nature

There are some herbal substances that have been shown to be effective in controlling the symptoms of BPH, such as Serenoa Repens and Pygeum Africanum.

Phytotherapy Property
Serenoa Repens Counteracts the enlargement and inflammation of the gland thanks to its antiandrogenic action
Pygeum Africanum It has anti-inflammatory effect, effective in the initial forms associated with prostatitis

Nettle can also be used by exploiting its antiandrogenic action (milder than that of Serenoa) and the inhibitory action of growth factors.

Surgical therapy

In some cases, especially if the disorders do not improve sufficiently after drug therapy, surgical treatment may be necessary.

Option that, sometimes, can also be chosen in the first instance, depending on the needs: The surgery has proven effective in the long term and, in general, does not change erectile capacity.

Among the most used techniques are transurethral resection and endoscopic resection (Turp).

Counteracting erectile dysfunction

Recently, the possible role of phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitors, drugs used against erectile dysfunction, in the treatment of BPH, has also been evaluated.

Such substances can help control the symptoms of hypertrophy while resolving sexual dysfunction, when the two disorders are concomitant.

Joycelyn Elders is the author and creator of EmpowerEssence, a health and wellness blog. Elders is a respected public health advocate and pediatrician dedicated to promoting general health and well-being.

The blog covers a wide range of topics related to health and wellness, with articles organized into several categories.

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