Enlarged prostate, also known as benign prostatic hyperplasia, is a condition which causes difficulty passing water. It is more common among men aged 50 and over.
- Nearly a third of men over 70 affected
- Caused by hormonal conversion
- Treatable with long-term medication
We do not provide medications for enlarged prostate through our online pharmacy service. If you think you may have BPH, we recommend you see your GP in person to discuss your symptoms further.
0 treatment(s) for Enlarged Prostate
Enlarged prostate, also referred to as benign prostate enlargement (BPE) or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is a condition which mainly affects men during middle age. It is characterised by a range of symptoms, mostly inhibiting the passing of urine. Persons experiencing BPH may notice that is harder for them to empty the bladder completely and need to strain to pass water, or feel discomfort while doing so. Reduced force in urinary flow may also be present, and in some cases, blood may appear.
The condition is not considered serious, and is easy to treat. However, the appearance of these symptoms is something you should notify your doctor about urgently, as they may be a sign of serious illness. While BPH is not a cause of prostate cancer, nor the reverse, the two can be present at the same time. A doctor will need to rule out more severe illnesses before issuing treatment.
While many people may have heard of the prostate gland, not everyone is aware of its purpose. Its function is to produce a thick white liquid, which ultimately combines with sperm, made by the testicles, and forms the basis of semen. The gland is located between the penis and the bladder.
In middle-aged men, particularly those over 50, the prostate gland can grow. This is thought to be caused, at least in part, by the conversion of testosterone in the body. Dihydrotestosterone is the result of this conversion, for which the enzyme 5-alpha reductase is a catalyst. When the prostate swells, the pressure on the urethra becomes increased, thus making it harder for the person experiencing the condition to pass urine, and causing the above problems.
Though an enlarged prostate is not considered serious, it should nonetheless be treated, as complications can arise. When it is not tackled, the condition can lead to bladder or kidney problems, and in severe cases require prostate removal surgery. Treatments such as Avodart, Finasteride and Proscar work by interfering with the enzymatic process which produces dihydrotestosterone. As a result, the prostate reduces in size, and this alleviates symptoms.
To find out more about the medications available for BPE, we recommend you speak to your GP in person.
Types of Treatment
If you notice any problems when passing urine, particularly in cases where they persist, you should tell your doctor right away. They will need to eliminate the possibility of more serious illnesses.
In most cases of BPH, a doctor will issue a type of medication called a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor, or 5-ARI, to relieve symptoms. These are available in tablet form, as Avodart, Proscar and Finasteride. They are usually taken once a day, and are intended to be long-term treatments.
While some may notice improvements sooner, these treatments can take up to six months to generate beneficial results.
How do they work?
These pills work by preventing the activity of an enzyme, which turns testosterone into dihydrotestosterone. It is this transformation which contributes towards the enlargement of the prostate and causes urinary problems. The medications listed above thereby aid the relief of symptoms by helping to shrink the prostate gland.
What are the side effects?
These may differ from product to product, so you should refer to the information for each before making your purchase, and notify your prescriber of any conditions which may put you at increased risk.
Among the more common side effects of BPH treatments are erectile dysfunction, reduced libido, and ejaculation problems.
Can I take them with other medications?
The drug amongst those above most likely to cause interactions with other treatments is Avodart. This may be affected by alpha-blockers, or fungal or bacterial antibiotics. Read the product information for more details.
What’s the difference between the medications?
The treatments are all one-a-day tablets, and they are all long-term courses. The main difference between them is their active constituent. Finasteride is a generic pill, containing an agent of the same name; whereas Proscar is the branded version of this drug.
In Avodart, the main ingredient is dutasteride which performs a similar function to finasteride, but is slightly different in terms of contraindications and side effects.
Should I take Avodart, Proscar or Finasteride?
It depends on your suitability and which treatment has been initiated by your GP or specialist. Some conditions may make one product more suitable than another. For instance, antivirals and medications for fungal infections may interact with Avodart, but not with Proscar.
You should always divulge any information relating to your medical history or other treatments you are using when consulting with your doctor.
Are there different side effects?
Yes, although all three products may cause ejaculatory problems, erectile dysfunction or loss of libido. For more specific information, consult the relevant product page.
Is it right for me?
We do not provide these treatments online. Make an appointment with your GP if you think you may experiencing symptoms of enlarged prostate. They will be able to examine your condition and discuss testing and treatment options where required.
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