There are eight common prostate drugs prescribed for men who have enlarged prostate or benign prostatic hyperplasia.
Some prostate drugs belong to a class called alpha blockers or alpha-1-adrenergic blockers.
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Alpha blockers work by relaxing smooth muscle tissues in the prostate gland and reducing muscle contraction, says Health Communities
. They relieve the urinary difficulties associated with an enlarged prostate gland and improve the flow of urine.
WebMD lists the common alpha blockers and notes
that all are similarly effective but may have minor differences in their side effects. All of these drugs begin to relieve symptoms almost immediately.
1. Uroxetral (alfuzosin)
2. Flomax (tamsulosin)
3. Hytrin (terazosin)
4. Cardura (doxazosin)
5. Rapaflo (silodosin)
While alpha blockers are effective at treating symptoms, none of them solve the underlying problem, the enlarged prostate itself. The class of drugs called 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors can reduce the size of the prostate gland by 20 percent to 30 percent, but maximum benefits could take up to one year after the start of treatment, says Health Communities.
According to an article from "Small Gland, Big Problem" by professor Roger Kirby posted at The Prostate Centre, these drugs work
by preventing testosterone from being converted into another substance called dihydrotestosterone. DHT plays a major role in prostate growth.
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WebMD lists the following 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors:
6. Proscar (finasteride)
7. Avodart (dutasteride)
8. Jalyn (dutasteride/tamsulosin)
Web MD explains that with 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors, symptom relief can be slower than with alpha blockers because the drug is working to gradually shrink the prostate gland. However, Jayln is considered a combination treatment meant to provide effective prostate reduction benefits along with the quick symptom relief associated with alpha-blockers.
Some of these drugs are or have already undergone changes in their labeling because they may be associated with a higher risk of men developing prostate cancer, particularly the most aggressive types, says WebMD. As with any type of prescription medication, the benefits and risks of these prostate drugs should be weighed carefully by both physician and patient.
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