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Dutasteride: an evidence-based review of its clinical impact in the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia

Authors Thomson A

Published 30 June 2005 Volume 2005:1-Issues 1 & 2(2)


Andrew Thomson

Core Medical Publishing, Knutsford, UK

Introduction: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common condition affecting older men. Bothersome symptoms can progress to serious complications such as acute urinary retention (AUR) requiring surgical intervention. Dutasteride, a dual 5-alfa-reductase (5AR) inhibitor (5ARI), is a recently introduced therapy for the treatment of BPH.

Aims: The objective of this article is to review the evidence for the treatment of BPH with dutasteride.

Evidence review: Evidence from large clinical studies shows that men with an enlarged prostate achieve a measurable decrease in prostate volume by up to 26% after 4 years of treatment with dutasteride and urinary symptoms improve after 6 months of treatment. This is achieved by rapid suppression (through inhibition of 5AR) of the principal androgen (dihydrotestosterone or DHT) responsible for stimulating prostatic growth. Evidence suggests that dutasteride treatment results in a reduction in risk (rather than delay) of the most serious complications including episodes of AUR and the need for BPH-related surgery. Early symptom relief has been achieved with the combination of an alfa blocker and dutasteride. There is good evidence that dutasteride is well tolerated; side effects limited to sexual dysfunction (reduced libido, impotence, and gynecomastia) are more common compared with placebo but occur with a similar incidence to finasteride, another 5ARI. No pharmacoeconomic evidence from studies with dutasteride has so far been published.

Clinical value: In conclusion, dutasteride is a valuable treatment option in men with moderate to severe BPH. Reductions in prostate volume lead to symptom relief and serious complications appear to be reduced.

Key words: dutasteride, evidence-based review, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), 5-alfa-reductase inhibitor

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