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Outcomes and quality of life issues in the pharmacological management of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)

Authors Angelo J Cambio, Christopher P Evans

Published 15 March 2007 Volume 2007:3(1) Pages 181—196

Angelo J Cambio, Christopher P Evans

Department of Urology [A.J.C., C.P.E.], University of California, Davis, Sacramento, CA, USA

Background: Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a common disease of the aging male population. BPH treatment includes a variety of pharmacological and surgical interventions. The goal of this paper is to review the natural history of BPH, outcomes of pharmacological management, effects on quality of life (QoL), future pharmacotherapies, and associated patient-focused perspectives.

Materials and methods: Medline searches for the keywords benign prostatic hyperplasia, BPH, alpha blockers, 5 alpha-reductase, and quality of life were performed. Relevant literature was reviewed and analyzed.

Results: Alpha blockers, 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors, and phytotherapy are the three categories of pharmaceutical interventions currently available for BPH. Various clinical trials have shown that alpha blockers and 5 alpha-reductase inhibitors are safe, efficacious, and improve QoL in patients with BPH. The evidence for phytotherapeutics is not as convincing. The current armamentarium of pharmaceutical interventions are encompassed in these three classes of medications. New pharmacotherapies based on novel mechanisms are on the horizon.

Conclusion: There are a variety of safe and efficacious medical therapies available for the management of BPH and it is important for the practicing physician to have an understanding of these pharmacotherapies and their potential impact on the patient. There is not enough evidence to make a recommendation regarding phytotherapy use. New classes of drugs for BPH will likely find their way into routine use.

Keywords: Benign prostatic hyperplasia, benign prostatic hypertrophy, BPH, alpha blockers, 5 alpha-reductase inhibitor, quality of life.

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