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Why do doctors prescribe alpha blockers for prostate conditions?

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Quick Answer

Doctors prescribe alpha-blockers for the treatment of moderate benign prostatic hyperplasia because they relax the smooth muscles of the bladder neck and prostate, according to WebMD. This effect improves the flow of urine and can cause a significant reduction of symptoms.

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Commonly used alpha-blockers include alfuzosin, doxazosin, silodosin, tamsulosin and terazosin, lists WebMD. Side effects of these medications include nasal congestion, headaches, fatigue, weakness and lightheadedness. Another group of drugs that doctors often prescribe in combination with alpha-blockers for the treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia is 5-alpha reductase inhibitors.

The 5-apha reductase inhibitors block the conversion of male testosterone into its active form in the prostate, explains MedicineNet. This can lead to a 25 percent reduction in the size of the prostate over a period of six to 12 months. Commonly used 5-apha reductase inhibitors include finasteride and dutasteride. Side effects include a decreased libido, ejaculation problems and problems achieving an erection.

Doctors recommend prostate surgery for patients who do not respond to medical therapy or have severe problems caused by BPH, states MedicineNet. Treatment options include transurethral resection of the prostate, laser procedures and microwave therapy. TURP is a procedure during which the patient receives anesthesia, and the surgeon inserts an instrument through the urethra of the penis. The instrument the shaves away parts of the inner prostate, which improves the flow of urine from the bladder.

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