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Medical treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia

INTRODUCTION

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) becomes increasingly common as men age. BPH can lead to urinary symptoms of increased frequency of urination, nocturia, hesitancy, urgency, and weak urinary stream. Symptomatic patients may benefit from medical or surgical treatment.

The medical therapy of BPH will be reviewed here. The clinical manifestations and diagnosis, epidemiology and pathogenesis, and surgical and other invasive therapies of BPH are all discussed separately. (See "Clinical manifestations and diagnostic evaluation of benign prostatic hyperplasia" and "Epidemiology and pathogenesis of benign prostatic hyperplasia" and "Transurethral procedures for treating benign prostatic hyperplasia".)

Treatment of lower urinary tract symptoms in men from etiologies other than BPH is also discussed separately. (See "Lower urinary tract symptoms in men".)

INDICATIONS FOR THERAPY

Medical treatment — The decision to medically treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) balances the severity of the patient's symptoms with potential side effects of therapy. BPH only requires therapy if symptoms have a significant impact on a patient's quality of life [1]. Symptoms typically appear slowly and progress gradually over a period of years. Even without therapy, many men will experience stabilization or improvement in symptoms over time [2]. (See "Clinical manifestations and diagnostic evaluation of benign prostatic hyperplasia", section on 'Natural history'.)

For patients that require treatment, it is reasonable to initiate a trial of medical therapy for BPH when the clinician is comfortable that presenting signs and symptoms are consistent with BPH. (See "Clinical manifestations and diagnostic evaluation of benign prostatic hyperplasia", section on 'Diagnostic approach'.)

                    

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Literature review current through: Nov 2014. | This topic last updated: Nov 21, 2014.
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