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      Finasteride in the treatment of patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia: a review

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          Abstract

          Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is a complex and progressive disease common in aging men. While associated with bothersome lower urinary tract symptoms, it may also result in additional serious complications such as refractory hematuria, acute urinary retention, and BPH-related surgery. Medical therapy has been offered as an approach to halt this progression and perhaps reverse the pathophysiology of BPH. While alpha-blockers provide rapid relief in the form of improved flow rate, their effects may not reduce the overall risk of BPH-related complications. 5α-reductase inhibitors were therefore introduced to affect the underlying disease process by inhibiting the enzyme which converts testosterone to dihydrotesterone, the primary androgen involved in normal and abnormal prostate growth. Through this inhibition, prostate size is decreased, thereby reducing the risk of acute urinary retention and BPH-related surgery while providing symptom control. These effects are most pronounced in men with enlarged prostates (>25 mL) who are at the greatest risk of disease progression. This article reviews the literature for finasteride used in the treatment of BPH and provides evidence for its efficacy, safety and tolerability, applicability for combination therapy, and considerations of its effects on prostate cancer risk.

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          Most cited references 44

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          The long-term effect of doxazosin, finasteride, and combination therapy on the clinical progression of benign prostatic hyperplasia.

          Benign prostatic hyperplasia is commonly treated with alpha-adrenergic-receptor antagonists (alpha-blockers) or 5alpha-reductase inhibitors. The long-term effect of these drugs, singly or combined, on the risk of clinical progression is unknown. We conducted a long-term, double-blind trial (mean follow-up, 4.5 years) involving 3047 men to compare the effects of placebo, doxazosin, finasteride, and combination therapy on measures of the clinical progression of benign prostatic hyperplasia. The risk of overall clinical progression--defined as an increase above base line of at least 4 points in the American Urological Association symptom score, acute urinary retention, urinary incontinence, renal insufficiency, or recurrent urinary tract infection--was significantly reduced by doxazosin (39 percent risk reduction, P<0.001) and finasteride (34 percent risk reduction, P=0.002), as compared with placebo. The reduction in risk associated with combination therapy (66 percent for the comparison with placebo, P<0.001) was significantly greater than that associated with doxazosin (P<0.001) or finasteride (P<0.001) alone. The risks of acute urinary retention and the need for invasive therapy were significantly reduced by combination therapy (P<0.001) and finasteride (P<0.001) but not by doxazosin. Doxazosin (P<0.001), finasteride (P=0.001), and combination therapy (P<0.001) each resulted in significant improvement in symptom scores, with combination therapy being superior to both doxazosin (P=0.006) and finasteride (P<0.001) alone. Long-term combination therapy with doxazosin and finasteride was safe and reduced the risk of overall clinical progression of benign prostatic hyperplasia significantly more than did treatment with either drug alone. Combination therapy and finasteride alone reduced the long-term risk of acute urinary retention and the need for invasive therapy. Copyright 2003 Massachusetts Medical Society
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            Steroid 5 alpha-reductase: two genes/two enzymes.

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              The effect of finasteride on the risk of acute urinary retention and the need for surgical treatment among men with benign prostatic hyperplasia. Finasteride Long-Term Efficacy and Safety Study Group.

              Finasteride is known to improve urinary symptoms in men with benign prostatic hyperplasia, but the extent to which the benefit is sustained and whether finasteride reduces the incidence of related events, including the need for surgery and the development of acute urinary retention, is not known. In this double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, we studied 3040 men with moderate-to-severe urinary symptoms and enlarged prostate glands who were treated daily with 5 mg of finasteride or placebo for four years. Symptom scores (on a scale of 1 to 34), urinary flow rates, and the occurrence of outcome events were assessed every four months in 3016 men. Prostate volume was measured in a subgroup of the men. Complete data on outcomes were available for 2760 men. During the four-year study period, 152 of the 1503 men in the placebo group (10 percent) and 69 of the 1513 men in the finasteride group (5 percent) underwent surgery for benign prostatic hyperplasia (reduction in risk with finasteride, 55 percent; 95 percent confidence interval, 41 to 65 percent). Acute urinary retention developed in 99 men (7 percent) in the placebo group and 42 men (3 percent) in the finasteride group (reduction in risk with finasteride, 57 percent; 95 percent confidence interval, 40 to 69 percent). Among the men who completed the study, the mean decreases in the symptom score were 3.3 in the finasteride group and 1.3 in the placebo group (P<0.001). Treatment with finasteride also significantly improved urinary flow rates and reduced prostate volume (P<0.001). Among men with symptoms of urinary obstruction and prostatic enlargement, treatment with finasteride for four years reduces symptoms and prostate volume, increases the urinary flow rate, and reduces the risk of surgery and acute urinary retention.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6336
                1178-203X
                2009
                2009
                12 July 2009
                : 5
                : 535-545
                Affiliations
                University of North Carolina Division of Urologic Surgery, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Culley C Carson, University of North Carolina Division of Urologic Surgery, 2113 Physicians Office Building, CB 7235, 170 Manning Drive, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7235, USA, Tel +1 919-966-2574, Fax +1 919-966-0098, Email carson@ 123456med.unc.edu
                Article
                tcrm-5-535
                2710385
                19707263
                © 2009 Smith and Carson, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article which permits unrestricted noncommercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Review

                Medicine

                5α-reductase inhibitor, prostatic hyperplasia, finasteride

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