BPH Medication Alpha Blockers & DHT Inhibitors

BPH Medication Alpha Blockers

Alpha blockers have proved to be beneficial for over two thirds of BPH patients; they are used to restore normal, unrestricted urine flow by reducing pressure applied to the urethra. Without changing the dimensions or structure of the prostate, alpha blockers for example Terazosin, Doxazosin, Tamsulosin, Alfuzosin amongst others quickly relax bladder and/or prostate muscle cells; if discontinued, treatment can become ineffective just as quickly.

BPH medication Alpha Blockers & DHT inhibitors
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Alpha blockers are either used to specifically target smooth urinary tract muscle cells or to simultaneously relax smooth arterial muscle cells in walls throughout the body. While alpha blockers work in similar ways and achieve comparative rates of success, they interact differently within the patient’s system, so their associated side effects can vary significantly.

Alpha Blocker side effects

Due to their probability of lowering blood pressure, daily alpha blocker dosage is gradually increased (from one to ten milligrams). As well as nasal congestion, headaches, fatigue, oral dryness and swelling of the ankles, the side effects of alpha blockers also include dizziness or fainting, so patients using erectile dysfunction or antihypertensive medication should be vigilant.

DHT Inhibitors

DHT (DiHydroTestosterone) inhibitor medication is another treatment available to patients diagnosed with BPH. Whereas alpha blockers leave the prostate unchanged, DHT reduces prostate size; it works by inhibiting the enzyme that changes testosterone into DHT (the primary hormone within the prostate), without affecting usual testosterone production it’s stimulation of the prostate.

DHT Inhibitor side effects

While sperm production, physique and vocalisation typically can go unaffected, patients should expect certain aspects of their masculinity to be impacted (issues such as libido loss or impotence can be experienced less frequently); this is because DHT medication such as Dutasteride, Finasteride… is most effective and has the greatest impact inside the prostate (testosterone goes unaffected or unconverted elsewhere).

BPH medication candidates

BPH patients with larger prostates (those forty millilitres or above) usually gain the most benefit from DHT treatment. While the risks posed by acute urinary retention or surgical procedures are also lowered, DHT can halve a patient’s PSA score too, so those gauging this (and screening for cancer) should give DHT medication special consideration.

Medication outcomes

Alpha blocker treatment is established and proven to be the most effective course of treatment for BPH patients, but ongoing research shows greater potential when combined with DHT medication¹. These treatments can take up to four years to complete; they safely reduce prostate sizes by up to a quarter and typically achieve symptomatic relief for one in three BPH patients.

¹ Harvard Health, New Drug Approach Newsletter, March 14

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