Harvard Perspectives on Prostate Disease

Harvard experts discuss benign prostatic hyperplasia drug treatments (Part 1 of 2)

Harvard experts discuss benign prostatic hyperplasia drug treatments (Part 1 of 2)

A frank discussion of risks and benefits

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is one of the most common disorders affecting men as they grow older. Yet there is much confusion about the best way to treat this disorder, in part because men taking medications for BPH are also likely to be taking other drugs for common medical problems, which may lead to adverse interactions and exacerbated side effects.

Perspectives on Prostate Disease invited three Harvard experts to participate in a roundtable discussion to share their thoughts about the relative benefits and risks of current BPH medications. Participants included:

  • Dr. Kevin Loughlin, professor of surgery (urology) at Harvard Medical School, who is senior surgeon and director of urologic research at Brigham and Women's Hospital and staff urologist at Harvard University Health Services, a large university health program that serves the needs of Harvard students, faculty, employees, and their families.

  • Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, associate clinical professor of surgery (urology) at Harvard Medical School and director of Men's Health Boston. Dr. Morgentaler specializes in diseases of the prostate and has a particular interest in treating erectile dysfunction, low testosterone levels, and BPH. He has published widely on the issue of erectile dysfunction.

  • Dr. Martin Sanda, associate professor of surgery (urology) at Harvard Medical School and director of the Prostate Care Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital. Dr. Sanda has extensive experience in prostate cancer and BPH and has devoted much of his professional research to evaluating prostate-related treatment outcomes and developing new therapies.

  • Dr. Marc B. Garnick, editor in chief of Perspectives, moderated the discussion.

In the following pages, you'll learn what they think about who needs to be treated, what medications should be prescribed, and what side effects you need to be aware of. In short, after reading this article, you'll become a more discerning critic of the statements made during BPH drug advertisements that air during televised sporting events "" and much more able to work with your doctor to make your own treatment decisions.

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