Harvard Men's Health Watch

Earlier start with medication may slow BPH symptoms

A drug used to treat an enlarged prostate may prevent worsening of the condition in men with mild or no symptoms, a study in BMJ finds.

Noncancerous enlarged prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), is often treated with medications—usually after the onset of BPH symptoms, such as difficulty at starting urination, straining to empty the bladder, and having to get up frequently at night to urinate. Can taking a drug sooner help to prevent the condition from getting worse?

The study involved men with enlarged prostates but few or no symptoms yet. About half took the BPH drug dutasteride (Avodart); the others took an inactive pill. Dutasteride helps to shrink the swollen gland and take pressure off the urinary plumbing.

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