An enlarged prostate happens to nearly all men as they get older. Medications are often prescribed, but there are over-the-counter medicines that also may treat the disorder.
The prostate gland is part of the male reproductive system. It surrounds the urethra and when enlarged can result in such urinary symptoms as inability to urinate, incomplete emptying of the bladder, incontinence, a weak urine stream, and other difficulties.
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While prescribed medicines help relax the prostate and bladder muscles or lower levels of prostate hormones, here ares some options for over-the-counter medications to treat an enlarged prostate. Keep in mind that men should consult their doctors when considering alternative remedies.
• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
found in aspirin and ibuprofen help lower inflammation. Research suggests they could improve prostate health, but there is not yet enough evidence to show they should be used for treatment of an enlarged prostate, according to Healthline
• Saw palmetto
is among the herbs that could ease symptoms, according to some studies. However, research has had mixed results and is ongoing, The New York Times reports
extracts have been suggested to help reduce enlarged prostate symptoms, says the Mayo Clinic
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, an herbal remedy, is listed by WebMD
as "likely effective" against an enlarged prostate.
• Rye grass
could also work as alternative medicine for an enlarged prostate. However, as with beta-sitosterol extracts and pygeum, the Mayo Clinic says the effectiveness and safety of these herbal remedies have not been proven.
• Red clover
may reduce the need to urinate during the night, a common symptom of enlarged prostate, but more studies are needed.
• Pumpkin seed oil
may be among the medications that treat an enlarged prostate. Healthline points to a study that found improvement in symptoms and quality of life when used in daily capsules for a year.
• Stinging nettle
has been used to treat an enlarged prostate and improve urine flow, but more research is needed to prove its effectiveness.
Although there could be relief from prostate symptoms with over-the-counter medications for an enlarged prostate, the methods shouldn't replace medical treatment and prescribed medications when necessary. Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you.
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