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Use of Some Common Drugs May Lower PSA Levels

NSAIDs, statins, thiazide diuretics lower levels; effect on prostate cancer screening unknown

TUESDAY, Aug. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), statins, or thiazide diuretics can significantly lower tested levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), according to research published online Aug. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Steven L. Chang, M.D., of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues assembled medication and PSA data for 1,864 men 40 years and older without prostate cancer from the 2003 to 2004 and 2005 to 2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey cycles. The researchers performed multivariate linear regression analysis to determine the effect on PSA levels of the 10 most commonly prescribed medication classes taken individually and in combination. Results were adjusted for demographics, physical examination, clinical characteristics, lab results, and medication duration.

The researchers found that five years on NSAIDs, statins, and thiazide diuretics lowered PSA levels 6, 13, and 26 percent, respectively. Taking a combination of a statin and thiazide diuretic brought about a 36 percent reduction in PSA level, the largest reduction seen. However, the use of a calcium channel blocker with a statin minimized or negated the statin's PSA-lowering effect. The authors note that the effect of regular consumption of these medications on prostate cancer screening is unknown.

"It is, therefore, important to thoroughly understand the consequences of regular NSAID, statin, and thiazide diuretic use on the quality of prostate cancer screening. If the lower PSA levels in men taking these medications result in a delayed diagnosis of prostate cancer, a 'medication-adjusted' PSA threshold for prostate cancer screening may need to be defined," the authors write.

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