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Prostate Problems: Drugs

Prostate cancer, enlarged prostate and prostatitis are common problems that can affect men as they get older. There are several options for treating prostate problems, with varying medications.

Medication for Prostatitis

Prostatitis is inflammation or irritation of the prostate, a small walnut-sized gland that helps make semen, which is the fluid that contains sperm. A man with prostatitis might have to urinate more frequently or could experience burning while urinating. The medication for prostatitis depends on the cause. For example, some types of prostatitis are caused by bacteria, and an antibiotic is usually prescribed. In other cases, the prostatitis is not caused by bacteria, so antibiotics won’t help. In some of these instances, drugs called alpha-blockers may help by relaxing the muscle tissue of the prostate.

Medication for Enlarged Prostate

Benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH, is the medical term for an enlarged prostate. This is common among older men and can cause difficulty with urination. Here again, alpha-blockers can help by relaxing muscles and improving urine flow. Another group of drugs called 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors can improve urine flow and shrink the prostate as well. Anticholinergics are another group of drugs sometimes prescribed for treating BPH. In some instances, doctors prescribe a combination of these drugs to alleviate the symptoms of BPH. Other medical procedures, both surgical and non-surgical, may also be suggested to treat a case of BPH, as well.

Medication for Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer is typically treated with a combination of drugs, radiation therapy and surgery. The drugs often taken for prostate cancer are known as hormone therapy, and they will reduce the amount of testosterone that the body produces. Hormone therapy may be given to a patient if it seems likely that the cancer could come back.

SOURCES: National Institute on Aging; Urology Care Foundation

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